27 May 2014

My long wonderful weekend

I don't want to move, but sitting on my deck listening to the birds and seeing everything lush and green sure makes me want to live somewhere warm all year long. Of course, I can't move. And I can't change winter. So I have to appreciate the good seasons with everything I've got. I did that this weekend, despite having a bad cold. I wasn't going to let it interfere with my plans. 

I drove 70 miles along the eastern shore to Chestertown, MD on Sunday morning for a kayaking trip with a Meetup group. There were 21 or 27 kayaks. It was a perfect weather day. I knew 2 people who were going. A lot of people knew each other. I rented a kayak there, but the majority of people brought their own. We paddled to Cacaway Island, an uninhabited island, for a picnic lunch. Everyone brought a dish to share. A lot of people got in the water; the temperature was perfect. I wasn't one of them. Some people drank a lot! Not me. We stayed on the island for over an hour, then paddled our way back. I loved the solitude of the paddle, the birds, the water, the marshes, etc. It was fine that I was alone. Except everything reminded me of my breakup. But I won't let that stop me from loving being on the water.

My home is the blue dot on the left. My destination the little red dot on the right.

Cacaway Island

Picnic lunch


Check out those arms. I love how toned they look. If only the rest of me looked that way!! We paddled over 8 miles. I had a nice drive back and decided to stop at Rams Head for dinner in Annapolis. A Copperhead Ale and fish tacos hit the spot. I did a brisk walk around town afterward.

I couldn't believe how sick I felt and that I could still do all the things I did. I had plans for the next day, but was doubtful I'd be able to keep them. I was to meet my friend Nancy and her husband at their home on the Severn River for either a ride in their motorboat or kayaking. I took lots of meds and slept till 9:30! I got ready real quick and was at their house by 11. I could barely talk and had a throat lozenge in my mouth at all times. First we went out on their boat. It was its maiden voyage of the season and they wanted to see how it rode. We were out for about an hour. The boat traffic on the bay was a little scary. They determined they needed the barnacles removed and the bottom of the boat scraped. We had a snack at their house then got on the kayaks. I was having a really hard time. My kayak only wanted to go right. They were giving me instructions, but it didn't help. I felt so foolish. How could I have done so well the day before? Finally we found a cove to beach the kayaks at and I traded with Nancy. Her's has a rudder. From then on, it was smooth going. We stopped on the shore of the waterfront house Kit and I invited ourselves to on Tuesday. Matt came out to say hi. Then we paddled back. 3.5 miles.

Relaxing boat ride

View from their house

I had an invite to go to my brother's afterward but for once I was smart enough to stop. Because of how sick I was. I did come home and mow one side of my lawn. I had to...it was an eyesore. Then I got on my hammock and listened to my audiobook for a long time. Then I laid on my lounge chair on my deck listening till dark. I had ice cream for dessert. It was a wonderful evening.

One place Sparky doesn't bark from

Today I'm supposed to bike with my friend Kit along the B&A Trail in Annapolis. I'll probably do it despite the sickness. It's another wonderful day! I think I'm going to enjoy having Tuesdays off.

24 May 2014


If Sparky didn't bark whenever he wanted for extended periods of time, I'd like him a lot. He needs a few weeks away with a trainer. Grrr. His favorite place to bark is in front of a living room window. Right now I have him tied up to the coffee table in the family room. He's not happy. But he's not barking. As much. Had he been my dog, I would have taken him to obedience school as a puppy. He didn't live here then. Note: I unleashed him from the coffee table. He immmediately ran to the living room window and started barking. He wouldn't follow any of my commands to go in his crate. If Sparky didn't bark all the time, I'd like him a lot. It's a good thing he's cute and likes to walk. When his buddy Caylib used to visit, he was mostly well-behaved. I don't plan on getting him a companion.

Work was a bear today. I had to do corrective color on one of my clients. Squeeze her in. I highlighted her hair yesterday. I use the same 4 colors every time. This time one of the colors turned out primary color red. Luckily there weren't that many streaks of that color. When we saw the color we knew it was red. I told her it would fade (it will) and that she could tell others she decided to get some pops of color. Right :-)? Today she texted asking if I could squeeze her in to fix it. I did. It was a multi-step, very-stressful correction. I got very good advice from one of my co-workers, and her formula fixed it. It was wonderful to get off of work and head to Starbucks. I got an Americano with an extra shot to go. I needed it!

My brother, his girlfriend and I went to Union Market. They loved it. Yay! We split food from a couple of places, had a beer and dessert.

I need to get ready for bed. My kayak trip is in the morning!

23 May 2014

Still sniffling

Not much to write about tonight but thought I'd make an attempt since this really is my diary. Of sorts. The day started with a 2 mile walk with Sparky and my audiobook. I'm not really loving the series. Yesterday I said I would finish it to follow-through. Life is short and there's so many books out there that I might change my mind. It's one thing to finish a book that you're not crazy about and another to read a series. 

