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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 28 January 2002

Latest Update: Friday, 10 May 2002 12:04

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Monday, 28 January 2002

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I finished Starting Over by Robin Pilcher over the weekend. Robin is the son of Rosamund well known for her wonderful family saga's set in the English and Scottish countryside. Robin is a good writer but needs to work a little more on his plot development and characters. But, this was a good read and well worth trying if you like the setting. 

The setting is Saint Andrews, Scotland, one of the most famous golf course in the world. Liz Dewhurst and her son Alex live on the family farm just outside Saint Andrews with her father Nathan Craig.  Adjoined to her family's farm is her now ex-husbands farm. both of which are in early stages of foreclosure due to the failing agricultural economy. Alex attends Saint Andrews College but lives at home. In order to try to add some money to the household Alex convinces his mom to let them rent out the spare room to Alex's German tutor, Arthur.

The main theme of the story is Gregor and Mr. Craig are being asked to sell their land in order to build a championship links golf course. Gregor is all for the sale to allow him to pay his debts although it will mean having to leave the farm and find other work. Liz and her father are against the sale because they do not wish to loose the farm after five generations working the land.

In the meantime Mr. Craig meets an old spinster from Australia at the Golf Course  who has spent her entire life living at home and playing golf with her now deceased father. She is honoring his final wishes by scattering his ashes in the sea off the coast of Saint Andrews. She and Mr. Craig take off driving all over Scotland visiting name dropping golf courses that she wants to see and play.

 My only problem is the "too good to be true" circumstances upon which all the characters meet someone in their lives to bail them out of their circumstances. There is a little romance, some humor, and a great visual tour of Scotland. 

Off to the gym this morning to do Body Pump. Duncan goes to the vet this afternoon for his shots and have his neck surgery checked.


Tuesday, 29 January 2002

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Duncan's health check at the vet went fine. He is a healthy seven year old BC with a little arthritis in his joints. The vet was very pleased with the way his neck is healing.

I did get several more boxes of stuff unpacked yesterday. A lot of the duplicate kitchen things of Lenore's that I don't need or are pretty worn out are going to Goodwill. The dishes, glassware, and silverware is going back in the drawers to be used if need when we are downstairs or if someone stays down there. 

Last night I started one of the Jill Churchill mysteries, Silence of the Hams. Ugh! Corny titles and all she is very funny. In this one her main characters Jane Jeffrey and neighbor Shelley Nowack are trying to discover how a very unpopular lawyer died from what appeared to natural causes at a neighborhood deli opening but was made to look like murder by turning over a shelf of hams on him. Several days later his secretary is found murdered in her apartment. Jane and Shelley are determined to find out what the two of them were up to while continuing to cope with their everyday lives as housewives and moms.  

This morning I am working at home for a little while. Then I need to run out to Wal-Mart on the way to SciWorks. I am working this afternoon instead of this morning so I can do a brief training session at their monthly staff meeting on the reorganization of their library and the check out system. It is a very small collection so we are using the old pocket and card method of check out. The staff really just want to be able to keep track of who has what books on their desks in case someone else needs one. I have no doubt that many of them have not been to a library in a long time or know what the various cards are in a card catalog drawer so I am going to explain to them how to find stuff in the collection, etc. In talking to the staff I still have a lot of uncatalogued books still needing to be added to the collection that are now parked in people's offices. 

As you probably realize by now I do not discuss politics or religion on my pages. I care little for both as a discussion topic and despise any political discussions. However, the city of Winston-Salem is gearing up big time for President Bush's visit here tomorrow. Speculation is running high as to why he chose to come here. One idea is a show of support for Elizabeth Dole who is running for Senator Jesse Helm's old seat. The other is a meeting with our SORT team, which seems to be one of the best highly trained rescue groups in the country. 

And, on a rather sad note you should read about what happened to this poor 93 year old woman who went to get her driver's license renewed at our local DMV yesterday. I think the friend who came with her to do her driving test should have parked her car for her.


Wednesday, 30 January 2002

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The weather liars could not decide if is was supposed to rain Thursday or not, so to be on the safe side my dad and I are playing today instead. It is to be another warm one with temperatures in the mid seventies again. Should be a nice day.

