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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 18 March 2002

Latest Update: Saturday, 26 April 2003 08:54

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Monday, 18 March 2002

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Rainy days and and Monday. Yes, it is still very wet and dreary outside. Yesterday was a great day to spend indoors. We spent the day pretty much in our normal fashion. Me watching the race, Bob and the dogs napping, etc. I watched the race for well over an hour before I fell asleep. I woke up just as the big crash was happening that sent Tony Stewart to the hospital and eight cars to the garage area. 

The rain was nice enough to take a break long enough for me to grill the steaks for dinner. Bob wanted peas and I heated up some leftover rolls from the other night. Last night I read through a large pile of magazines and mail sitting on my side table than read another fifty or so pages in the second Janissaries book before it was time to watch The Practice. 

Off to the gym this morning for Body Pump then back home for a day of work at the computer. My desk needs some major clean up attention too.



Tuesday, 19 March 2002

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We had a rather typical ho-hum type day for news yesterday. I worked all afternoon on our book project while Bob worked on scaling down the size of Nutshell 2nd edition. In between work I took breaks to walk/play with the dogs.

Last night we read after dinner until time to walk the dogs for the last time. Then it was off to bed to read until ten when I turned out the light.

This morning I am going out to SciWorks for a few hours. I have not been in several weeks. And of course there is always the constant running of errands, drugstore and bank for Lenore, etc, etc.



Wednesday, 20 March 2002

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Welcome to the first day of spring. Other than cool temperatures and more rain, we have a fairly decent day in store here in the Carolinas.

I am off to the gym and grocery store this morning. We have Astronomy Club meeting tonight which means Bob and I will be going to the library and dinner before our meeting.

Yesterday afternoon when I got back from SciWorks I helped Bob upgrade his current work station then I spent some time playing with the dogs. With all the wet weather lately they have not had much of a chance to get outdoors and run around. 

Otherwise, there is not much else to report. 



Thursday, 21 March 2002

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We had a guest speaker at our meeting last night which meant we ran rather late. It was ten o'clock by the time we got home. We gave the dogs their last time out and then sat and played hall ball for about an hour before finally going off to bed.

Well, I was going over to my parents house to help dad with his lawn stuff. It needs mowing and he wants to put out some seed. But we had more rain over night and early this morning making it too wet to do much in the yard today.

I am still going over later this morning for lunch and a visit. Maybe run a couple of errands while I am on that side of town.




Friday, 22 March 2002

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I must admit it is nice to see the sun shinning and blue skies this morning after a week of dreary weather. 

Yesterday my folks and I had lunch at a little Italian place then made at stop at Lowe's to get the edging bricks for their front flower bed like I used along the side of my driveway. By the time we got back home the sun had peaked out from the clouds. Rather than unload and stack them we just went ahead and installed them. Turns out we were a couple short of the number we needed but we can finish up next week. It looks really nice along the front of the house. 

It was after 2 pm by the time I got home. I immediately jumped in the shower to get cleaned up before tackling mail and other assorted tasks. I am working on getting a BC who was turned into the Wilkes Co animal shelter saved from being put to sleep. Wilkes is just about an hour West of us at the foot of the mountains. The local Humane Society found him when they were checking the shelter and she contacted me. As with most animal shelters they have very little room and end up having to kill more dogs than they place. Their humane society does not have kennel space and has to convince the shelter to hold him until they can get him pulled and vetted. 

The main problem of course for us is foster space. I spent about a half hour before dinner talking with the lady from the humane society to make sure the shelter would not put him to sleep before I could get him on Monday. I have to get foster space with us plus a place to put him when I get him here to Winston. Here is the picture the lady from the humane society sent me. 

After I fixed dinner I crashed on the couch to read. For some reason I was just exhausted although I really had not done all that much that afternoon.  I finished the second book in the Janissaries, which was not quit as good as the first one, and decided I wanted to read something else before starting the third one. I picked up Donna Andrews' book from my "to be read shelf", Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos. I love her mysteries because they are light and funny just what I needed after the two sci-fi books.

I just called the garden store and ordered 8 more scoops of mulch. My friend Robin's trailer only hold one scoop which we did two loads in last week. I told her I would just have the rest delivered rather than have to make so many trips. I will spread mulch until this afternoon than I need to mow the lawn. Although it is much colder today, 30's rather tan 60's it not too bad to be working outside.


