31 January 2011

Goodbye January. I'm ready for the next J month

I broke out my crock pot again and made chicken chili. It turned out good. I had it for dinner and portioned the rest into two lunches and two frozen dinners for two. I have beef stew and turkey soup in the freezer. I feel so domestic! I'll finish up what's frozen before I make anything else.

I went to the rehab center in the morning for the family meeting. We conferenced-in my siblings. So we have a little time to figure out what to do. We don't know how much, but whatever it is it won't be enough. This is not the fun part! I brought my parents' laundry to their house and got that done while going through their bills and records, etc. I looked through lots of history...birth records, my dad's army stuff, etc. It was interesting. I went back to the rehab center with the clean clothes. I watched my mom do occupational therapy. I helped wheel both parents to the dining room. It really is a nice place and my parents are being treated well.

I'll be bringing my scissors next time I visit.

It's amazing how much my mother's face has healed. I'll never post the pictures from the hospital. I almost wish I didn't have them, but can't bring myself to delete them either.

It's time for a blankie, or a heater. I could complain about the cold, but I'm thankful I have those options. Ever the optimist...that's me.

30 January 2011

I'm a Blogger in a Coffee Shop

I don't remember the last time I blogged from a coffee shop. Do you remember when I blogged from Panera's all the time? I wonder what happened to change that? Life and circumstances I guess. Life has a way of changing everything up.

My sister suggested we meet at the rehab center to go over my parents' finances. Between cutting Emily's hair, getting ready, making shopping lists, etc., I ran way behind. When I called Lisa, she was SO over her visit there. I suggested we meet at Caribou Coffee instead. My mom was looking forward to seeing me, but she'll have to wait till tomorrow. I have a meeting at the center at 9am and I'll find out when my parents are being discharged. It will be too early, whenever it is. I say that because we all feel strongly that my mother should never walk without assistance, and we don't have that in place yet.

Rob and I have a dinner date tonight. We're meeting part way. His working every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10pm to 8:30am means no weekends together. Our plan to see each other on Thursdays is a work in progress. He doesn't have a sleep schedule and he's tired on his days off. We both have plans the next two Thursdays. So, we're going to find creative ways to see each other. The fact that he lives an hour away is one more impediment. If there's a will there's a way, though.

And that's as long as this is going to be for now. Except, does anyone remember the song by Maria Muldaur, I'm a Waitress in a Donut Shop? I was a huge fan of her's in the 70's. I have memories of singing her songs in the shower in my college dorm. I knew all her songs by heart. Why do I bring this up? I'm a blogger in a coffee shop. I could write a song.

29 January 2011

Simple pleasures

Today was easy. And pleasant. Work started a half hour later for me today. 8:30. I marked my book so I had breaks while my friend Bernie's hair was processing. I got to drink a cup of real coffee while working. Cheap thrills! I went to Borders and scored a table as soon as I walked in. A table with only one chair and no one asking to sit with me. The barista remembered my drink. I read Inc. and People magazine. It was rewarding. It's the simple things I enjoy the best. I met my sister at Jalapenos, the restaurant in Annapolis that I love, the one with $5 tapas/appetizers during the Mon.-Saturday happy hour. Tonight we had Guacamole "Oaxaca" and Chorizo Cantimpalo. Both were fantastic. I'm working my way through the menu. I've had 11 tapas in 4 visits. I plan to make my way though the entire happy hour menu. Check out their menu and let me know if you'd care to join me. I'm up for next Saturday. That is, if you're in the neighborhood.

I've been watching some DVR'd shows, sitting on the couch with my blankie. Might sound boring to you, but I'm pretty happy. And that's my Saturday. I don't know what tomorrow will hold, or the next day. Which day the other shoe will drop. Which day will hold another crisis with my parents. So, days like these with simple pleasures? I'm so thankful for them.

28 January 2011

A quiet ending

I've been sitting in my so quiet house since I got home from work, the only sound that of my space heater. I like the quiet. Maybe it's because I spend my days talking in a place that's loud with music and blow dryers and other talkers. It's probably the reason I never turn on the TV unless I'm watching something. I don't like noise for the sake of noise. So, nice and quiet here. The heat has made me sleepy though. I've almost finished catching up on blogs, but I won't get mine written if I don't stop. It was a nice busy day at work, after a stressful morning at home. My parents might be coming home much sooner than anticipated, and we're not ready. Arrangements haven't been made. When I heard the news I felt like I had a 600 pound boulder on my back. I put it in a compartment, though, and there it will stay for a while. I wound up cooking my pot roast longer last night while we got pizza and watched TV. That's because I forgot about it. I'm happy to report that when I tasted it this morning, it was tender and tasty. Not as good as my favorite pot roast by The Pioneer Woman, but still good. I was so hungry that I called and asked Emily to heat some up for me so it would be ready when I got home. The extra cooking made all the difference! Lesson learned. Also, some folks told me to always choose the long cooking cycle on low over the quick one on high. Now I just need some good recipes. I had some ice cream for dessert. Like Happyone! But mine was Turkey Hill Ginger Snap. Simply delicious.

And that's all she said, folks. I'm getting into bed with my magazine. Goodnight Friday. You started off rough but ended well. It's the well that I'm thankful for.

27 January 2011

The beginning set the tone

A tiny little post today. Or at least, a quick one. We lost power for about 3 hours this morning, and it threw off the day for me. I made some horrible coffee by pouring boiling water (gas range and a match) over a paper cone filled with grounds. Sludge. I shoveled. I didn't read, which is what I thought I'd do. I didn't miss the Internet.

I visited my parents and had a meeting at the center with a manager from a private home care agency. I was very, very impressed. It's a start to what comes next.

I used my crock pot for the first time today. I got it as a gift in 2009. I bought a packet of slow cooker pot roast seasoning and followed the directions. It wasn't done after the proscribed time. The meat was tough and the vegetables hard and I was disappointed. Next time I'll find a recipe instead of using a mix. I did get a cookbook along with the slow cooker. We had pizza for dinner instead. Maybe the pot roast will be magically better tomorrow. I cooked it for an extra hour and didn't taste it. And I didn't add cinnamon.

A mundane day. I hope tomorrow is super busy. That's the kind of day I need.

26 January 2011

A weathery day and night

I'm sitting in my very comfortable recliner after a great dinner. It's so nice to relax! Rob was supposed to come over tonight, but the weather is bad. It started this morning with snow, then sleet, then snow, then lots of rain. It started snowing again around 4:00 and should continue for a while. It's already been 5 hours. It's a heavy, wet snow. It's windy and I've heard some snow thunder. Is that the word? No school tomorrow, and fortunately, it's my day off. I've seen on FB that some friends have lost electricity. I'm sorry for them (really) but hope, hope, hope it doesn't happen here (I'm pretending the lights didn't just flicker).

