30 December 2013


I've been spending a lot of time in Annapolis lately. I live between DC, Baltimore and Annapolis. I like the eastern part of the triangle best. I don't actually know that it's a triangle. When I go to DC I take the Metro, unless it's to the outskirts, like the National Arboritum or Union Market. I don't know my way around Baltimore very well, but I'm comfortable driving there with my GPS app. Annapolis, I know. Well, I know what I know which I thought was a lot, but I'm constantly discovering more and more and liking it even better. It's been especially beautiful decorated for Christmas. Today I walked over the Spa Creek bridge. The reflections in the creek immediately caught my eye.

I've caught some pretty good reflections in my own neighborhood.

Still, I like the ones around bodies of water the best.


Besides walking around, I've done some fun things. My brother had some people over to his house on Thursday night and it was really great to be there. I brought bourbon meatballs and an apple almond cheesecake. I went to see a parade in Annapolis on Friday, and was situated near the start of it, which made it short and sweet. No waiting for the different participants to catch up. It started with the Clydesdale horses. SO majestic. Then the marching bands, old fire trucks, etc. It was a pretty short parade. I went to a gathering at my friend Nancy's house afterward. I brought another cheesecake (white chocolate raspberry that thankfully Emily finished off so I didn't). Again, a great bunch of people were there. The last picture was taken from my friend's dock. I love that red and white sailboat.

I spent most of yesterday watching the first 6 episodes of Breaking Bad. OMG! I'm hooked. I can't wait to see the next episode. Previously, I had only watched the next to the last episode of the series when I visited Ken and Karen in October. I know it's headed down, down, down.

And that's what I have to say on this next-to-the-last eve of 2013.

26 December 2013

Just a note

I'm surprising myself by writing again. Actually, Betty, I wanted to show you I could. I'm having such a relaxing day today. I only walked Sparky as far as the mailbox. I watched a movie in the morning. I showered and gave myself a pedicure. I'm doing laundry, but that's an easy task when the laundry room is 15 feet from my recliner. I've been re-reading a favorite book, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. Life is good. I'm going to a party in a few hours. I made bourbon meatballs on Tuesday and an apple almond cheesecake yesterday. I can't wait to eat them :) and have a relaxing evening with friends. 

25 December 2013

Seeing Red

Christmas past

Christmas present

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Happy holidays. My friends, my family...I love you. 

And Starbucks too!

22 December 2013

A rewarding day

I just got in from walking Sparky. How in the world can it be 61° at 9 PM in Maryland on the first day of winter? It feels like spring. I'll take this reprieve with nary a complaint. The cold weather will return.

This is a house around the corner from my cul-de-sac. I call it The Monstrocity, year round. It's very well-lit for Christmas, don't you think? It's so over-the-top that I kind of like it. Hee hee.

I had a wonderfully relaxing Sunday morning; something I don't usually get to/allow myself to experience. I got into wrapping mode around noon, while listening to Christmas music, and completed all I had to do. Unfortunately, there's no tree to put the gifts under. I'll blame it on Sparky. He gets into every single thing. Of course he also gives me a good excuse for not having to put up a tree. It's not that I'm bah-humbug. It's just that, as everyone knows, it's a hard job to do all by yourself and it becomes a job instead of a joy. I look forward to the day I'll have my Christmas house again. All decked-out. My Christmas will be very low-key (notice all the hyphen's? what's with that?) this year. I'll go to The Annapolitan to attend the Christmas Eve luncheon with my parents. I'll have my daughter with me for the first part of Christmas Day. That's our tradition; she goes to her dad's in the afternoon. I'm not concerned with the rest of the day... I always find a way to fill a day. I have some fun plans for the few days after Christmas. Looking forward to that.

I went to my gym in the late afternoon today. It was almost empty. I had a question about the treadmill, and one of the trainers was nice enough to help me.  He also had me work out on some of the equipment I should be using. He killed me! I wish it wasn't so darn expensive to have a personal trainer at this gym. I would love to have a program set up for me. I'll just have to go when it's really slow, like on a late Sunday afternoon, and ask for help like I did today. I walked a mile on these stairs. I liked it.

I swam a mile. I have to play mind games with myself while I do it. I swim 6 sets of six laps. It takes me almost an hour to do it. It's hard, but oh-so rewarding when it's over. Right at the moment I'm being reminded. I'm feeling the reward. Soon I'm going to put IcyHot on it.