I had been watching Breaking Bad with Peter, but that's over, so I might watch the next episode by myself tonight. Prior to starting the show, I'd seen one episode, the next to the last one, with my friend Happyone and her husband. I didn't see how anyone could watch it! Little did I know how good it was and how hooked I would get. 

It was a busy day at work and I sneezed and sniffled through the day. How can your nose be clogged and drip at the same time? I hope I feel better tomorrow. After work I'm going to DC with my brother and his girlfriend to Union Market. If you feel inclined, Google unionmarketdc.com. It's a very cool place. My Georgia sister Ilene read about it a few years ago in Southern Living. I've been there 4 times. She hasn't.

I just got back from a short walk with the dog. One good thing about having a dog and not a fence is that you have to walk. I'm sure there are other good things about having this dog too. If he didn't bark so much I'm sure I'd list them.

22 May 2014


You know when you know that a cold is imminent? It started last night with a feeling in my throat. Tonight, it's full-blown. What an inconvenient time of year to be sick! I'm going on a kayaking trip this Sunday and I need to feel well. Enough. I know I will. The kayak rental is $55 and it's not refundable. And it's going to be so much fun. 

I had to drive my daughter to work this morning because her car was towed to a repair shop last night. Why? Because I helped her 'find' the dipstick for the engine oil except I picked the one for the transmission fluid. It was the first dipstick I saw and I didn't look any further. We didn't realize our (my) mistake until I saw the oil pooling on my driveway. She moved her car to the street so I could clean up. Then we looked at the engine and saw the big old cap for the oil and the oil dipstick. We quickly looked at the owners manual and realized where we poured the oil. My daughter and I posted about it on Facebook and took the advice we got: have the car towed and the transmission flushed. $200 later, plus an oil change, and the car is good. It was a costly mistake. I was glad to hear from the mechanic that it happens. I guess it's been a long time since I've had to check my oil? I'll never repeat that mistake!

I went to my second yoga class last night. It was harder than the first, but probably because I was sore from Monday's class. I still loved it and really like the instructor. I installed Pocket Yoga on my iPad about a year ago...I think I might finally use it to supplement the classes. One of my clients told me about the app and at the time I had good intentions but no follow-through.

I've really stepped up my walking. It's great that it gets dark late so I can walk twice a day. I've been listening to a science fiction series on Audible on my iPhone while I walk (I listen to it other times too). It's not a genre I normally listen to, and there's 5 books in this series. I'm on book 2. I think I'll listen to them all just to explore a world I know nothing about, and just because I'd like to follow-through.

I'm feeling pretty miserable so I think I'll lay this body down. Later!

20 May 2014

I'm not shy

Part 1:
I had a great 4-mile walk with Sparky. Lucky dog!

Part 2:
I was driving to pick up my mom when my sister Lisa told me the Blue Angels were rehearsing sometime today for tomorrow's Naval Academy graduation. Right then, as I was crossing over the Severn River Bridge, four jets flew overhead!

I didn't take this picture, but that's what they looked like! As I drove, you could hear them all around. It was exciting. 

My friend Kit met us at Mom's favorite restaurant. Old Country Buffet. Woohoo! Mom was SO happy and ate SO slow. Patience hasn't been one of my virtues lately. Kit was very entertaining with her stories, which helped a lot. I didn't rush my mom one bit.

Part 3:
We put Kit's bike on my bike rack so we could park in the Annapolis Park n' Ride and cycle the B&A trail. As we got closer Kit remarked that the real rehearsal for the Blue Angels was at 2:00. Just then we saw a gazillion cars parked in the median and shoulder. Most of the cars were empty. We found a space in the lot and started to bike fast, hoping we could get a water view. Along comes a pick-up truck trying to make a right hand turn down a narrow wooded road. I know, long story. Well, I'm not shy. I asked him if he had a waterfront home with a view because we really wanted to see the Blue Angels. And he invited us! Down, down, down we rode our bikes. And there was our view! The guy, Matt, my age, was really nice. We walked down to the beach. Here' some of the boaters and their view...

Here's our view from the beach. The Academy is just beyond the bridge.

Here's his cottage with the chairs overlooking the water.

Kit and I made a new friend! Matt lives in the cottage with his girlfriend, and is caretaker of the property, in addition to his real job. The land has been in the Brice family for 9-10 generations. We exchanged contact info so I could come back to enjoy the view. He said he's out of town a lot. What an adventure. For Matt and for us. I don't imagine many strangers ask to visit his home.

Part 4:
Kit and I biked almost 13 miles on a picture-perfect day, on a beautifully-wooded paved path, with a stop for gelato along the way. 

Part 5:
And the moral of the story is...an ordinary day can be spectacular. Especially if you aren't shy.

19 May 2014

A day in the life...