We had Cordelico Sirloin steak for dinner. The meat industry is fashioning new and trademarked names for old cuts of meat. Flat Iron steak is in that category. This cut was formally called 'flap meat.' Sounds pretty unappetizing. The steak was delicious with an intense meaty flavor. I pan fried it, sliced it against the grain, and drizzled it with teriyaki sauce. We had it with steamed broccoli and baked potatoes. A simple meal. I'll have some simple ice cream for dessert.

It was a short day at work because of the weather. I started at my usual time, but I worked alone for the first hour. I ended my day early, at 2:30. I stopped by Borders for a latte to go, then Office Depot for printer ink, then the grocery store. It was crowded, and the check-out line was long, but I had a lot of patience for some reason. I bought ingredients to make a pot roast in the slow cooker I got as a gift in 2009. It's still in the box. I bought ingredients to make split pea soup. I didn't need any 'whites.' I did need 2 cartons of ice cream. I told Emily as we put away the food that the ginger snap ice cream is for me only. And I mean that.

I visited my parents before work yesterday. Mom is looking much better. Her black-and-blue face is getting yellower, and the bruise is moving further down her face and into her neck. She's a sport for letting me take pictures every time I see her.

We're watching American Idol. I'm pretending the lights haven't flickered a bunch of times. I need my power!

25 January 2011

Cinnamon Shrimp

I wrote about my love of shrimp and how I make it in this post. My sister suggested I try it with Old Bay instead of garlic powder. I don't know why that idea never occurred to me before. A few nights ago, I swizzled some olive oil over my shrimp, then added the garlic powder. Then I remembered the Old Bay. I decided to add it on top of the garlic. I had some Old Bay in a little baggie that I'd gotten from my neighbor. I smelled the bag, then sprinkled some on. Then some more. Then a little more. I didn't want it too spicy for the kids, but I loved the color. It wasn't till it was sizzling in the pan that I caught a whiff of cinnamon. It was cinnamon on the shrimp, not Old Bay. Darn. Did I ruin the shrimp?

Emily was the first to plate up her dinner. She popped a shrimp in her mouth and said it tasted 'different.' I didn't reply, and she took her food upstairs to continue studying. The shrimp was actually good. Crispy and flavorful. I don't think I'll ever do that combo again, but I would if I didn't have any other spice. Later that night I told Emily what I did. She thought it was pretty funny.

I got off a little early tonight and picked up my favorite dinner from Chipotle. I had ice cream for dessert. It's all gone now and I'm not adding ice cream to my list anytime soon. It just goes too quickly in this house.

Well, I'm off to take a bath, of all things. Calgon, take me away. Who remembers that one?

24 January 2011

Cinnamon Shrimp, but not tonight (dear)

 Earlier today...
 It's almost 2 PM and I'm still in pajamas. It's amazing the way a day can fly. I've gone through the bills and written checks, filed papers, cut our coupons, made lists, etc. I've written out cards to be mailed. I finally entered all the birthdays in my 2011 wall calendar and into my phone calendar. I set up online billing for my mortgage. Cleared off the dining room table and the top of the microwave. Things pile up there. I still have the big counter to clear. I've done laundry. I've made numerous phone calls looking for possible live-in care for my parents. I'm trying to learn about medicare. I found one place that I'm really excited about, and the person I spoke to is meeting me at the rehab center on Thursday. I've got a notebook started and I'm waiting for a lot of call-backs. All this stuff takes time! How do people do it when they don't have a day off during the week?

My plan was to finally shower and visit my parents. Then I talked to my brother, who's been with them for a while, and he said to stay home. They're comfortable. Their helper Amanda is coming. My sister may be visiting after work. I might just turn on the TV. Really?

Later on...
 I decided to go grocery shopping instead of sitting on the couch. Perfect segway to my next subject! I went  shopping looking like I just rolled out of bed. Thankfully the grocery store I frequent is in my neighborhood and it's a rare day that I run into anyone I know. And a rare day I'm without make-up or that I have untamed hair. I didn't care. I ran into my neighbor, which was unusual, but fine. And another at the mailbox. Didn't matter.

The segway subject. Lately, my reading at Borders has been iPhone app magazines. I'm very intellectual, you know. I'm glad I get to read without buying. I check out the highest rated apps, and if I'm interested, I download them. Then I usually forget them. The fun is in the 'getting.' ShopShop is one of my new apps. It's for...shopping lists. You can have multiple lists. When you're shopping and you put items in your cart, you touch the screen and the item is crossed off the list. Here's my screen:

Here's a practice list. The real one had the store name and the real food.

I used the app while shopping. Paper would have been easier, but this was more fun.

Atomic Web, next to ShopShop,  is supposed to be better than Safari. YellowPages is good. HeyTell is a push-to-talk app. Sometimes when I need to kill time, I check out my apps to see what they do. I have 5 screens of apps. I use a few. I'm mad at Angry Birds...I used to play that one a lot. I'm stuck.

I came home and watched 4 recorded shows. I cooked dinner. Frozen meatballs, a medley of pasta (a good way to use up boxes with very little pasta in them), and jarred sauce. It was delicious! Almost anything is delicious when you're hungry. Even cinnamon shrimp. I was going to write about that, but I'll save it for tomorrow. For now, I'm heading into bed with my new Wired magazine.

What a day! A nice no-drama day. As much as I love my days off, I like the schedule and routine of my work days. Often work is calmer than home. If only I could have coffee.

23 January 2011

A face only a mother's child could love

If your face looked like this, would you be worrying about your hair?

That's some bruise running down the side of Mom's face, huh? And that's four days after her fall. She's on Plavix, which is part of the reason the hematoma that's covering the right side of her face looks so bad. She called me tonight saying, "I have a lot of nerve." I said, what do you mean? She asked if I could bring my scissors to the rehab center tomorrow because her hair looks so bad. I'm a patient person, but it only goes so far. I said her hair is the least of her worries and that no, I'm not bringing my scissors. At least not tomorrow.

When making the case for my parents to go to this particular rehab, we had NO idea they would put them in the same room. They told me they had 2 male beds available when I first inquired. Yesterday my siblings told me there was a sign outside my father's door saying, welcome Laura. What??? My parents have separate rooms at home. I can't imagine this working, because at home they have lots of space, but I hope it does. It's a three-bed room, with the middle bed gone. Large. My father's hearing isn't too good and my mother talks softly these days. She'll say something like, what are you reading? He'll answer with something like, you want your shoes? It's not that he thinks she says that, he just pulls something out of the air to answer back. And annoy her. It's a comedy of sorts, and I think he does it on purpose. It frustrates the heck out of my mom. Like I said, I hope it works. My mom was finally ready for me to pick her up from the hospital at 2:30 today, and we went right to the rehab center. And here, for your viewing pleasure is a video!

I'm sitting by my heater eating a bowl of Mint Moose Tracks ice cream. Much better than last night's bitter chocolate. The only good thing about the chocolate is that I don't like it.