16 December 2013

Happy (Monday)

It's Monday morning and I'm sitting at City Dock Coffee with my favorite beverage...caramel latte, extra shot, extra hot. It's so nice to hang out a a place other than Starbucks. I still miss my Border's. 17 years of it being my place. Anyone else miss it? I've never been a Barnes and Noble person. Maybe if it were more convenient. I'm all about convenience.

I've been sick, but carrying-on. Not much of a voice, and I have a nasty cough like I've never had before. I had a brief fever on Thursday night. I hope I'm on the waning side of this thing. I know so many people who are sick. I haven't had to miss any work, thank goodness.

I went to see A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA on Wednesday with a friend. I bought a membership and it was my third trip there this year. I have always wanted to be there for their holiday display. If you live anywhere within driving distance, you should definitely go. It's about a 2-hour drive for me. The 4-acre Conservatory was transformed into a wonderland. Poinsettias in every color grown there. I can't even begin to describe it. So many trees were lit on the grounds. 500,000 lights! The landscape was snow-laden and the sky was crystal-clear.

4,500 apples floating in 4" of water arranged in a tapestry. 

Karen and I. The theme this year is fruit.

Saturday was our salon party at Pam's house. Our first one without Mason. He would have been so proud of Pam. We toasted with a shot of Grand Marnier in his honor. It's been 10 months since he died. He is very much alive to me.

Some of us 'girls'. Pam is second to the right. Vicky, my 'sister' who has worked at Mason's just a little longer than me is to my right. All of us are thick as thieves and family.

My new 'friend' Peter came to the party with me. He was well-recieved i.e., approved-of. He enjoyed meeting my work family. I look a little pregnant in my shirt. Not.

Peter cracked my safe for me. I lost the key a while ago. I'll be making a trip to the bank tomorrow :-)

I met 5 friends from one of the Meetup groups I belong to yesterday. The first stop was Fadò's Pub in Annapolis. I thought it was a hole-in-the-wall place. It was huge and gorgeous inside. There was an Irish Band playing when we first arrived. Then a cover band that played a lot of Led Zepplin. On a Sunday afternoon! We walked from there to Maryland Hall to see a performance of The Nutcracker. I remember not being really crazy about The Nutcracker, but wanted to see it because it's such a classic holiday thing to do. I tried my best to stay in the moment. The dancing was outstanding. So fascinating to see the ballerinas dancing en pointe. Beautiful. I wonder if they, like the Chinese women of old with their bound feet, wind up crippled later in life?

And here I am, back to today hanging out at a coffee shop. I'm in downtown Annapolis. I plan to shop/browse the stores on Main Street. I went to the mall last week and it was not any fun at all! Hard to find a parking spot. Lines in all the stores. I didn't have the patience to even buy gift cards. I bought Emily a new iPhone at BestBuy and there was one complication after another. I drove home in gridlocked traffic. I was not my usual happy self. I was happy to find I had a fever when I got home. Happy because it helped explain my gloomy outlook. Today I'll shop local.

Time to get moving. Happy Monday!

10 December 2013

Embracing what is

If today were summer, I would have spent the whole day outside. Seasons are good, Cheryl. I must remember that. This is inside season. Books and TV and reading and cooking, and coffee shops and time on the couch under a blanket. See...I'm embracing it. Last winter I welcomed the sight of bare tree limbs against a blue sky. I'm not sure what will light my fire this year.

It snowed today for the second time this week. It was beautiful. I stayed home from work because I had a light schedule. I walked Sparky a few half-miles. I'm fortunate he likes the snow.

One reason to appreciate winter. Nature.

Sparky blends right in.

Snow-covered gumballs.

I spent a good part of the day cleaning out kitchen drawers. Some have not been cleaned in a decade. It was frustrating and fulfilling. I have many more to go. My good friend Kit once asked me what my goals were. I told her to clean out my basement. Clearly she meant something deeper than that. I was being serious. I would be so happy to clean out all my closets and drawers and my basement this year.

My mood lifted today when I said enough to the cleaning and went walking. I walked Sparky a half mile then crated him and walked another 2 miles. I only have 25 miles left to reach my goal. I'll tell you what it is when I'm there. I came back feeling revived and happy. Remember when we were kids and our mothers made us stay outside? Who knew then what good fresh air does for the soul.

