28 February 2011

I'll get dressed tomorrow

I never push the 'next blog' button while reading blogs. Do you? I was bored on Saturday night and did some exploring. I was pretty amazed with my findings. Most every blog was a 'mommy blog'. You know, come read about the life and times of the _____ family. Check out the pictures of Avery eating organic peas, Augyst playing dress-up and Alayna building towers with her wooden blocks. Most of the bloggers are really good photographers too. I wonder how that happens? It didn't matter whose blog I 'launched' from, they were all so similar. I've found the majority of blogs I follow through comments left on friends' blogs, or on my own. I've found lasting friends through my friend Andrew.

I spent all day yesterday at my parent's. Ten hours! My mom loved my being there. I was the mother hen, and I waited on her. And my dad. I took one break to pick up Mom's favorite body lotion, and a latte from Barnes and Noble for me. It was not as good as Borders. I took this photo and gave it a soft focus using my Photoshop Express app.

Talking about apps (something I like to do), I added PBS to my iPhone on Saturday. I watched two episodes of Frontline. The bonus is that it's all free.

Today's been a day of paper. I'm going through years of paper. Why do I have utility bills from 2006? Why don't I have a system for organizing paperwork? My dining room table is covered with current stuff so I can get my taxes done. My bed is covered with old stuff. I hope to be done with it soon. Not finished, but what I've started finished so the surfaces are clean. The table I can live with, the bed, not.

I had hopes of taking a walk today and reading on the hammock. It was supposed to be nice till about 3:00. Boo hoo...it's raining. That's uninspiring to me. Actually, I'm going to get off the computer and clean up that paper.

It turned out to be a day of constant rain. The kind of day you wish you didn't have to work so you could stay in pajamas and read a book. I never got out of my pj's. I sat on my porch with a fleece and a throw and read my book, for a while. The only thing that would have made it better was to actually like the book. It's for book club. It's not my kind of book.

The dining room table is cleared of papers. So is my bed. Mission accomplished!! I'm going over to my neighbor's to do my taxes in a little while. I never do my taxes this early, and I'm really proud that I'm ready. Emily needs to fill out the FAFSA paperwork for financial aid, and she can't do it without my taxes done. I'm wearing my pajamas to my neighbor's house. Why get dressed when it's almost time for bed?


27 February 2011

Talking to myself

Thoughts on a Sunday morning...

I spend my work days talking. Literally. I talk all day long to people that I know. I could never work in a salon that had a steady stream of walk-in clients. What would I talk to them about? The weather? Their favorite shows? There's only so much you can talk to a stranger about, unless they're really chatty. I develop relationships with my clients that go beyond performing a service on their hair. I know about their lives, and they share in mine. We have a history. I've worked in the same salon for almost 24 years. I've worked in the same city for almost 28. I'm growing "older" with a lot of my clients, and we're kind of like family, without any of the drama. I do a lot of new clients, and have new relationships with them. My clients are really important to my life. They make it bigger. I have an easy rapport with most of them. I think they look forward to 1. Getting their hair done so they look better and feel better. 2. Spending time with me! I'm not being egotistical, I'm just saying being in my chair is a reprieve from the stress of their multi-tasking lives and a time when all of my attention is spent on them. Plus I'm always nice (insert smiley face).

Which brings me to my second subject. When I'm not at work, I hardly talk. (Unless it's to myself!) I'm alone a lot. I like the quiet, and it's probably because I talk so much at work. I don't like to talk on the phone, which is hard because I have to do it. And I'm never lonely. Maybe because I spend my working hours surrounded by people? Whatever the reason, I sure am glad and I know I'm lucky.

I have to finish this up and go to my parent's. A major clean-out is going on there. Emily and Phil were 'hired' to do the manual labor. They worked Friday night and all day yesterday. I was so glad to hear how hard they've been working. I was also glad to hear how much everyone likes Phil. I haven't mentioned this, but he's living at my house. Surprise! Not living with Emily...he has his own room. I'm now the parents of two kids, but that's another story. They have another full day of work again today and I'll be there with them.