Saturday, 23 March 2002

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The cute guy I posted a picture of yesterday got adopted out yesterday afternoon. I had e-mail from the Humane Society letting me know. Thank goodness for that.

I spend all morning wheel barrowing mulch around the front yard. By lunchtime the pile did not seem to be getting any smaller. I took a rest break to eat lunch before getting back at it. I have most of the right side of the natural areas finished. Around 1 o'clock I stopped the mulch spreading so I could mow the lawn. After I finished mowing the lawn I surrendered for the day pretty well tired out.

After my shower I checked e-mail and read web pages until time to start the potatoes boiling for dinner. While they cooked I rested on the couch and played hall ball with the dogs. For dinner we had grilled ribs and red potatoes boiled in their jackets.

After dinner I began planning my viewing for an evening of urban observing. I am now officially working on my Astronomical League observing clubs projects : lunar, urban observing, and messier objects. These are a lot of fun to do and give me some structure in what to look for when we do observing sessions. Urban observing, as the name implies, is a list of objects we can see either with a telescope or binoculars from our house. And, once an object has been located, that object can be officially logged for all clubs. For example bagging M42, Orion Nebula, counts on the Messier sheet both telescope and binocular plus the Urban Observing club sheet. 

With last night temperatures predicted to be fairly low and being tired from the yard work we decided to observe from the house rather than drive up to Bullington. We set up on the driveway behind the house with the 10" scope, a card table, and our observing logs and charts. I was able to bag six or seven of the Messier objects and two double stars. An added bonus was seeing the three moons of Jupiter plus the some bands and the faint red spot. We finished up a little after 9:30 for the evening to walk the dogs and get Lenore ready for bed.

Urban observing will be nice on those nights when we are too tired or don't feel like doing all the preparations for a trip up to Bullington. 

I am not sure what I am going to do today. More than likely spread some more of the mulch. This afternoon mom and Frances are picking me up to go to a kitchen shower for Frances that starts at 4:00. If it is clear tonight we may do another observing session.



Sunday, 24 March 2002

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It was still rather cold and windy yesterday morning. After moving another eight or wheel barrow loads of mulch I realized I was just too tired to do any more for the day. The wind, which I had worked out in all day Friday, was not helping much. In the meantime Bob came out to let me know he was ready to install the new clothing hooks to the back of the bedroom door and the inside of the closet door.

I came in to get some water and help him with that little project and declared my day over as far as any major physical labor was involved. I fixed sandwiches for lunch then went outside to put my farming equipment away for they day. 

retaining-wall-8.jpg (460825 bytes)  Here is a picture of the wall backfilled with mulch and the new edging bricks along the driveway. One of the problems I had with the area along the drive where I built the wall was planting things. The dirt there was not very deep and full of big roots. Now, with the mulch bed I can plant some nice flowers behind the wall this spring. The azalea bushes I had just cut way back last fall and they are just now starting to come out.

When we bought the house they were one big hedge. Over the years as the outer portions of the branches grew the middle was not getting enough sun and was starting to die. It was getting so hard to keep them trimmed and maintained I decided to cut them all the way back and let them become individual bushes again. They may or may not bloom this spring but they will by next year. 

I spent the next couple of hours just relaxing on the couch doing some reading. I worked on a couple of things at my computer before taking my shower and getting ready to go to Frances' kitchen shower. I will have pictures from that up tomorrow. We were there from 4 until 6. I asked Frances if she would stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home so I could pick up dinner for us. Her and mom called my dad and they decided to pick up their dinner as well.

We spent the evening reading and listening to classical music. I really want to suggest you read the new Donna Andrews' book that I mentioned  earlier this week. Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos. I am only about halfway through but I think this is her best one so far. Meg, her central sleuthing character and blacksmith, is back in her hometown for a weekend re-enactment of Washington's encampment at Yorktown. As usual her boyfriend Michael's mother is in charge of the event and terrorizing the entire group of crafters who are in attendance. And of course there will be a body of someone who is not overly popular with everyone in attendance at the event. What I love about Andrews' books is her humor. She has a very dry sense of humor and hits you with it while you are reading along in a description of one of her characters or in talking about something they have done or are about to do. This is definitely one of those books that is embarrassing to read in public as you will find yourself chucking out loud constantly. 

Today is house cleaning day followed by watching the race from nearby Bristol, TN. It is another lovely spring day in the Carolina's with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. Bristol is in the mountains of the Blue Ridge. Leftover's from the other night's meal of grilled ribs for dinner. 







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