I've been going to the gym on a regular basis. Yesterday was the first day I used the treadmill. Boring! I had my music on, and read the closed-captioning on the TV's (The Real Wifes of Somewhere and CNN), but it was still boring. I plan to download a audiobook. I also plan to walk outside all winter, weather permitting. I've been swimming everytime I go to the pool, then using the sauna. I'm really happy I 'joined'.

Last night my book club meeting was at my house. A great time was had by all. We were five people short. Thirteen of us together makes for quite a rowdy bunch. 

Time to put this tired girl to bed. I'm working half a day tomorrow and then going with a friend to Kennett Square, PA to The Longwood Gardens Christmas, something I've always wanted to experience.

Till the next time....

07 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho'ing

Crazy how time flies. I reread my last post to make sure I don't repeat anything in this one. How could it go from Monday to Saturday in the blink of an eye? 

I've spent hours today reading my book club book, And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. It started off very slow. I spoke to a few people who read it who told me they didn't like how new characters were constantly introduced. How everything was tidily wrapped up in the end. It didn't encourage me to read. I finally devoted time with the book this week and was intrigued with the story. Now I'm frantically trying to finish it. I'm taking this break to write. The thing is that we have a winter advisory starting tomorrow morning (Sunday) and ending Monday morning. Snow, sleet and freezing rain. I doubt very, very much that our book club meeting will happen, at my house, but what if it does? I'm too far into the book to have the ending revealed without finishing. I still have 150 pages to go. Oh, what a dilemna. I'm tired of reading.

I have all the ingredients to make mushroom soup, and I bought good bread at Wegman's. If it turns out to be an alone day tomorrow I'll cook and read and catch up on my TV shows. I've even thought of making Christmas cards, if I can remember how. Making cards was a hobby I never thought I'd give up. I look at my old work and wonder how I ever did it. It's like it was another me. I might plagiarize myself! 

Sparky has been driving me crazy all night with his barking, and frankly, I haven't felt like getting up to chastise him. He's finally setttled down with his stuffed dog. Thankfully!

I think he's bored from being in his crate all day. When I get home from work I take him out, but I don't walk him because it's dark. I made an exception tonight and ran with him around the block. BTW, somthing startled him and he's barking by the front windows now. *&%#^!!!

The only decorations I have up this year are on my mantle. Me, who is known for her Christmas house. Part of it is Sparky, who gets into everything he can reach. Another part is the time involved. And my not having a Christmas party again. Maybe next year? I do have lights up outside.

My salon work party is next Saturday. It will be bittersweet without Mason. In our hearts, he will be there. I've been asked to bring my 'famous' bourbon meatballs (thanks for the recipe Kathy!). I'm going to Longwood Gardens on the 11th in Kennett Square, PA for their Christmas exhibition. I've always wanted to go. I'll be attending a performance of The Nutcracker on the 15th with friends from a Meetup group I belong to. I don't have plans for Christmas, yet. I'm going to an after-Christmas party on the 26th. I'm also going to a Christmas parade in Annapolis on the 27th including a get-together with friends afterward. Good times ahead. My house might not be decorated, but I think I'll be doing a lot of Ho Ho Ho'ing.

Life is Good!

02 December 2013

Catchin' Up

Hi again,
I can't let too many days to go by without writing, because I'm back and to really be present you need to be present. Writing helps me remember my life, because time flies. I woke up around 4:30 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep. Finally I decided to get out of bed and read my book club book and write here. That was an hour ago. I've been on Facebook instead.

I've gone to my gym 3X so far, swimming every time. Swimming is as close to meditating as I get (so far). I swim 36 laps/1 mile. It's 50 minutes of constant motion (breast stroke). The first third is an effort. The second I'm anticipating how close I am to the third. The last is instintive. I've been spending a few minutes in the hot tub afterward, then 10 minutes (if I can stand it) in the sauna. When I leave the gym after showering, etc, I feel transformed. I last went on Thanksgiving day and had the pool to myself. I decided not to shower afterward and do it at home. I decided I needed a Starbucks. I'm glad I didn't run into anyone I knew in my uncombed, chlorined, half-dried hair. 

I spent the night before Thanksgiving at my brother's with a few of his friends. We had an array of Chinese food for dinner, and did a lot of cooking and socializing and relaxing. There were 20 of us for dinner. Here's a few pictures:

My brother's family + 1

Emily and one of her favorite cousins (she has a lot!)