Well, it's time for me to go over and do my part. It's going to be a talking day.

25 February 2011

Little adieu about not much

...Time flies and all that. It really does. And wherever you go, there you are. I like that saying.

Things here are better. My parents are home and so far so good. Emily and her boyfriend are at their house now, boxing up stuff in anticipation of the new flooring that's going in. Emily just sent this picture of old cases of Coke that they took out of the laundry room. They commemorate different sports teams. I've probably mentioned that my father is a compulsive collector. He has collections of Ski Country decanters, Beanie Babies, P. Buckley Moss prints and Case knives. Big, big collections. Won't we have fun getting rid of them? I'm being sarcastic, of course.

I noticed a huge pile of hair by one of the trashcans at work. Although I'm not good about sweeping, I am good about putting the hair into the trashcan. There was so much hair that I played around with it and formed it into a square. Then I took this picture. When I look at the picture, I see a terrier's face. Do you? Someone came up to me and asked if I just took a picture of hair. Why yes, I did.

Rob was down for visit and it was great seeing him. Our time together has been sparse. We ate out, watched a lot of TV, and hung at Borders. It was a great reprieve from the 'family' stuff.

And that's my little post about not a lot. Hopefully I'll be infused with something much more entertaining next time you hear from me. Till then...

21 February 2011

A good day, again

Guess who slept for almost 10 hours last night? Yea ME! I woke up a few times and went right back to sleep. It took me almost an hour to get out of bed once I woke up. It was luxurious! I was on my second cup of coffee when I realized I'd made decaf instead of regular. The placebo effect was working because I wouldn't have known had I not seen the wrong container on the counter. Last day of real coffee till Thursday.

I grocery shopped for my parents, then sprung my mom from the rehab center. So many staff came up and told her how much they enjoyed having her there. It was sweet to see. She got a lot of hugs! We went by Checkers for lunch. It was my second day in a row of eating there. When I'm bad, I'm bad. We both had double fish fillet sandwiches and fries. Delicious! My mom was so glad to be home. Amanda and my dad were there. My brother, SIL and niece came over. It was nice. Let's pray for no more falls, OK?

They're calling for 4"-8" of snow tonight. I'm done with snow. I'm surprised by the forecast. Yes, I know it's February. I know that 70 degree weather was a fluke and a tease. I know that wearing sandals in winter is not normal. But snow? On a positive note, snow is beautiful. It's going to be a beautiful day. There. I've changed my attitude.

I'm ready to spend the rest of the night reading in bed. Sounds like a great ending to a full day.

20 February 2011

La de da (for lack of a better title)

I finally got my laptop back today. Surprisingly, I didn't miss it much. There was a time I would've made the hour round-trip to retrieve it. My laptop is like an old friend---it will be 6 years old this summer; ancient in computer years. I have no idea what I'll get when this one goes. Any suggestions?

You know I'm an app collector. My newest one is FiOS Remote. It does everything my real remote does. Do I need it? No, but I like it. Another one of those "little things in life."

I've been having the worst time sleeping lately. This morning I woke up at 4:47 AM. The day before it was 3:37 AM. The day before, 4:03 AM. At least this morning I didn't wake up worrying. I have to break this cycle. I wake up and my first thought is that I won't be able to go back to sleep. Then it happens. I don't fall back to sleep. I'm so tired right now but 8:00 is way too early to go to bed. It would for sure be another night of seeing a 3 or 4 on my clock.

My life has been consumed by parent stuff. (I just found myself shaking my head after re-reading that sentence.) It's consuming for me and my siblings, but that's the way it is right now. I can't wait for the day I say my parents are doing well at home with live-in help, including Amanda. I feel confident that it will happen. I'd feel better if it was ready to happen right now. My mom comes home tomorrow. My dad is doing well except for when he can get away with being bad. I fixed a healthy dinner for tonight's meal and left it in the refrigerator: grilled chicken strips, kasha, and mixed vegetables. My mom called me a while ago and told me he had pizza. I'd rather have pizza. I'd rather not prick my finger and take my blood sugar. It's understandable, but so frustrating. If he doesn't comply and do what needs to be done to manage his diabetes, he's going to find himself back where he was before. And so will we.

