30 May 2011

Did I mention it's hot?

Today was HOT, HOT, HOT, but I'm not complaining because I can get away from the heat. I've got AC, and I can go to the pool. But it sure was hot.

I sanded my windowsills on Thursday, washed them on Friday and painted them on Sunday. They're so white! I've gone outside a few times just to look at them. Again...it's the little things. I washed all my outside windows today with Windex Outdoor. It really works! I think that's the end of the cleaning for me. I'll just dust and vacuum and do the bathrooms and floors before the party. That's all.

I went to the pool for the first time on Saturday afternoon and it was wonderful. I swam 2 laps. It hurt. I went again on Sunday afternoon, and it was wonderful. I swam two whole laps again. I went this afternoon, and it was SO HOT. I wanted to get some sun, but I suffered through it. I swam 4 laps. The pool was packed! I left early.

I left my purse in the cart at Kohl's today. I realized it was missing when I was almost home. Frantically I called the store, and, it was there. Not a thing was missing from it. Thank goodness for honest people...I was so happy.

Is this post boring? I should have started it this morning when I was drinking coffee.

Till the next time!

26 May 2011

Happy about Thursday

The birds are so loud in the morning. I love the sound. I sleep with a very loud fan all year round, so I don't actually hear them when I get up. I'd love to have my windows open in good weather, but I have a hard enough time sleeping as it is so birdsong wouldn't do. Outside on my little porch is good enough for me.

So, it's Thursday. One of my favorite days. I'm off and I'm drinking. Coffee. I'm up early, sitting outside. I've got a load of wash going. It's hot and humid and I wish the pool was open today. Rob will be over at lunchtime and we get to spend time together. We haven't had the opportunity to do much of that lately. So, yea! for Thursday.

One week from today the flurry of activity for Emily and Phil begins. Award ceremony and prom, family picnic, graduation and reception, and finally, the party at my house. I'm going to work on the menu today. I'll feel a lot better when I have that worked out, although I have a good idea of what I'm serving. The house, the other big stresser, is almost done. Depending on the weather forecast, I'll paint the window sills and be done. I'm only working two days next week. Happy about that!

My friend Kit had a birthday luncheon for our friend Lisa on Sunday. The three of us have been friends since at least junior high. Kit gave us both gift bags with some of her favorite things. The bags were almost the best part! Attached to one side was a picture of the three of us from way back when. Look at my hair!

This picture was from last year's birthday luncheon. We all look so much better despite the years.

I think you know I grew up hating my curly hair. I started setting it at a very early age to get rid of the curls. Oh the years I spent sleeping on curlers! When I was in high school, I started letting it dry curly, but it wasn't a pretty sight. I had big unmanageable hair with no style. Look at that picture! Tight against my head then 'bozo-ed' out like a clown. A lot of the time I wore a bandana to keep it away from my face. It went well with the overalls and construction boots. I didn't give up the curlers completely until the fateful day my friend Lisa convinced me to go to her hairdresser. See her short and stylish hair in the first picture? We were out drinking one day, in the afternoon (I did that?), and she persuaded me to go to her salon. She told my mother when we got home, and my mom told her to call the salon right there and then before I changed my mind. I got an appointment that day, and the rest is history. Now I'm the one cutting cutting curly hair.

Well, it's time to get a move-on. Happy Thursday! Yeah, that goes for you too Jamie.

23 May 2011

I won't miss you, Monday

I'm sitting on my porch, as usual when the weather is obliging at night. Happy me. It's been the best part of my day, today. This one has been frustrating, and only because things didn't go as planned. I drove to The Annapolitan to take my mom out. The plan was for me to go clothes shopping and for us to go to lunch. A short visit. I got Mom onto her scooter outside Marshall's, and right away the scooter started acting up. It moved at a snail's pace, erratically, till it finally just stopped moving. I had to push it into the store. Mom was stuck with an unmoving scooter and no place else to sit down, while I tried to shop. It was frustrating and unproductive. I was hungry too. I get in a bad mood when I'm hungry. I pushed the scooter out to my car, which is hard to do. It doesn't glide. We went to Famous Dave's for lunch. While there, I realized someone had to get my mom's wheelchair from their old house and bring it to their new place. And it was not going to be me. It took a while for me to accept the fact that it had to be me. I felt better after accepting it. In the big picture, it's such a small thing. This was the first time back to the house for my mom since moving 4 weeks ago. She was glad to have her bathroom! She sat outside for a while. I gathered up some stuff, then we were off. I wheeled her to her room in the wheelchair. Wheelchairs are not good. She'll be dependent on someone to push her now, till she gets a new electric wheelchair or this one decides to work again. I pushed her scooter up to the hallway outside her room. I stayed for a while more, then went home. I left my house at 8 this morning and didn't get home till 4:30. Boo.

Dad in his favorite place

Mom in her favorite place, the glider. They had a Hawaiian Luau on Saturday. And an open bar!