22 January 2011

Saturday has a second

I was able to keep my own little table at Borders. The one next to me opened up, with only one chair, and I asked the woman if I could put my other chair there. She said yes, looking a little puzzled. Her husband showed up so they both had chairs, and no one else asked to sit with me. All in all, it wasn't the best Border's day. I know it's a bookstore with a cafe. I wish it had a much bigger cafe. I read iPhone app magazines, as usual. I bought a few of the best rated apps. Do I use them all? Hardly. But I have the best! I'm remembering how many years it took me to make the decision to buy my phone. This is my second one, and the best 'toy' I've ever had. It's my computer, e-reader, social-media portal, game player, phone, camera, message-er, etc. I'm so thankful that Apple replaced my cracked phone last week so it's shiny and perfect.

My father is settling into the rehab/convalescent center. My sister and brother visited today and said the room is very large and nice. Much to our surprise, there's a welcome sign outside the door for my mother. We had no idea they'd be rooming together. They better not fight! My mom started complaining of a lot of pain in her left hand yesterday, I think. She had an x-ray today and I found out tonight when I visited that her wrist is broken/fractured. I guess the good news is that it's the hand she can't use due to her stroke. A doctor will see her tomorrow and decide what to do. I don't know if it will change her discharge, which is scheduled for tomorrow.

Work was great today. I stayed on schedule plus finished on time for a change. I really do have the best job! I have clients whose company I truly enjoy, and I know I make them happy. It's a very gratifying occupation, and I consider myself very fortunate. I received two belated Christmas gifts today. A check and a Borders gift card from one client and a big bag of Starbucks coffee beans from another. My clients know me well. I am pretty chatty at work. They both apologized for being late. I love late gifts! I have very generous clients and I get so many gifts before Christmas.

I'm sitting here eating a bit of Lindt 85% extra dark Cocoa . This stuff is heavy-duty. Like drinking the darkest, strongest coffee you could imagine. I'm not loving it. I was looking for something sweet and there's nothing remotely sweet about this.

It's 10 degrees in my world. I know it's a lot worse elsewhere, and I'm glad I'm not there. I want my summer. My pool. The beach. My hummingbirds. Why do we need winter?

Please take a seat

I'll give mobile blogging a shot. It took forever to find a seat at Borders. I had to share a table with chatty teens. They were very friendly but too loud. I went as far as to ask a couple using two tables if they needed both. They said they did. That was awkward. Emily would have died of embarrassment had she been with me. I put on earbuds and music to block the girls' chatter. Finally a table opened up and I went for it. In just a minute a girl asked if she could share my table. Was it wrong to tell her I had waited a long time for a table of my own? I pointed to the table I came from and told her the girls there were very nice. They were. She's sitting with them. Then a man came to my table and pointed to the empty chair. I think he's asking if I need it. I shake my head no. He goes away. I realize he was asking to sit there. Doesn't everyone realize I need my Borders time my way? Can someone take the empty chair away before someone sits in it? Please?

21 January 2011

Good stuff!

It was such a good/non-stressful day. I just worked. I hardly spoke on the phone. Work was busy and easy. My father is in transit to the rehab center. My mother will go to the same one on Sunday. Good news all-around.

I'll keep this short because I have some blog-reading to catch up on. I want to see how things are in your world. Hopefully good. Good is best.

Happy start of the weekend to most of you! Mine will start tomorrow afternoon. I can almost taste that latte now. Good stuff!

20 January 2011

The word that's missing is intentional

Two today to make up for none yesterday. Fair's fair.

I made or received 57 calls on my cell today. Does that tell you what kind of day it was? I got home at 5:00 this morning and went right to sleep. I slept for 4 hours and woke up feeling rested. And worried. And mentally listing all the people I had to call and arrangements I needed to make. I got a notebook and got started. The news is good. I know that some members of my family call me The General behind my back. That's OK. I'm the squeaky wheel. Is that the right saying? I'm good on the phone. I'm polite and ask, then call, people by their name. I think that's important. I explain. I'm patient. I'm not at all saying I'm all that, I'm just saying I can be a good advocate, and people are willing to help people that are nice and earnest, yet firm. I'm so tired, so I'll keep it quick. I spoke to both parents' case workers. I 'pleaded' to have both admitted to the rehab center that my mother was in after her gallbladder surgery. I told her no haircuts this time (remember that?). Crofton Convalescent Center is so wonderful and so, so close to where they and most of my family live, but not in their insurance network. It looks like it's going to happen tomorrow. I visited my father and got to see him do occupational therapy. I met and talked to the case worker I spoke to on the phone. I met and talked to his doctor and got 'mrsa', an infection, taken off his chart, which was needed for admittance to rehab, and which he doesn't have. I picked up one of the most awesome steak and cheese subs I've ever had from Momma Lucia's in Annapolis and went to see my mom. It was hard walking through the same hallways in ER that we were in for those agonizingly long hours. You have to pass them to get to the elevators. My mom looks just terrible, but better in some ways than yesterday. Her tech was simply amazing and I got her phone # in case we need and she wants to do some work on the side. I spoke to the RN. The CT scan says she has a right inferior orbital blowout. The notes say conservative measures but no surgery. The ophthalmologist told my mom there was no fracture. It doesn't add up. The RN is looking into it; the doctor didn't enter his notes yet. If all is right, she'll be out tomorrow.

My mother's aide at home is just awesome. Really an angel that was sent to us. She visited my mom today and brought her cell and some clothes for when she gets out. After Amanda left, the nurse brought in the gift bag she brought for my mom. She wanted it to be a surprise. There was a get well teddy bear, a box of chocolates, some truffles, and something else. How thoughtful? And to leave before my mom got it? Wow. I texted her "Can I adopt you? :))" I meant it. My mom told me that Amanda loves me. I feel the same about her.

That's all folks. I'm looking forward to a busy day of work tomorrow with haircuts, color and highlights the only thing on my mind. Yeah, right.

Really, I'm tired but fine. Not sure what will happen with my parent's after rehab, but the social worker gave me resources and that's what we've been missing.

Did you notice I've not used the ((wah)) word lately? I've banned it from my vocabulary.


My mom took a terrible fall yesterday, face down into her bathroom. I rushed from work to the ER. I spent 12 hours there...from 4:30 PM to 4:30 AM. My brother stayed the whole time with me and Lisa till around midnight. She had to work today. That's why I missed writing yesterday. And I was on such a roll! I'm sure you'll excuse me. Mom's face is bad, and there's fractures, but she'll be OK. I'm on my way to visit my dad at his hospital in Washington, DC. I still have my wits about me and a sense of humor. I'm on a caffeine high right now. After visiting Dad I'll visit Mom at her hospital in Annapolis. The family is holding together and holding strong. We'll get through this.

I'm so hungry. I just said, I wish I could get some food in my through IV cause I just don't have the time.


PS...thanks for being there.