I did not get home from errands and SciWorks until almost 4:30 leaving me just enough time to catch up on mail and web pages before fixing dinner, Bob's favorite pork chops and rice pilaf. I used the time after dinner to pay some bills and get some e-mail business taken care of before settling down to read and play with the dogs for the evening.

The unpacking downstairs is coming along nicely. The room is starting to look pretty good. We are measuring for a curtain of some kind to go on the French doors and a shade for the small window. The shade will be up most of the time and only needed if someone is staying downstairs and wants some privacy. The window itself is almost below ground level and is not facing the next door at an angle where anyone can really see in. A pull down shade will be easier to keep clean than curtains or mini-blinds. 

Not much else going on. Maybe more tomorrow.



Thursday, 31 January 2002

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Winston-Salem and every city in the surrounding counties had record highs yesterday topping out in the high 70's by late afternoon. We had a wonderful day to play and dad and I both scored pretty well despite the fact we had not played in several weeks. By the time we picked mom up to go get a bite to eat and I visited with them back home for a little while it was three o'clock before I got back home.

Last night I laid out the 1000 puzzle pieces of my next jigsaw puzzle of the different dog breeds. Then we watched West Wing followed by off to bed to read a few chapters of my new book, Queen's Ransom by Fiona Buckley. The female sleuth in Buckley's novels, which are set in Elizabethan England, Ursula Blanchard comes to the court of Elizabeth I after being recently widowed. While carrying out her duties of the court she plays detective solving crimes that occur within her duties of the royal household.

I am not far enough along in the book to really made a recommendation but so far I am enjoying the plot and the characters. While Elizabethan period books are not my favorite I have read many fiction and non-fiction books surrounding the major players during this time in history and this one seems like it is going to be a good one.

Off on major errands this morning. First the gym followed by the library, the bakery and the grocery store. The Friends of the Library are having our annual meeting tonight. We are trying a new program offering Celtic Music and light refreshments than having our short business meeting during the band's break. We are trying to get more members to join the Friends and offer a little more of an entertainment factor to the annual meeting. I need to go by the library and make sure the auditorium is set up, etc. I am getting cookies from the local bakery across the street in the shopping center for the event.

This afternoon I am going to work on the downstairs area a little more. I have three days to make it presentable for the meeting on Saturday afternoon. It is coming along nicely.

Busy day so I best get at it.


Friday, 1 February 2002

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The Friends event held last night at the library was a roaring success. We had a good attendance of around 60 people. Everyone seemed to enjoy the music which was performed by a wonderful group of local musicians who play Celtic music. 

I managed to get almost all the boxes unpacked in the downstairs area yesterday afternoon. Now, all that needs to be done is organize the kitchen and sort all the small stuff that came out of those boxes. 

I also took a little time before I fixed dinner yesterday to get the border together on my new puzzle.

Off to SciWorks this morning for a couple of hours to type catalog cards. While I am out I need to stop off and pick up my rings from the jewelers. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend.


Saturday, 2 February 2002

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I realized last night around 6:30 that it was the first of the month and I had not written my Doggin' the Web column to post. I managed to pull together a couple of very good educational/informational sites and spent the next hour or so writing up the descriptions.

The downstairs is almost finished. This morning once I get the floors vacuumed I can finish tiding everything up. We will build a fire in the fireplace late this afternoon just before everyone is supposed to arrive. It is to turn cold tonight, back down into the 20's, which will make it a little cool in the downstairs area.

The group is not arriving until around 3:30 so I have plenty of time to get last minute stuff done. We now have a very nice sitting area downstairs again. We will order take out to feed everyone. We have a lot of ground to cover so I imagine the meeting will run into the early evening.

I spent the remainder of last night reading Queen's Ransom until bed time. 


Sunday, 3 February 2002

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We had a very successful board meeting getting all our agenda items taken care of in about two hours. Afterward we drove over the nearby Chinese restaurant to eat. I brought back take out for Bob and Lenore. The downstairs really looks spiffy. I took some pictures, maybe Bob will post one or two. The fire in the fireplace was really a nice touch. 

They dropped me off back home and then left to drive back to Durham. I was pretty tired having spent all week on getting the downstairs cleaned and organized. Off to bed to read a little before turning off the light. 

Today is house cleaning day. This afternoon I have to weed through a stack of stuff on my desk that needs some attention and pay some bills. 




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