On a brighter note, I found a new-in-box bedside commode for my mother at Goodwill for only $40! I was so excited about my find. See what I'm reduced to these days?

It's 9:00 now and I'm headed to bed. Wish me luck?

17 February 2011

Spring is in the air!

I left my laptop at my parent's house. I feel lost without it but I'm mostly glad it wasn't lost. I searched high and low and then I called my dad. He said, yeah, it's here. I'll do without until the weekend. I can do that. I'm using Emily's laptop now.

I was off today so you know how busy I was. I had a free breakfast at Chick fil a on my way to see my dad. Free on Thursdays thru February! I actually had a great day with my dad. My mom is the one who gets all the attention. Not my dad. He really enjoyed having me there. We talked about all the things we (siblings) want to clean out and get rid of. He's very agreeable with me. I only had about 5 minutes with my mom at the rehab center. It was pretty funny. I had to park in a doctor's spot because that was all I could find. My mom was lying in bed in the dark. I said, it's too nice to be inside. I got her in her wheelchair and wheeled her outside to the courtyard. I said, I have to run... Emily has a doctor's appointment. I told the nurses where she was, then I was out the door. She called about an hour later to say she had to use the bathroom. I had to call the nurses station to go and get her. She loved her hour outside.

I was SO happy to get a pedicure today with my favorite nail tech. Me time! I'm wearing sandals tomorrow 'cause it feels like spring. My feet want out!

La de da!

14 February 2011

I think you're sweet (Happy V-D!)

It seems like it's been a week since my last post, not just yesterday. I never did sit around and watch TV or have a leisurely morning. Like I really thought I would? I made my way to my parent's house. I cut my sister's hair. We visited my mom. We had another family meeting with the four of us siblings and my SIL. We really are lucky to be together. We talked a lot and made a lot of plans.

I stayed up late watching the Grammys. I just love that show. I watched it again tonight with Emily and her boyfriend Phil.

Up and out at the crack of dawn today. I did my grocery shopping on my way to my parent's (my new home-away-from-home). My sister and I signed my mom out of the rehab center and took her to lunch. She said, I hope it's Chinese. I said, yup. It was a good outing. I spent the rest of the day at my parent's house. Here's a picture of me and my sisters. None of us are looking our best, though we tried :)

Notice the matching clothes. This is the second time this week that Ilene and I have worn almost the exact thing. Great minds think alike? I love the next picture of Ilene and Lisa.

Here's one of our sweet Amanda. She's so important to us!

I came home to a great surprise Valentine's card from Emily and Phil. They both wrote notes, thanking me for all that I do. That was the best gift! I know they appreciate me, but it sure is nice to hear the words. They gave me a sunshiny yellow mini rose plant too. Rob and I spent the day apart, because of distance and work. I've never been big on celebrating this holiday, so it was OK. He's my Valentine from afar. I sure did see a lot of men leaving grocery stores today carrying out flowers! I don't mind not getting them. I always have fresh flowers on my station that I buy for myself, and that suits me just fine.

I'm ready to say good-night to Monday. I need a vacation from my weekend "off".

13 February 2011

Hello Sunday

Not sure what I'm going to write about, but it's been a while, except for my very short post the other day, since I've really written anything of note. Here goes...

I finished up a busy Saturday at the salon and headed to "my" Borders. What will I do if/when Borders closes? I can only hope they don't close all their stores because I need my Borders. I met my sister Ilene at my favorite Saturday restaurant, Jalepenos. We split 4 tapas and each one was delicious. There are many, many more tapas left to try before I work my way through the menu. We sat at the same cozy corner table Kit and I sat at the first time I was there. I think it's the best seat in the bar area. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with Ilene.