Like mother, like daughter

Part II of the dating game. I met another guy online, Bill. I liked him. Smart, worldly, well-spoken, fit, funny and adventurous. He was a real foodie and loved to dine out. We went out about five times, and had a great time, everytime. After our last great date, and texts that night saying what a wonderful time we each had, I never heard from him again. I sent a few texts. One funny email. One last email saying I thought he was a better man than to just disappear like he did. It shall remain a mystery. I know he's still alive because a friend is on the same dating site and can browse 'invisibily', and he's still logging on. I have moved on.

I went hiking on Friday with a new friend :) He's the shadow! That's his dog with Sparky.

I hosted Hanukkah at my house on Saturday night. There were 10 of us. It was relaxed. The food was great, especially the brisket (if I do say so myself). I love to entertain and bring people together (plus it's a great way to get my house clean). It was so nice to have my parents here. They were pretty funny. My dad is really quiet. My mother told the story (not nice) that my dad says her father paid him to marry her. My dad, from his quiet spot on the couch, said, 'not enough'. We all know my mother was the prize.

Sister Lisa, my brother and his daughter Hannah.

Mom and Emily and Sparky

A sweet picture of Barbara and my dad

I better sign off for now. I haven't read my book (it's become a monkey on my back) and I need to walk. Forty six miles till I reach my goal. I'm ready to enjoy the last day of my 5-day vacation. As always, it will be a very full day. 

Addio amici

24 November 2013

Four paragraphs, for lack of a better title

I put all my layers on and went out to walk but the wind gusts and cold temperature made for a very short walk. My weather app says it feels like 17° with the wind chill. The hood of my coat kept blowing down. Time to buy a real hat. The wind made interesting patterns in the fallen leaves. Sparky loved chasing them. I'll rake or leaf-blow in earnest the next nice day. This isn't a picture near my house. My entire backyard is covered in leaves. It's covering moss, not grass, so I'm not in a hurry to get the job done.

Clients are gearing up for the holidays and we stylists are hopping. I think it takes being one to even understand how hard it is to deal with the stress of staying on time without showing that stress. It's sometimes impossible to even take a bathroom break when you're running late and your next client is shampooed and waiting for you. No one likes to wait, and I take pride in staying on time. One late client can cause you to run late for the next 5 clients. I'm not complaining, really. Most days run smoothly without anyone having a clue. Besides, I try not to sweat the small stuff and it's mostly all small stuff. I love my job. At least half of my clients leave with a hug.

I'm really sore from my workout on Thursday, especially around my lower ribcage, of all places. I meant to get to the gym and swim this morning but I didn't. I'd like to do it now, but don't want to leave my house. I was going to say my warm house, but it's not warm. And that's with my walking layers still on. I wonder how much money I'm really saving by keeping the thermostat low. It just doesn't make sense to me to heat the whole house when I use a small portion of it. My daughter has a portable heater in her bedroom. I just bought one for the family room. I'm about to turn it on and cover up with a blanket and try to read my bookclub book.

I went on a date last night. We started at a restaurant; I love to eat out. Then we went to Middleton Tavern in Annapolis to see a band, Sweet Leda. Lots of dancing and camaraderie. It was a fun night out. This morning I met my friend Kit at Starbucks for oatmeal and coffee. We get together most every weekend. It's great to have long-time friends. Kit and I have known each other since high school. She's retiring next month. I hope she joins my gym so I have a workout partner.

Hasta la próxima ...
(I love Google Translate)

22 November 2013

Part of the present

The best part of having Sparky in my life is that he got me walking. Getting the SportsTracker app on my phone helped a lot too. It made me competitive with myself. I walk Sparky 6 mornings a week, at least 3 miles each time. Back when it stayed light like it should, I walked him at night too and would often wind up walking 6 or more miles a day. The app on my phone tracks any activity that can be tracked by GPS. I rode my bike a lot, kayaked 4 or 5 times, hiked and swam. My goal for the year is to complete 1,000 miles. I'm up to 934.32, but who's counting? I didn't think I had it in me. If I get up and get dressed right away and get out, I'm good to go. I can't procrastinate or it won't happen. I do a lot of thinking when I'm walking. Right now, I think about relationships past and present. It's just what my mind goes to. I listen to music and most music is about relationships, right? I haven't come to any conclusions about my feelings on relationships except I miss being in one. It's interesting being my age and dating. The first guy I dated from an online site read all kinds of books about being successful in relationships. I found that intriguing. One was how to clean up your looks. Do you have a good haircut? Any unnecessary facial hair? How about whitening your teeth? Trimming your nose and ear hair. Etc. He read the Five Languages of Love and other books on relationships. That was all good, but he was intolerant and judgemental and talked a blue streak but didn't listen. The good thing about him was he got me into hiking and we biked and walked together and he was a good cook. Too bad he was also a jerk. I went out with him for 3 months that should have been 3 weeks. How did I go from walking to dating? There's a segue in there somewhere. 