18 January 2011


Tonight's post is going to be short and sweet. Rob made the trip up tonight. We had dinner at our favorite restaurant, and I made the mistake of eating everything on my plate. I couldn't help it because it was so good, but I'm sorry now. Next time I'll put half in a to-go container before eating, like I've done the last few times. The feeling of being oh-so-full is not a good one.

I had a Hershey's miniature dark chocolate today at work.

Short and sweet. Maybe long, but not bitter tomorrow.

17 January 2011

The plumbing needed an eel

Did you know the only thing that should be flushed down a toilet (besides what comes out of your body) is toilet paper? Regardless of what the product says. Flushable wipes? Just say no!

I had another comfortable night at my parent's house. The new bed is wonderful. I brought my own pillow and fan (white noise). I woke and made coffee. My dad mail-orders Jelks Blueberry Cobbler coffee. The only creamer they have is vanilla rum. Who drinks coffee like that? I did because I had to. Our angel of an aide Amanda came at 8:30. I wish she lived in my house. We talked for a while, then I finally took a shower. I was determined to get dressed at a reasonable time today.

I noticed water all over the bathroom floor when I went to dry my hair. The water level in the toilet was high. I used the plunger. Nothing happened. I flushed and tried again, and again. My mom was in her bathroom. She shouted out, 'what are you doing?' The water was gurgling up in her toilet. The next thing I knew, the bathtub was filling up with dirty water. I went to my mom's bathroom and the stall-shower was filling up with dirty water. I tried plunging the drain. Both toilets were gurgling. Are you picturing it yet? We're grabbing towels and throwing them on the floor. We've donned gloves and we're bailing water out of the shower and tub and into the sink. I call my boss, Mason, to ask for advice. He says I need to call a plumber; that they need to use an eel to get to the clog. I've heard of a snake, but not an eel. I'm guessing it's much longer? I call a random plumber who says they can come out tomorrow. How could they say that? I agree to pay an extra $90 for same day emergency service. Of course, as soon as I hung up I needed to go to the bathroom. I used the bushes. Like you do when you're camping. (I'll have to see if the daffodils bloom differently in that spot in the spring.) We found a sitz bath in the linen closet. The non-adventurous one used that as a make-shift potty. Mom, somehow, didn't have to go. Our guy arrived, and used one after another snake. Different sizes.

He was about to give up. He thought he'd need another guy and they'd use the septic vent on the roof to get to the clog. Finally, he got through the clog using the shower drain. You don't want to know what it looked like. The cause of it all? I had to ask because I couldn't figure out what I was seeing. A mess of black shredded stuff. Flushable wipes. My mom depends on them. Or, I should say, used to. I used to use them too, but as of right now, never again. My mom asked how much the plumber charged. I said the price of a new iPad. $619. That's how my brain thinks.

And they're called snakes, not eels, though I like the name eels better.

I finally left the house at 5:00. I'd been there almost 48 hours and I wanted my own house. I had to go to Safeway for a little food shopping. I got the bright idea to use the Chipotle app on my phone and order dinner. I have my favorite meal saved and credit card stored. Done! It was ready when I got there, and I headed home. How ironic for how my day was going that they forgot to put the chicken in my chicken burrito bowl. I took it in stride. I knew it was bloggable, and ironic.

The meal was good, but definitely missing something. Something called chicken.

My father was transported to Washington Hospital Center late today. I talked to the nurse and found out he's having cardiac catheterization tomorrow. That was news to us. WHC is a renowned heart center...#19 in the nation. It's the same hospital my mom was at for her angiogram. We'll have to trust that they'll take great care of him. Unfortunately, none of us will be there.

I'm in my pajamas. Eating ice cream. As soon as my laundry is done, I'm getting in bed. It's time to put this day to rest.

16 January 2011

Part 2

Howdy from me to you. What a day! I didn't get dressed till noon, and was back in my pajamas by 6 PM. The in-between was very busy. My sister, mother and I went to Teppanyaki Grill and Buffet for lunch. I looked it up...I didn't realize it was a chain restaurant. The last time I went was on a Saturday with my mom and Rob. I didn't realize that Sundays are dinner prices, and there were at least 100 people waiting in line! Dad paid for lunch, though he doesn't know it. We got in pretty quickly. I think it was because we were moved to an area with a chair where my mom could sit, and we got to the front of the line. I don't think I ate too much, but it will be my only meal of the day. I'm still full.

We went to the hospital afterward. I didn't realize my father was in the intermediate critical care unit. I thought he was just waiting for his physical therapy tomorrow and then would be transferred to a nearby rehab center for a short stint. He'll be transferred to Washington Hospital Center tomorrow. He has a few infections and other stuff. Heart stuff. I don't like hospitals. I spent most of my time in the doorway of his large, well-monitored room. I was nervous. I probably used half a container of antibacterial cleanser. Thanks for your concern for my family. I don't want to make medical issues the focus of my blog. Comment on the fun stuff, OK? I'm trying for fun.

Now for some random stuff...

One of my clients brings me a decaf, skim mocha latte from McDonald's every time she comes. I love that she does that! I sent her a thank-you note once, and told her how much I appreciated it, but that she didn't have to feel obligated to do it every time. She brings it every time. I'm so glad she does.

One of my clients was talking to another regular client when I walked over. I asked how they knew each other. They said they were beauty salon BFF's. I loved that. They know each other from contact in the salon, mostly when they get their nails done.

Yesterday at Starbucks I noticed how pretty the teenage girl at the front of the line was. She was ordering for herself and her parents. When she was done she turned around to the woman behind her and said, I'd like to buy your drink...what are you having? And she paid for the woman's latte. It warmed my heart.

The restaurant we went to was next to a grocery store that I've never been in, Aldi's. This sign caught my eye. What a great idea!

I had to wait forever for a parking spot after dropping my mom and sister at the restaurant. I was waiting for someone unloading groceries. It seemed like forever till she was back from returning her cart. After a while I repeated to myself, "patience, virtue, patience, virtue, etc.." It worked.

No one mentioned that it was my face on the Snuggi box from one of my previous posts. I wonder if anyone noticed.

I saved the best for last. I made an appointment at the Apple store last night. I was hoping they would take 'pity' on me and replace my phone. I told my story, truthfully. They looked up my record and said they could replace it, sort of a first-time forgiveness thing. I had tears of thankfulness in my eyes for this generous deed. I picked out a new screen protector and had them put it on. No bubbles. It's a HD screen cover made for the retina display of the iPhone4, and I don't love it, but I will certainly live with it. And I will be oh, so careful in the future.

I'm set to spend my second night with my mom. I'm kind of enjoying it. And she's so happy that I'm here.

End of long, long ramble. That was my thing or two I had to say.