This past Thursday, my siblings, along with my SIL, sat down to dinner at my brother's house to talk about our parents. I was pretty nervous about how that would unfold, as I knew there would be controversy. We need to figure out what to do about my parent's care. My mother is such a fall risk. She needs help; more help than she has with her wonderful aide/companion Amanda. My father needs some help. Assisted living? Live-in help (including Amanda) to age in place? What can they afford? What happens when the money runs out? These are some of the questions. My older sister started the conversation. She had spent a lot of time thinking and planning what she wanted to say. She didn't have all the answers, but had well-thought out ideas. Next was my turn. I really didn't want to say much. I wanted to mostly listen and go along with whatever the majority opinion was. I wanted to say 'ditto to what Ilene said.' I feel like I've done so much and have placed such a heavy burden on myself, yet have gotten no closer to a solution. Just when I was getting started, the financial adviser that Lisa and I use showed up to talk to us about our parent's finances and give advice. We planned on his being there, but much earlier. By the time he was finished, we were feeling much better about a possible course of action, but were tired and ready to go home. We're meeting later today to continue the conversation. I'm so thankful that my siblings and I are working together on this. I know how lucky we are. I'm so glad I have long-term care insurance. I hope I never have to use it.

I'm going to look for a Crock-Pot recipe, then watch something recorded on my DVR. I don't have to be in a rush to be up and out, right? Right.

Happy Sunday!

11 February 2011



Long time! I've been busy these last few days. It feels odd not to have a daily post. I'll be back with more to say soon. In the meantime, here's a picture of my mom and my sister visiting from GA. We spent yesterday with my mom at her doctor's appointments. She was transported to the offices and then brought back to the center. We took my father home in the afternoon. Home after all this time. Fingers crossed, you know?

Happy Friday!

07 February 2011

On the last day of my weekend

I started off the day by putting together Hearty Split Pea soup in my Crock-pot. I cooked it for 8 hours and it turned out fantastic! The recipe is a keeper.

I spent the better part of 4 hours gathering information in the quest for the next step for my parents. I didn't get far. It was mostly frustrating. I learned a lot. I left lots of messages. I'm really, really disliking this whole thing and wish I could wish it away.

I was about to take a shower around 1pm when I noticed two neighbors washing their cars. It inspired me to do the same. Then I swept out the garage. Then I noticed the bag of tulips I never planted and got them in the ground. Maybe they'll bloom, maybe not. It felt good to be outside doing something physical and getting fresh air.

Guess what I'm going to do next? I'm going to sit on the couch and start a book. That's the plan. There just might be enough hours in this day.

06 February 2011

Long post; lots of coffee

It's been another full day. I guess they all are. I think I'd be depressed if they weren't. As much as I say I'd like down time, I'm better busy. If I could ever 'get into' one of the many books I have waiting for me, I'd want that quiet time.

I was up and running this morning. I made a terayaki marinade and put it and a skirt steak in a Ziplock bag to, well, marinate. I met my friend Kit at Caribou Coffee at 8:30. After a few hours together I left and drove the short distance to the rehab center to visit my parents. My mom's hair was so overgrown and I'd told her I wouldn't visit without my scissors. I spread a sheet on the floor and transformed her to the mom I know. Well, the mom with the big bruise. She looked so much better afterward.

Here's the before...wild woman!

Looking much better after her haircut!

This wasn't the first time I've done my mom's hair in a rehab center. I cut and colored her hair after her stroke 10 1/2 years ago. She was probably the only patient to have her color done in the bathroom, and showered off in a wheelchair. She was in bad shape, but still cared about her looks.

I left both parents hanging out in the 'bird' room. There were so many people crowded in the room, all in wheelchairs, that I had to wait for someone to leave to fit my mom in. I took these pictures a few days ago. There's at least 20 finches in the cage, including babies that were born two weeks ago. Everyone loves this room.

I went grocery shopping next. Mistake on Super Bowl Sunday! It was crazy busy with the check-out lines snaking down the aisles. I had my list on my phone. I had my coupons loaded on my phone too! I found most of what was on my list and got lucky in finding a short line.