21 November 2013

Did you hear the one about...

I should just jump in and pretend it's not been ages. I will. To start anyway. I went to a gym, my new gym. LA Fitness. I haven't gone to a gym in ages. In the 80's I was talked into buying a lifetime membership with no dues ever at a gym that became Bally's. I went for a while, but payed for my membership for much, much longer. I moved and it wasn't convenient to go and that was that. I went a few years back when I was looking for an indoor pool in the winter, and it was OK, but not convenient. I need convenience. I've been pretty active since April and started thinking of a gym again. I knew there were none with pools that I could afford, but thought if I could find one with classes, I'd participate. One of the gyms I checked out was LA Fitness. It has a pool! Lots and lots of classes. Big and clean. As the salesman was showing me around it popped in my head to tell him about the lifetime membership I have at Bally's. He stopped, looked at me and said, I think I have good news for you. LA bought Bally's two years ago. I now have the same exact benefits at LA that I did at Bally's. I could have done a dance! I went today for my fitness assessment. My BMI and other stats are all good. I've been feeling very fit and healthy. Well, my 'trainer' took me to the matt to do some core work. I was humiliated. Let's just say I have no core. She told me I did great because I didn't give up. Anyway, she really did a hard sell on personal training. I completely see the benefits, but there's no way I can add that into my monthly budget. When I was done with her I worked out on some of the machines. The ones with directions I could understand. Then I went swimming. That is my love. I only swam a half mile. My ususal in the summer is a mile. I know I need to work up to it. It felt awesome. I went in the hot tub, and then in the sauna. Then I showered and got ready to go. My goal is to go 3 times a week. That may not happen during the busy holiday season, but it's definitely doable. Yay!! 

Life is good, as per usual. Things are calm around here. My daughter turned 20 last month! To think she was only 13 when I started writing. She's living at home and working hard. Work is still great, and the perfect job for me. I never tire of it. Not to say that I don't enjoy my days off and vacation. Speaking of vacation, I had a very busy summer. I went to Myrtle Beach in June for a week with my sisters. 

I went to a resort in Southern Maryland on the western shore of the bay 3 times. Twice were overnight trips and once was for two nights.

 I went to Ocean City, MD for 3 nights and to Stone Harbor, NJ for 2 nights.

 In September I visited Happyone in Accident, MD.

In October I went on vacation by myself to Deep Creek Lake for 6 nights. I stayed in the same house I was in last Christmas. The house I love. I hiked, walked, read, used the outdoor hot tub and ate a lot of pizza. Time went by way too fast. That's all the trips I have planned for this year, though I'm really looking forward to seeing Happyone and her husband again sometime in the near future. I love spending time with them.

I've been dating, but I'll save those stories for another day. Ladeda!

27 June 2013


 I know it's been a very long time since I've written. We all go through phases in life and at one point writing was what I did all the time. I loved writing every day and I still consider my blogging friends to be my real friends. You know that you are.

It's summertime, so you know that I'm sitting on my porch with the fan blowing on me, looking for hummingbirds, with a smile on my face. Life is good. Today was my birthday. Again. I feel really great. I just wish that time would slow down. A lot. I turned 57 today. I find that so hard to believe. I remember being so excited to turn 13 and finally be a teenager. I remember being so excited to be 16 because I could swim during adult swim at the pool. I'm excited to be alive  and healthy but I'm not excited about getting older. I think that's normal. I hope I have a lot of good years left in me.

If you follow me on Facebook you know I've become quite a walker. Not like Happyone, but I've definitely got the bug. It's really all because of Sparky. I walk him before work and after. I use the free app SportsTracker, and I've become very competitive with myself. I've clocked 300 miles in the last 2 months. Sparky is a good walker, and walking makes us both happier. I don't think he's lost any weight, but I have. I need to eat more so I don't lose more. What a problem to have! I've also been swimming as much as I can. And riding my bike. So I feel healthy and happy.