I just got home from my first yoga class. It was both harder than I imagined and more rewarding. I've wanted to do yoga for years. I thought it had so much to do with balance, which I don't have. Yet. I didn't realize the spiritually of it. Yoga is included in my gym membership. I'll be able to go twice a week, unless my dance card gets filled. Summer is a busy time for me, so it's hard to commit. Time will tell what I'll do. I'll go again Wednesday night for sure.

I went to the National Arboretum today. Prior to last year, I had never been. I was amazed when I went last year. The rhododendroms and azaleas were in full bloom as were the dogwoods. I went three weeks in a row. Today? Everything was way past peak. It was still wonderful to be there. I'll just have to remember to go earlier next year. My friend Kathy from Kathy's Peace went with me and she was a great companion. She treated me to a Blizzard at DQ on the way home.

I seem to have a problem with losing glasses. I hate to admit it but it's true. Two years ago I lost my progressive lens glasses at the beach. They had to have fallen out of my cover-up pocket when I squatted to take a picture. They were in a case. Now I've lost not one but two pairs of Ray Ban progressive lens sunglasses. I lost my newest pair a week ago Sunday. I looked for them on Monday. They were on top of my head when I ate dinner. My waiter remembered seeing them. They were on top of my head at the concert I went to next door. My friend remembered seeing them. I walked back to the house stopping for ice cream at Kilwins. They weren't there. I retraced all my steps. No luck. Today, a week later, I decided to stop into every store on Main St and West St, just in case someone found them on the sidewalk and turned them in. I couldn't give up until I exhausted all the possibilities. My quest was not for naught. Oh, I didn't find my sunglasses. I did get to go into every store and bar and restaurant and talk to people and see things that I normally wouldn't. And it was a beautiful day. And I was happy despite my loss. Too bad there's no such thing as inexpensive progressive lenses. I really miss those glasses. 

Tomorrow I'll be biking and taking my mom out. Maybe I'll write again too. 


18 May 2014

This and that (it's nice to be nice)

I've titled more than a few posts 'This and That'. It's my blog and it's my prerogative and I like those 3 words because they say so much.

A public blog doesn't tell the entire story. That's just the way it is. I've aways been guarded in what I've shared here. I know the same is true for my blogging friends. For instance, I never mention my daughter's name anymore. I know that occasionally she scans my blog for her name. I only call her 'my daughter' so I never get called out. Smart me. I try not to write about the hard times, but we all have them. I've certainly written about my mom through the years. That couldn't be avoided. Her stroke and the subsequent years have had a major affect on my life. Good old mom...I do love her dearly. I will say that all the positive stuff has been true. I was blessed to be born with a good attitude. The bad stuff, well, it happens to us all. It's what we do with it that counts. Look at me being all philosophical! I've never claimed to be overly deep. I am what I am and make no excuses. How I am has served me well over the years. I'm thankful for having a naive nature about esoteric matters. I'd rather be real and understood by the masses instead of the few. My mother's famous 'last words' have always been 'it's nice to be nice'. I wholeheartedly agree. 

10 May 2014


Obviously it's been a long, long time since I've written. Time flies. And time is short. And I've been busy and it's spring time. 

It's a Saturday after work and I'm having my latte. Lately I've been getting one to go because of other plans, but today I'll be staying close to home. It looks like stormy weather is on the way. I went to the nursery yesterday to pick up most of my plants and plan to get them in the ground tomorrow or Monday. I was looking at the picture I featured in my last post. What a difference 5 weeks makes. Here's a picture as my tulips started to bloom. As the early red tulips were finishing, all the rest bloomed. I usually pull all the tulips every year. This year I only composted the red ones. The others I bought from Longwood Gardens and they were gorgeous and I want to see if they come back next year. So I'll deal with the dying foliage. I don't like that. My perennials are up and running and the garden is looking lush.

My sister and I went to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA on Monday. Google it to get an idea of how amazing it is. They planted over 240,000 tulips outdoors and 25,000 in the conservatory. We were there on a beautiful day. It was amazing. It was my 4th time at Longwood in the past year.

I've been spending time on the water with my bf Peter. We've gone sailing a few times and did an overnight recently. I love it. 

We've also been out a few times on his power boat. I love that too. I've always loved the water and I feel right at home on a boat. Life is good!

My brother is hosting Mother's Day tomorrow. I'll pick my parents up and bring them to his house. My mother wanted hamburgers, so that's what it will be. I'm going to a concert at Ram's Head in Annapolis that night to see David Bomberg. My friend Nancy had an extra ticket and invited me to be her guest. I don't know his music, but I'm sure I'll love it. Speaking of concerts, I saw one of my favorite bands of all time last Sunday. Nickle Creek. I discovered them years ago. They just put out their first album in 7 years and it's their first tour in that many years. It was at a small venue, The 9:30 Club in DC. They were so great and the crowd was so appreciative of every song and the entire night was so feel-good/life is good that afterward I said it was one of the best nights of my life. 

Time to move on. Nice writing again!