I had my deck power washed on Thursday. It took over 8 hours to transform it from blackish to back-to-new looking. Except for all the splinters. It will have to be sanded and sealed, but it looks just great.

At the same time I had the underside of my deck inclosed in lattice.

I also had my kitchen faucet installed. What an improvement to the whole look of my kitchen!

All the paid work is done in my house. Yesterday the third ceiling fan was installed, along with an attic fan, a light fixture on the deck, and a timer for the porch and garage lights. Whew!

Emily's 'computer room' will feel much better with this fan.

The roofer told me my roof was just fine, btw. So glad to hear I don't need to replace it now.

Well, I'm ready to put this super-long day to rest. I'm looking forward to a day of work tomorrow. Work days are never frustrating, except for the lack of coffee.

19 May 2011

Drew's, I love you

I'm such a creature of habit. That's different than being set in my ways. I'm that too. Many people would attest to this characteristic, which might not be a good thing, so don't ask them, OK? I tend to eat the same foods every day. I have cereal and a banana every single morning for breakfast. That replaced the oatmeal I ate without waver. I have salad every day for lunch, and sometimes for dinner too. Here's what I put in my salads, everyday:

bagged greens
red pepper
feta cheese
Trader Joe's Corn and Chile salsa

My newest favorite salad dressings are Drew's, and I buy them at MOM's (My Organic Market). I've had the Greek Olive, Shiitake Mushroom, Thai Sesame Lime, and Buttermilk Ranch. If you can find this brand in your area, I'd highly recommend it. Anyway, that's my salad and I won't get tired of it for a long time.

And that's that. Random information about what I like.

18 May 2011

Days off are really work days

I wrote this post on Monday eve, on the porch.

I started my day there and I'm ending it in the same place. My favorite place. The in-between portion of the day was no fun! Days off are really work days. The more I do to get ready for this party, the more I see that needs to be done. That should have been done already. Why have I not painted the doors in my house? As in ever. The windowsills need painting...the outside sills are almost down to wood. How did that happen? The column on my porch needs painting and the ceiling is full of dead bugs and webs and dirt. My sidewalk needs to be power-washed but to do it will blast the mulch. The front of my house got egged a long time ago and the soffit is blackish in spots. I haven't looked up in a while and forgot what it looked like. Did I say I'm feeling overwhelmed? It would be so nice to have help! Those of you who have spouses that share in the load are fortunate. I spent hours today cleaning my kitchen. I used Soft Scrub to clean the outside of every cabinet and drawer and all the counters and the refrigerator. It was no fun. I took apart the vent/fan thingie over the stove (for the first time) and had to use Goo-Gone to get through the grease. Yuck. Goo-Gone, by the way is great on a lot of stuff. Like stainless steel. I used it on my toaster oven. And the front of my microwave. I cleaned a bunch of windows (not with Goo-gone) but have many more to go. I put a lot of stuff away. It doesn't look like I did anything. The good news is that I know it will all come together and what needs to get done will get done. My nice neighbor installed the outside lights for me this afternoon and they look 100% better than the old ones. I was his helper. I'm going to install a new deck light now that I know how to do it. I put on a new toilet seat today. That was easy. On Thursday I'm having a new kitchen faucet installed and I'm excited about that. My frugalness in other parts of my life has paid off and allows me to spend the money I need to on my house. Did I mention I need a new roof? No fun. I think it's the last expensive thing I need to do for a while. I hope. Except for a new bathroom floor.

16 May 2011

Garden pics

I thought I'd do a mostly picture post. It's garden time, and I've been working hard. I have a few areas to fill in, but it's mostly done. Here's a view of the front of my house. I took out all my grass when I started my garden 17 years ago. You can't see the hidden treasures within from this angle. Sitting here on my porch, I have a completely different view.

This first picture shows my new hummingbird feeder. So far, no takers. The rest of the pictures show most of my garden creatures.

I'm hoping that a frog/toad discovers this rock cave. So far the only critters to use it are the birds who think it's a toilet seat.

The colored globes in my garden are solar-powered lights that change colors in the night. Emily gave them to me for Mother's Day.

Here's a view of the other side of my house. The plants closest to the siding still have another foot or two to grow. All the plants here bloom with yellow flowers.

Here's a hanging basket I bought yesterday. Emily called from the road pleading for me to buy a flower basket that she saw and loved. Little did I know it was 3 feet wide! It's beautiful and I hope I can keep it looking this good throughout the season.

I've been sitting out on my porch for the past 3 hours. It's been wonderful! Unfortunately I have to go in and do some deep cleaning. Sound like fun? Not. Lots to do before Emily's graduation party in 2 weeks. I've got the energy, so here I go.

13 May 2011

Yesterday's news

I finally got around to writing yesterday, and Blogger was down. What's that saying, a day late...?