Part 1

Writing from a remote location tonight (Saturday night)...my parent's house. The room I'm in, the 'computer room', was once my bedroom and I have some vivid memories. Here's one: The entire house was tiled in asbestos tiles. Carpet was not common-place. My father was set against carpeting. My mother and I were shopping at Wheaton Plaza and a department store was having a sale on carpet remnants. We bought lime-green shag carpeting for my room, which I'm guessing is about 11X12'. I was SO excited. I don't remember my father's reaction. My mother probably paid for it with 'her' money. We painted my walls lime green and bought lime green and royal blue curtains and a matching bedspread for my twin bed. We bought a wicker headboard and painted it royal blue. I hung a matching wicker lamp from a chain attached to my ceiling. It was a great room, and the first one I didn't have to share. I remember reading My Antonia by Willa Cather and writing a term paper on it in this room. I remember writing a thesis on Mark Twain VS Samuel Clemens in this room. I suffered through that one. Nowadays this room has a sleep-sofa in it, a computer, printer, shredder, TV, and a working slot machine. The computer is used occasionally, and that's the only time anyone comes in here. I hooked the DSL up to my laptop, and here I sit, reminiscing.

I'm spending the night with my mom. Truthfully, I can't remember the last time I spent the night here. There's a brand-new bed in the den, and that's where I'll be sleeping. I was dreading not being in my own home, but it's really fine. I brought dinner over. Mom and I watched TV, ate dinner, and had some good laughs.

This is really my Saturday post, but it's after midnight and I'm too tired to write more. That means I'll have two posts today because I'll finish up during the daylight hours. I still have a thing or two more to say.

15 January 2011

Hello, goodbye

It's late on a Saturday night. I'm in the middle of a blog post, but see it won't get published in time to meet my once-a-day goal. So, I'm putting out this little filler post. I have a thing or two to say. You'll see it tomorrow, which at this point is in about 10 minutes. Goodbye Saturday, hello Sunday.

14 January 2011

Goodnight Friday

I started this sentence with the word 'howdy'. Who uses that word? I guess I do.

Not a lot to talk about today. I could have just not written, but a little something is better than a little nothing, right?  No new news about my father. He's in the hospital and was finally moved out of the ER and into a room after more than 24 hours. Work was very busy and stress-free. Exactly what I needed.today. My salad from Pei Wei was SO good. I could have had it for dinner too. When I like something, I can eat it many times without getting tired of it. I mentioned that I ate the last favorite thing from Pei Wei four times in a row. I think this salad is in my foreseeable future.

I haven't been happy with having a screen cover for my iPhone for a while. It shows every fingerprint and takes away from the beauty of the phone. Today I decided to be like a co-worker and take it off and just be very careful. It looked so much better! When I got into my car after work, I couldn't find my phone. I could hear it ringing, and was frantically looking for it. I went inside the salon and asked someone to call me and keep calling till I answered. It took a while, but finally I found it outside the car. My new case is silver and the phone blended in with the salt-covered parking lot. When I got home I found a crack running diagonally from the left side of the glass to the bottom right. My beautiful phone will never be the same :(. I'm sure it wouldn't have happened if I had the screen cover on. Oh well. I'll put a new cover on tomorrow to protect the crack. At least the glass didn't shatter. I can live with a crack.

I got gas after work. There were four places on the ground where people had spit. Gross!!! I had to maneuver around the spit to pump my gas. Why oh why? Do people save it up just for gas stations? And I don't mean to be gender-biased, but I assume all spitters are men.

I'm headed up to bed with a magazine. Tomorrow is going to be busy and I'm going to relax and get a good night's sleep. Happy weekend friends.

13 January 2011

I need to find a better word than Wah

So I'll at least start this thing with something non-medical. I was driving on I-95 today and I saw someone cleaning a green highway sign with a broom. In all my years, I've never seen such a sight. I just assumed the signs were rinsed by rain and that's how they got cleaned. Which brings something else to mind. My friend Kit lived in San Diego for years. She said people would hose their houses off because they got dusty or dirty and it hardly ever rains there to remove the schmutz. (Jewish word). Such a foreign concept to me. 

My daughter, who was spending last night at a friend's, meekly called to ask if I could meet her father at the service center with her car at 8 AM because she forgot about it. So, that's how I started my day. Her dad brought me back home. My plan for the day was to go to the hospital and visit. 

I asked my sister Ilene what I should say about what unfolded today. She said I should just say a big WAH. Let's just say, I go to hospital, Dad gets out of hospital, I drive to Rob's, I find out Dad couldn't get out of car and slips to ground and needs to have Life Alert people get him up and to bed and Dad is now back in the hospital. And I'm home from Rob's, where I spent all of my time on the phone with hospitals, Kaiser, siblings and triage nurses. I spent my hour drive home on the phone with siblings. And that's it for hospital talk.

I'm sitting here with my toasty portable heater. My Boogie Board is covered with scribbles. I'm ready for rest. Day 13 of the new year is almost over, and I say thank goodness for tomorrows. New day,  new possibilities.

12 January 2011

Me, again. How creative!

I've been sitting in my cold dining room for hours, catching up on blogs. Not sure why I didn't take the time to bring the heater in...I could be warm and comfy instead of freezing. That said, I just got it and now I'm warm.

Work was busy, busy. I'm so glad for my job. It's a rare day that it's stressful. It's engrossing. It's fulfilling. Today was a bit rushed. I did Kathy's stinky hair today, and wound up running way behind. The stinky part is a story: Kathy has wonderful hair! We have a conditioner that she loves. I think it stinks! I asked the assistant to add a little shampoo when rinsing it off because of the smell. It didn't help. So I told Kathy how I felt. I told her I needed those things you put on your nose when swimming to keep the water out. So I wouldn't have to smell it. Ah, the things you can say to a friend. She said, it really does smell different and strong this time. We added some Moroccanoil to her hair, thinking that would camouflage the smell, but it didn't. She suggested washing it, but I was running too late to take the time. When I finished cutting her hair I said, we have to wash it. Despite the washing, it still smelled. But it looked good. Kathy was very kind to blow dry her own hair since I was running so late. Thank you Kathy! My last client's husband had just died and she was there to have her hair done for the viewing. She has Alzheimer's and her sister brought her in. So sad. Her husband was her caretaker and he died suddenly of a heart attack.

My father is still in the hospital. I guess it's a good thing there's so many hospitals around here. If not, they'd need his bed for someone else. So far they've ordered PT to work on his strength. I'm really surprised he's still in. I'm thinking they're going to keep him for a few days and then maybe send him to rehab. Of course, they could send him home tomorrow. We'll see. I'm glad he's there now. He's being taken care of. My mom's aide was with her today and my brother is spending the night. Tomorrow will be my day to go to the hospital. And enough about that. I don't want this blog to be all about hospitals.

Emily got this very cool LCD writing tablet from Brookstone for Christmas, a Boogie Board. You write with a stylus, and erase by pushing the white circle on top. I'm a doodler, and here's what I did while I was on the phone. I like this toy!

My plan for tonight was to eat my Chinese food, read blogs, write my own, watch TV and then read. I ate some of my food, read blogs and wrote this rambling one. Though tired, I really wanted to do the rest. Too late now. G'night.