Things are peaceful around the house these days, thank goodness. I'm feeling so much better than I did in the winter. I thrive on nature being alive.

I'm going on vacation in a little over a week to N Myrtle beach. So excited!! For the first time it's going to be my two sisters and me. No kids! No responsibility. Only R&R. I'm counting down the days!

I'll sign off now, but I'll be back. I promise I'll never give this up.

11 March 2013

Why, hello

I don't know what's so hard about writing, or why I don't do it. I've spent a tiny amount of time thinking about it. I've come to the conclusion that there were too many things going on that I couldn't write about that were having a big impact on my life. My mother was a big thing, and I did share about that, but I don't want this to be about her and her falls and the impact on my life. She's doing fine, btw. No more pain. As healed up as she'll ever be after breaking her femur. She's wheelchair-bound now, which means no more falls, hopefully. I ended my relationship with Rob after 3 years years together. Talk about a big decision! Rob is really a wonderful guy, and I have no regrets about the time we spent together. I just didn't see a future because of the many differences we had. We talk occasionally, and wish each other much happiness. Life at home has been, um, difficult. Thats not new. It's been better and it's been worse. I'm optimistic that one day it will be great. In the meantime, I try to practice the serenity prayer :-)

I've become the primary caregiver of my daughter's dog Sparky. Isn't he a cutie? I've never liked dogs. I never, ever, ever planned to have one. I'll admit he's grown on me. He was probably put in my life for a reason. My daughter loves him, but its the age old thing. Child promises to take care of pet/parent inherits the job. It's a good thing he's good-looking. He's in dire need of training classes.

I've joined a few Meetup groups to expand my social circle. I went to a happy hour at place that had an Eagles tribute band. They were pretty good. It was so loud that conversation with the other members was impossible. I sat in my chair and tried to look like I was having fun. I did go to each table during the break and extend my hand to each member to introduce myself. Pretty brave, huh? Everyone was very friendly, but I felt very out of place. I will go to another outing with them, but not where there's a band playing. I joined another group that a friend belongs to and RSVP'd to a potluck dinner for this past Saturday. I made cheesecake. Unfortunately I was very sick on Saturday and had to bow out. I RSVP'd with a hiking group for a newbie hike this past Thursday, but was sick for that too. I'm waiting for an event to open up for a 20 mile bike trip in June. I have a lot of training to go for that one! I love the concept for Meetup. It's not a dating site-it's a way for people with similar interests to get out and do stuff.

On February 6 my boss, mentor and friend, Mason, suddenly passed away. A month later, I'm still in shock. I'm so thankful for the 26 years we had together. He had a whole lot more living to do, and life isn't the same without him. His wife Pam has run the salon for years, and thank goodness we have her. The salon is called Mason and Friends, but it could easily be called Mason and Family. I think we're closer than ever.

I'm looking forward to spring. I'm SO over appreciating the beauty of the bare tree limbs against the sky. I want green! Leaves and flowers. I want to swim and ride my bike and kayak and hang out by the water. It's getting closer to that every day.

And that's it for now. I did it! I wrote! Ladeda!

03 January 2013

Vacation, ie, R&R

What a house, huh? It's where we stayed Christmas week. It was the vacation home of a client of mine until she lost her job here and moved there full-time. It's in the mountains in Western Maryland, not far from Happyone's Happy Trails. My client and her family were vacationing in Tahoe for the week and offered me the use of her house. It was very last`minute. I told her I'd find a way to make it happen, and I did. My daughter and I drove up on Christmas Day. My brother and niece arrived the next day along with a friend of my daughter's. Two more friends arrived the next day, and two the day after. At one point there were nine of us. So fun! We were in the outdoor hot tub once or twice every day. We ate well. We went snow tubing at the ski resort. It snowed at least a foot while we were there. I walked for hours every day and took a lot of pictures. If we're Facebook friends, they're posted there. It was just the kind of vacation I needed. R&R. I brought books I didn't read and movies I didn't watch. I just relaxed.

A view from the loft

Another view

Getting ready to go out

Lots of icicles

In the hot tub with my two oldest friends

Lakefront view

This last picture is one of my favorites. I spent a lot of time in those chairs, just listening to the silence.