I came home to a nice surprise...Emily had stripped my bed and washed my sheets. This was a first and I was SO pleased. I started my own long-overdue laundry and did some chores around the house. I put a batch of brownies in the oven. Emily called me outside to see a flock of seagulls devouring some stale popcorn I'd spilled out on the curb. Seagulls in suburbia! Next time I'll remember to hold my phone horizontally when taking a video.

I know this is long. Sometimes I have a lot to write about. I made a great dinner. I grilled the skirt steak and used the meat to make awesome quesadillas (if I must say so myself).

I've been watching the Super Bowl commercials. And the halftime show with the Black Eyed Peas was about the best I've ever seen.

Enough? I'd say so!

05 February 2011

An unexpected post

Unexpected because I have the time to write it.

I finally decided that my quest to write every day wasn't necessarily a good one. I was writing simply for the sake of writing, not for the content. I won't be reduced to writing 'filler' posts. At least that's what I'm saying today. I'm still going to write regularly, and it will probably be pretty mundane, but that's fine. It's me. A little of this and a little of that.

It's Saturday morning before work. It's the only day of the week I set an alarm for, and it's usually set for 5:45, giving me plenty of time to leave the house by 7:30. I like having a lot of time in the morning. I never sit around, but I never have to rush. I sometimes have a little computer time before I leave. This morning I checked my mail and my first client e-mailed that she couldn't make her 8:00 appointment. So here I am with leisure time! I'm so glad I read my mail.

Yesterday there was a huge (I guess they're all huge) turkey vulture drinking from the bird bath on my deck. Fascinating because of the size and unnaturalness of it. I was telling my neighbor the story while doing her hair and she told me three of them were on a neighbor's roof earlier this week. Not good. I've heard of flocks of them taking up residence in an area and causing a big, bad problem because of their big bad poop. Go away big bad birds! In other exciting animal news, I watched a pair of squirrels climb down the corner of my house and try to jump onto a window ledge. Over and over. Who needs TV? All I need is to sit at my kitchen table.

Hope it's a great Saturday in your world. I'm off to beautify my clients!

03 February 2011

Slow down!

Hello from the backside of a busy day off. Lots of running around. Lots of stuff crossed off my list. Lunch out and a movie too! And tomorrow's Friday. Boy does time fly! As always, I'd be happier if it would slow down. Well, I like work to fly by. It's the rest of the time I'm talking about. I've been meaning to read a book for ages, but somehow my time gets taken up by everything but that. Maybe tomorrow?

02 February 2011

I wish all days were like today

I really should start my blogging earlier in the day or the night. I had a bunch to say, but now I'm too tired. It was a very full day. I prepared the ingredients for Emily to make quesadillas for dinner before I went to work, and fit in a trip to Walmart too. It was a great day at the salon. I had two new clients and both walked out looking SO much better than when they came in. They were so happy and I was so happy. I'd love to have two new clients just like them every day! I went to Starbucks after work while waiting for Rob. I had a regular coffee...something I'd gotten out of the habit of drinking, going for the lattes instead. I really enjoyed the cuppa and it's sure a lot less expensive. I'm going to try to save my lattes for my special Saturdays at Borders. I met Rob at, where else, Pei Wei. We both had the new Korean BBQ. It was the first dish I didn't love. Rob had the same thing and loved it. We came home and watched 'our show', Human Target. Then, The Good Wife. And here I am, getting in a little blogging before bed. I love staying up late when I'm off the next day. I just wish that meant I could sleep in. My body isn't into that. Nor is my mind. That said, it's turning-in time.

01 February 2011

Not much to say on this first day of February, but I don't want to break my blogging streak. I might though. Warning. Boring post ahead. If I remember correctly, February isn't one of my favorite months. It's just kind of blah. The holidays are over. The weather is dreary and gray. The fact that time flies is good because before we know it, Glorious Spring will be here. There's a lot to like about that season. Winter? Not so much.

I sure hope I come up with something better to say tomorrow. Don't you?