11 January 2011

When it rains, it pours

Actually, it's snowing.

I could just make this easy and say Mom in the hospital, Dad in the hospital, Mom in the hospital, Dad in the hospital, and on and on. Oh, and with rehab centers in-between. So now my father is in the hospital. Long story short...he went on a bus trip with the Seniors to Dover Downs to gamble, against our wishes, mainly because of all the time he'd be sitting on the bus. Well, he sat for way too long and when they got back to the Senior Center he couldn't get up. No strength. This is what landed him in the hospital last time...the start of it. People on the bus got him off and into a chair in the parking lot. They called the nearby health center, and after checking him out, called the ambulance. My sister Lisa, who had just come home from work and was in her pajamas drove to the hospital and waited hours for a doctor to see my dad. They'll transfer him to a Kaiser approved hospital and keep him at least overnight. I won't be surprised if they keep him for a while and he ends up in a rehab/nursing center. Again. And my poor mom is home alone. I'm so thankful that my sister went to the hospital. I was at work during all this.

Well, a new saga begins. We'll handle it. I'm so lucky to have most of my family so close by, and have a family that works together.

Tired and ready to say goodnight to Tuesday.

10 January 2011

Just under the wire

Oh so tired but I have to write a quick post because I don't want to break my streak.

It was such a long day. I got to my parent's at 9:30. My brother, sister and I left with my mom for the hospital at 10:30. We were parked and signed in at 11:30. We left at 6:30. My mom was there to have an angiogram of her brain for a suspected aneurysm that was detected on a MRA after a bad fall. It took much longer than the hour we thought it would take, and I was worried. You never know when a day is going to be your last one. It just took them a while to get started. We found out she did fine. She had to lay still for 4 hours afterward. We all had laptops, but we mostly talked. The neurosurgeons talked to us when the 4 hours were almost up. She does have an aneurysm in a very difficult spot to access. She does have blockages in her carotid arteries. The bottom line is that if she lives for another 10 years, she has a 0.8% risk factor of having the aneurysm burst. If she has surgery, there's a much greater risk factor of something happening now. So, we're not going to do anything. The neurosurgeons think that she's had the aneurysm for many years. I hope that my mom is able to live with this condition for a long, long time.

I stopped by my friend Kit's on my way home. Originally I'd thought we'd be home from the procedure much earlier, and Kit had invited two old school friends of ours over for dinner. I decided that as tired as I was, I'd stop by. They had just sat down to dinner and spread before me was grilled salmon, twice-baked potatoes and baked carrots. A real dinner not made by me with friends I was so glad to see. It wasn't till after we ate and talked that I pulled out my phone. I had so many missed calls and texts and I saw the phone was on mute. Rob called me while I was holding the phone to tell me that Emily had called him, very worried about me. She had called 4 times and texted. I called her right away and she told me I was dead to her. In her mind, I had died. Oh, I was SO sorry to cause her that worry. My mother had called, as had my sister and sister-in-law. Emily had called them all. Bad me. I told Emily how sorry I was and how distraught I'd have been had the situation been reversed.

OK...way past my bedtime. I'm one drained puppy after this day. TTY tomorrow.

09 January 2011


If you need cereal, and you live nearby, I've got lots. I bought 9 boxes in the past two days. Why? Great sale and coupons. Cereal is so expensive when it's full price. Have you tried Banana Nut Cheerios? Yum. Same with Cinnamon Pecan Special K. I also have lots of Kleenex. I'm ready for snow. Well, not really, but I hear it's coming. We have a 100% chance of snow Tuesday morning through night. I haven't heard about accumulation. This time I have lots of toilet paper and milk and cereal so I'll be fine, just fine. I have books and movies and ice cream. What more could I need? That's a rhetorical question, of course.

Rob and I watched A.I. Artificial Intelligence last night. Neither of us had seen it before. It was freaky and at least through the first half I was wishing we'd never started it. It was, after-all, an amazing movie. I read up on various summary plots afterward, which helped with understanding it. Rob was snuggled up under his L.L.Bean fleece throw. I was snuggled up under this:

Oh, I'm cracking myself up! I got the camouflage Snuggie for Hanukkah and this was the first time I used it. The promo on the box says, "Read, eat, use the remote, fish, talk on the phone or work on your laptop in complete comfort. You can also use it outside to keep you warm at sporting events!... Now has pockets!" What about watching TV while wearing it? It's huge, and very comfortable and I was amused by it all night.

It's 10 PM and Rob is about to start his 10 1/2 hour shift. He's working admissions at a renowned private alcohol and drug addiction treatment rehab center. It's on 147 acres on the Chesapeake Bay. It's an amazing place. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you could friend him and find out about the facility. Plus, he's a nice guy to be friends with. This is a really a great job for him (although the hours and days stink), in a field he's very much interested in.

It's been a long day for me, and I think it's time for bed. I'll be back tomorrow, probably writing from the hospital while my mom has her procedure. Think good thoughts, OK?

08 January 2011

Zoom, zoom

I started this by writing, Keeping up with the ... I put my last name in. Then I decided to Google my first and last name and Maryland and came up with too much information. So, I deleted it. Speaking of names, did you know that the Social Security Admin. website is the authoritative go-to place for baby names? It makes sense. It's very much visited by expectant parents. I learned this obscure fact from a client who works there.

I just finished making and eating dinner. I took this before picture of the shrimp but apparently forgot to save the after picture. The after picture was more appealing. You'll have to use your imagination.

Here's how I make my shrimp. I buy frozen, raw, easy-peel shrimp. I don't buy anything smaller than the 21-26 size. I always have some in my freezer. I thaw the shrimp in water, then peel and dry them. I drizzle some olive oil in a bowl with lots of Spice Island garlic powder, add the shrimp, and let it sit for a bit. I heat a pan till hot, add the shrimp and cook till it's crispy on both sides. It's delicious every time and oh-so-easy to make. We had it with fresh broccoli and Birds Eye Steam Fresh lightly sauced red potatoes. The potatoes weren't great, but edible. So far I've had 2 chocolates for dessert. The night is young and there's more dessert in the house.

Work was fast and furious today. That's the way it is most days, and the way I like it. I went to Borders after work. The very expensive Christmas cards I had my eye on all season were finally marked 75% off. I bought others last week at 50%. I have lots of cards now and I'll be sending them out next year. (If I have your address, you'll be on my list. If you're not and would like to be, send me a e-mail with your addy. I can be trusted with it.) I got my latte to go. I got gas for the car. I went grocery shopping. I came home and had another cup of coffee. I made dinner. And here I am, writing while Rob is watching football. I don't do sports. Do I sound a little caffeinated?

Well, it's 7:00 on a Saturday night and I think it's time for pajamas. I'll catch up on blog reading after that. The game should be over by the time I'm done, then it's TV movie time. That might not sound exciting to most, but it's just fine with me.