I've been mainly busy with things other than taking the time for blogging. That's my excuse. I've been preoccupied with all that has to be done for Emily's graduation party. My garden is mostly ready. That's taken a lot of time and money. Time and money well spent. It's lush. I spent a few hours at a garden center today, and I'll put the new plants in the ground once the sun's a little less intense. I'm SO happy that it's spring. We've had over a week of nice days in the 70's. That's so unusual for Maryland. We gallop into summer. Emily has really gotten into the outdoors this year. It makes me proud. She cleaned out the wooded area in our backyard. Raked the 'forest floor' clean. Trimmed trees. Mowed. Put out all my garden statuary. Mulched. I'm so used to doing everything myself...this is a nice change that I hope lasts.

I left early this morning to visit my parents. They're doing SO well . And the staff...every time I visit someone tells me how much they enjoy my parents.The place seemed to be too good to be true. It is that good. My mom and I sat on a glider in the courtyard today, in the shade of a large tree. My father sat in a nearby chair. It was heavenly.

I'm deep into my book club book, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson. It's a great book! I have the last book of The Hunger Games series waiting for me. I can't wait to read that. As I told Rob, the good thing about reading is it keeps me off the Internet. The bad thing about reading is it keeps me off the Internet.

I'm having work done around the house on Sunday. I'll have a final ceiling fan installed. And an attic fan. My upstairs is so hot in the summer; I hope this helps. I'm having new porch and garage lights (sconces?) installed, along with floodlights in the backyard. I'm having a porch light timer installed. Whew. Then next week I'm having my deck and porch power-washed, trim painted and lattice put under my two-story deck. Ah the joys of home-ownership. There's nothing like a party to get things that need to get done, done.

It's such a gorgeous day! Breezy with no humidity. The garden is calling; lots of plants waiting to go in the ground.
Till the next time....

Here's a little 'next time.'

It was a cold and damp day today. SO different than yesterday. It was a good day to be working. I finished my book and enjoyed it to the end. I'm tired from work and ready to say goodnight to Friday. Can't wait till tomorrow afternoon and my latte at Borders. Sometimes its the simple things in life that give the most pleasure.

05 May 2011

This and that

I spent the first few hours of my morning reading, all the while lamenting the time I was 'wasting.' I get that from my mom...always feeling like I need to be busy. I broke away from the book when I was down to the last 20 pages. I'm reading The Hunger Games, and this was the second book in the series. A friend in my book club read it and loved it. I listened to the first book, which was a great way to experience it. I read the second book in less than 2 days. I just saw that it's being made into a movie. When I Googled the book, I was surprised to see all the accolades. I can't wait to read the third and last book.

I called a different Sam's Club than I usually go to to see if their photo department made poster-size prints, and was told yes. I drove there and found a note pasted on the machine saying posters weren't available till next week. Grrrr. The good news was that the Lowe's in the shopping center had the nicest garden center I've seen. I spent a few hours there and came home and spent many hours planting. Yea! I still have more to purchase, but everything I bought is in the ground.

I grilled some burgers for dinner. Too greasy! I'll buy leaner meat the next time. I grilled summer squash and that was great. I'm sitting on my porch, surrounded by the lusciousness of my spring garden. It's the time of night that the hummingbirds are active. For the first time, the birds are flying into the tree that one of my feeders hangs from instead of flying to the side of my house and out of sight. I hope that means there's a nest there.

I'm SO thankful that it's spring.

It turns out I didn't waste time by reading. There was plenty of time for everything. Except cleaning house. Somehow that always gets pushed to the side. I wonder why?

03 May 2011

Here today...

Maybe I should rename my blog Every Once In A While. That's about how often I'm here. On the one hand, my life isn't very exciting. On the other, it never was.

My life has revolved around my parents for so long that I don't remember what it was like before. I have to find a new normal. In the meantime, I've been to their new home a lot. Just for visits. And for meals. The food is good!

Emily's about to graduate, and there's a flurry of activity at the end of the month, ending with a big party at my house. We finally bought a prom dress yesterday, which was a big relief. Emily's been looking, but didn't want me to go with her. She wanted my opinion only after she had narrowed her choices. I woke up stressed about it yesterday, because prom is just around the corner. When I asked if we could go shopping after school, she said yes. We went to Annapolis, to the boutique she bought last year's dress at. The shop sells only gowns. Emily looked while I waited. You're allowed to try on 5 dresses, and it has to be on one day only. The owner explained that the dresses are so delicate that each time they're touched and tried on, it's wear and tear on the dresses. Wow. One of her 5 choices was absolutely perfect! I can't wait to show you a picture. From there we all went to visit my parents. I convinced Emily and Phil that we could have a free meal! My parents were so happy to have us, and we had a lot of laughs. We left from the dining room and headed to the community college that the kids will be attending in the fall. It was only a 4 mile drive. Again, I was glad to be a part of the process. So, it was a good afternoon and evening.

I'm in the process of deciding on a company to go with to have the boards and railings of my deck replaced. This is in anticipation of the party on June 5. I also have to get busy with planting my garden. I've got to get organized so I don't get stressed.

It's time for work. I'm glad I took a little time for this. My lack of writing was stressing me too.

Happy Tuesday!