07 January 2011

Hello Friday

I wrote this on Thursday night so it would be ready for Friday. I'm ahead of the game for a change!

Rob is asleep on the couch, so I'm taking advantage of the time. I watched some TV. I channel-surfed and wound up watching Sarah Palin's Alaska. It was...interesting. I thought I should do something more productive with my time, so here I am back in the dining room.

Rob and I left the house around 1:30. We went for my emission control test and I failed! The good news is that they diagnosed the problem. My car is due for service, so I'll get it taken care of and take the test again. We went to the mall next. It was return and exchange day. I returned two tops at L.L.Bean and bought a black polartec vest and a black polartec jacket. I exchanged a Vera Bradley gift for something different. I returned a top at Macy's. My lovely new scarf that I mentioned the other day had a snag in it and I was afraid it would turn into a hole. I took it to Lord and Taylor's but they didn't have a replacement, and I didn't want another. They asked if I had 10 minutes for their seamstress to fix it. Yes!! Perfect again. I'm not sure if I snagged it on something or if it came that way, but I plan to be very careful with it in the future. We spent time at the Apple store. Rob was 'drooling' over the computers. Who wouldn't want a Mac? I want a Mac! Badly. We left the mall for home and just as we were approaching the turn-off, made the decision to go to Pei Wei for our dinner instead of home cooking. Our food arrived just as Happyone and her husband walked in. What a great surprise. Karen read that I was thinking about the restaurant from reading my blog, but she hadn't mentioned it to Ken. It was all his idea. We had a great time eating and talking. I had the same dish for the 4th time in a row. Yes, I love it. I was contemplating something different, but when I asked the cashier for her opinion she told me my favorite was coming off the menu and if I loved it I should order it, so of course I did. I put half of it in a to-go box before I started eating. Yummy lunch in store for tomorrow.

We came home and got in pajamas. Rob had his time of the computer while I finally vacuumed. When I was done checking my mail I saw that he was sleeping. This night job is going to take some getting used to.

It's Friday and I'm almost ready for work. I prepared dinner and it's all ready to go in the oven before I get home. I didn't feel like doing it this morning, but I'm glad I did.

I'll leave you with a picture from the Apple store yesterday. Happy Friday!

06 January 2011

My new perch

One good thing about keeping up with blogging is that the blogs I follow and comment on don't overwhelm me. If I don't blog for a while, then check Reader and see there's 147 unread blog posts, I feel guilty writing and not reading. It's so nice to only see a dozen or so at a time waiting for me. One more incentive to keep up.

Rob finished his last night of training at 4:30 AM and drove to my house and went right to sleep. He said it was a hard ride because he was very tired. I guess he'll sleep till about noon. I'm not sure how much noise I can make. I do have my loud fan on in the bedroom, which is good, because I'd really like to vacuum. I undecorated after Christmas but didn't vacuum and I see artificial tree 'needles' all over the living room from where I sit. We're going to Columbia Mall today. I need to exchange a few things at the L.L.Bean store and Macy's. I need to get my car emissions inspection done. Maybe we'll go to the movies. Maybe eat at Pei Wei. Maybe not all of that...there's probably not time. It's nice and bright out, and it will be fun to just hang out.

I've kept my laptop on the dining room table instead of the coffee table in the family room for a few days now. I really like it here. For one thing, it kind of expands my use of the house. I never use the dining room or see my living room. I have a large bay window in the dining room and the sunlight streams in. With the blinds open, I see trees. When I look to my right through the living room, I see the cul-de-sac. In the summer I'd see flowers in my garden too.

Another good thing about the laptop being here and not in the family room is that I'm not constantly on it. Out of sight, out of mind.

I just got off the phone with my mom. She's having an angiogram of her brain on Monday. She's very nervous. She had a MRA (like a MRI but it images the arteries?) after her very bad fall and they thought they saw an aneurysm. The only way to tell for sure is with an angiogram. My brother and sister and I will go with her. We're all nervous. I met with the neurosurgeon, and liked him immensely. The procedure is a low-risk one, but not without risk. If my mom has an aneurysm, the team will decide the next course of action, but nothing else will be done on Monday.

I left a message with my doctor yesterday and didn't get a call back. My sister Ilene, who is married to a doctor, said it would be unusual for a doctor to call back about a cold, but that support staff should have called me. I'll be looking for a new doctor.

If I don't get off this computer and change rooms, I'll never get anything done! And I don't really want to vacuum. If I change rooms, I won't have to see the needles.

05 January 2011

The early bird gets the post done

I decided to start my blog post in the morning. I really am a morning person...always and especially in the winter since as I said in my last post, I'm done with the day when it gets dark.

I just left a message with my doctor to call me. It's kind of a test. I called and left a message with her office on the day I called out sick from work, the 21st of December. I listed all my symptoms and what I was doing to take care of myself with the person on the phone. I really just wanted to know if I was doing the right thing. I didn't get a call back. Not that day or the next. The following day, the 23rd, I called during lunch and got an answering machine. I left a message about my prior message and how I was disappointed that I never got a call back. I said I understood that the doctor was probably very busy, but even a call from the staff would have been good. I said that not being called back made me feel unimportant. I didn't get a call back. There's a good chance the doctor never got the original message and maybe the person who took my recorded message said, oh sh*t! I better not let the doctor know I forgot to give her the message and I'm going to ignore this one so I don't get into trouble. That's what I'd like to think. So, this morning I left a message with the front desk simply saying I'd like to leave a message for the doctor to call me back about my cold symptoms. If she doesn't, I look for another doctor. I don't think I have a sinus infection or anything bad, but I have a daily headache and my throat is a little sore (and I talk all day with my job) and my ears hurt a little. Maybe I need a Z-pack like some people have suggested.

I just finished my book, Gods in Alabama by Jocelyn Jackson. I loved listening to it. The sequel is ready for me at the library and I'll pick it up on the way to work. I don't remember if I put a hold on the audio version or the book. I hope it's audio.

It's time for me to leave for errands before work. I hope your day is bright!

04 January 2011


I much prefer warm weather and longer days. When it's winter, I tend to come home from work, put on sweats or PJ's, wash my face, and hang out downstairs. If it were summer, I'd go to the pool or hang out on my porch or deck or talk to neighbors or garden. When it's dark and cold, I'm just 'in'.

I work till 7 on Tuesdays and Fridays. They make for long days. They make for short nights at home, since I like my bedtime to be around 10. My mom had a wonderful facial and massage at my salon today, and she looked good! Yesterday's plan to color her hair was a very good one. I cut Amanda's hair, (Mom's helper) and she was very grateful. It was my pleasure. She really is heaven-sent, and has quickly become a very important part of our family. They were off to lunch at Red Lobster after leaving. My mom, as some of you know, loves to eat out. She has a hard time finding people to go with her. I told them to be sure to get extra cheesy biscuits.

My client Betty gave me a beautiful knitted scarf today. Thank you! I have it around my neck as I'm typing this. I have on fleece pj's. My space heater is about a foot away from me. I'm feeling nice and warm. I'm still feeling the remnants of my cold. My throat is still a bit sore and my ears hurt a little. It's been almost 3 weeks. Way too long, but more an annoyance than anything.

Well, that's about it from tired me. I'm going to settle into the couch and watch a little TV before heading up to bed. I set my timer for a 15 minute post. It's just about done. A little editing, and that's it from this blogger.

TTY tomorrow!

03 January 2011

A last day, well spent

I just ordered 2 new iPhone cases from defaultcase.com. I like having more than one case and the company is promoting cases for iPhone models for 1 penny plus shipping. I figured it was worth a try. I ordered silver and orange. I've always liked having cases with some color to make it easy to find my phone. Much to my surprise, I've really enjoyed the black case (I didn't have a color choice) I chose when Apple was giving out free ones to fix the antenna problem (that I didn't have, btw).

Here I am again. Can you believe it? Another day of blogging. Here's one of the places I was at today. Can you guess what it's a picture of?

I went to a Chinese buffet on Sunday with Rob and my mom. My mother's hair looked terrible! First of all, she had to go to The Hair Cuttery for her last haircut because her hairdresser daughter was too busy to cut her own mother's hair. Then, she had to go out in public with an inch of white roots because of same said daughter. Me. She left a message on my phone the other day asking if I could recommend a hairdresser. Funny, Mom. Today, on my last day off, I drove to my salon to pick up her hair color, then drove to her house to color it for her. I'm going to try to be a much better hairstylist daughter to her in the future. She has an appointment at my salon tomorrow to have a facial and a massage. I'll be truthful...part, but only part, of the reason I did her color today was so she wouldn't walk into my salon with such bad hair. It was the least I could do. While I was at the house I fixed her bedroom TV and installed a lamp on her headboard. One of Mom's favorite things to do is lay in bed and listen to music on her TV, and the TV hasn't worked for weeks. I love technology but have no aptitude for fixing things. I called Direct TV. In about a minute, using their automated help, I found that the TV wasn't set on channel 3. That's all it took to fix it after all this time. I asked my mom if she was reading a good book. She said no, that she didn't have a light by her bed. No one thought when we took away the nightstand she kept falling into that we were taking away the light she used to read by. Now she has a lamp and can read. Think of all the things we take for granted in life. All the little things. I feel so bad for my mom. The stroke she had 10 years ago devastated her life. I'm going to try so much harder this year to make it better. My sister Lisa is the one that's always there. She lives so close. I'm going to try to be more of a help too.

So the picture. I took it when I went through the car wash! There's a new fancy Auto Spa nearby and being me, I whipped out the camera phone. I have a new app, Pro HDR, that takes two pictures of an image and aligns them into one. It's better than the free HDR that comes with the phone. I don't sit in Borders and read iPhone magazines for nothing. The app is pretty nifty. So is the car wash. They serve cappuccino, not that I had any, but I love the concept! Sometimes it is the thought that counts.

02 January 2011

Whee, I'm on a roll!

Another day, another post. Am I trending? I hope so. Is trending even a word?

I'm writing while cooking dinner. The kids wanted quesadillas for lunch. They're so happy when I cook for them. I was about to grill the chicken on the George Foreman grill when I remembered the grill on my deck. So much easier. We had a little of the Mrs. Prindables caramel chocolate apple for dessert. I was going to pan fry the flat iron steak for dinner when I again remembered the grill on my deck. It's been a good eating day for the kids. I didn't eat lunch. I'm working my way through my Rheb's chocolates. They expire and my plan this year is not to let any food go bad. Good excuse? The kids will get ice cream from the grocery store after dinner. I don't plan to have any.

Dinner's done. Have you ever had flat iron steak? It's so good and tender. You slice it against the grain and serve it like you would a flank steak. Here's the recipe for the teriyaki sauce I pour over the sliced meat. It doesn't take much because it's very concentrated. I only use what I need and keep the rest of the sauce in the freezer in a plastic container. It doesn't freeze, and it's great and always ready. This recipe came from Cook's Country magazine.

½ c reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ c sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger
1/8 t red pepper flakes
2 T cider vinegar
2 t cornstarch
Combine all in a small saucepan and cook till slightly thickened.

Rob left this morning to go to work. It's an hour away; 10 minutes from where he lives. He's been in training for his new job for over two weeks. Tomorrow he starts the night shift. The graveyard shift. The 10 PM to 8:30 AM Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday shift. Yeah, that's right. Tomorrow night he'll start his overnight training with the person he's replacing. Next weekend will be our last together for the foreseeable future. We'll see each other most Wednesday nights, Thursdays, and Thursday nights. It's going to take some getting used to, but this is a great job for him. He'll continue taking classes at Harford Community College. He'll have to figure out when he can sleep. I'll tell you about the job another time. When we first met he was working a second-shift job, 3 PM to 1:30 AM. He'd call me during his 8:00 break. I'd e-mail him before bed, and wake to a e-mail from him. We both love to write, and it was a great way for us to get to know each other. I wonder what our routine will be now?

I put away Christmas today. If you know me, you know that means my house has been transformed. It wasn't too hard, because I had help from Philem (my new name for my daughter and her boyfriend) with bringing the bins up from the basement, and then back down when they were filled. It was especially great having someone else put the tree back in the box. It's made up of three sections, and the middle and bottom ones are incredibly heavy. I'm so glad the holiday is put away for the year. The basement will need to be organized, but that's OK. Out of sight, out of mind. Emily asked me to leave the Christmas lights around the front door, so they'll stay for a while more.

I just had a tiny slice of the 'apple' for dessert. I'm telling you, it's over the top. Caramel and three kinds of chocolate. And can you see how thick the chocolate is? By next week I'll be eating healthy again. I hope. Or I'll be wearing stretch pants.

01 January 2011



Hola peeps. I came back just to practice my 1-1-11's. I think I have it down. Easy peasy. Wouldn't it be great if all of life was as easy as entering today's date?

So, the crab cakes were delicious and I'll be making them again. They were as good as you'd get in any restaurant, and really so inexpensive. The rest of the dinner was great and we ate while watching a DVR'd episode of Human Target. I think the lead character is the most handsome man I've ever seen. Rob gets a kick out of that. We both think the actors are awesome, but the writing not so much. Another show to be canceled? I hope not. We spent a lot of time on our laptops, like two nerds. We ate a bunch of chocolates. We had mint chocolate chip ice cream. Then we ate a few slices of my Mrs. Prindable's triple-chocolate caramel apple. You have to check this link to see the most decadent apple ever! One of my clients gives me one of these every year. The jumbo size. This was the first time I ever checked the website. Wow! We went to bed on food overload with the resolution to start the new year eating healthy. I made coffee this morning and couldn't help but slide some chunks of chocolate that fell off the apple into my coffee mug. Delicious! Did I make that resolution just to break it?

Happy New Year!