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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 8 April 2002

Latest Update: Friday, 10 May 2002 12:01

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Monday, 8 April 2002

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Let sleeping humans lie. The dogs and I took a little snooze yesterday afternoon after lunch. The race was rained out. The little remote device on my pocket allows me to listen to the television through earphones so Bob does not have to listen to the race. Malcolm is asleep on the love seat. We snoozed for about an hour.




I watched some of the golf match from Atlanta and worked on my cross word puzzle. Last night I finished reading the first Dorothy Simpson. Her detective is Luke Thanet. This is actually Simpson's second novel published back in 1982 but the library did not have her first one published in the late 70's. 

I found her books on the shelf at the library and Bob liked them so well we reserved all the ones the library system had up to her current one. About 18 books in all. I am reading them in order since Simpson writes in real time. In this first one Thanet must solve the murder of a young women found dead in her kitchen when her husband comes home from night class. These mysteries are nice and clean, not a lot of blood, etc. Just a plot of figure out who "dunnit". Everyone is a suspect from the husband and boss she was secretary for to someone from her past when she witnessed the murder of her mothers artist friends at the age of 3. 

I am taking a break from mysteries to read the new Sharon Kay Penman. I just started it last night so I will wait to summarize later in the week.

This morning I am off to the gym for Body Pump class. I have a haircut appointment this afternoon at 1:00. That will pretty much be my day.


Tuesday, 9 April 2002

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Well, if it is spring then it must be time for the semi-annual project of cleaning up the basement. I also have the annual project of defrosting the big freezer downstairs.

Normally I can do the basement in one full day but this year I believe it is going to be a much bigger project. For starters, I am need to flatten all the boxes we are storing down there from the "move that did not happen".  I also sweep out the floor and cobwebs from the corners but I can't do that until the end of the week. I have to park both cars in the driveway and leave the doors open. It is supposed to rain today and tomorrow but be nice by the end of the week. I can go ahead and start putting things away and organizing stuff before hand.

The freezer takes a day to defrost with me periodically wiping up the water. Then a full wipe down and we will be ready for our spring food order from Southern Foods. 

So, it looks like today I will be working on those projects in between working on poison pages and other assorted routine things. 

Last night we spent the evening reading. As I mentioned I started the new Sharon Kay Penman, Time and Chance. If you enjoy historical fiction you will like Penman. This most recent novel centers around Henry II and his wife Eleanor of Aquataine. The other major players in the novel set in the mid 1100's are Louis VII, Eleanor's first husband and Thomas Becket who will be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. So far I am finding the book to be a typical historical read with descriptions of boundary wars between France, Britain, and Wales,  politically made marriages to project property, and inside views of court life during this time. For those of you who may or may not be familiar with the historical facts that take place during the time of the novel I will not spoil the meat of the plot here. 


Wednesday, 10 April 2002

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Busy day yesterday. The rain held off yesterday morning long enough for me to get the lawn mowed. After lunch I went downstairs, removed what is left of the food and started the freezer defrosting. I then started tackling the basement. I broke down several dozen boxes, created a stack of junk boxes to go to the curb for the garbage men, and stacked some of the good ones in one place. That was just one side of the basement.

In the meantime Bob came down to help and made a good suggestion. The lady two houses over has her house up for sale and hopes to be moving soon. He suggested I offer the good boxes to her. I jotted a quick note and walked down to leave it on her door. She called me last night and we will do the great box swap this evening. 

Once I get all the boxes out I can start the full cleaning process tomorrow. I worked on boxes between mopping up water from the defrosting process. Finally about 4 the majority of the ice had melted off so I finished pulling off the remaining chunks, wiped it down, put the food back in, and mopped the floor.

This morning I am off to the store then driving over to my folks house for lunch. Dad and I are gong to play the short executive golf course this afternoon since he can't play tomorrow. 


Thursday, 11 April 2002

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The basement is still a mess but at least it is more of an empty mess. I helped our neighbor haul off a huge pile of good boxes down to her house last night then she helped me haul a big pile of junk boxes to the curb for trash pickup. 

Today I will back both cars out and get the sweeping done and finish hauling junk boxes and stuff to the curb. I have to say I will be very happy to get my basement back to the way it used to look. All those boxes crammed in every nook and corner stacked to the ceiling definitely violated by "neat and orderly" mind set.

I have Friends of the Library meeting this afternoon. Bob will either go along and read while I have my meeting or I will come back and pick him up to out for dinner.

I am about 3/4 the way through the Penman book. It is very good just not fast reading in addition to being over 400 pages long.

Not much else going on. Bob is working on the taxes and the basement project is keeping me close to home so he can get them finished.


Friday, 12 April 2002

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I sure everyone out there has had one of those good news/bad news days. Well yesterday was mine. Below you see the pictures from the great basement clean out project and its completion. The first two are the messy remnants of the two corners left to be cleaned of boxes and junk. I had already cleaned out about thirty boxes piled in that corner where my lawn equipment now is before the second pictures was taken. 

The third one you can now see the furnace and the back corner behind the apartment area. The fourth one is the huge pile of junk that went from the basement to the curb. That pile does not include the fifty or so boxes Kathy and I lugged two house down for her on Thursday night.

basement-1.jpg (74675 bytes) basement-2.jpg (72982 bytes) basement-3.jpg (70806 bytes) basement-4.jpg (94146 bytes)

Now the bad news. I finished up basement around 2 o'clock and came upstairs to get my shower. After checking e-mail I took off for the drugstore and library for my Friends meeting. Bob decided he did not feel like going out for dinner so I told him I would fix dinner when I get home.

The Friends meeting was overly long past our normal 5:30 ending time when I was called out of the meeting for a call from Bob. I thought maybe he had changed his mind about dinner. Instead he called to tell me my dad had called to tell me our dear neighbor and friend Ann, who I mentioned has been battling cancer for some time, had been given less than eight hours to live. I left the meeting and drove straight to my parents house.

After an emotional ten minute visit I went back over to our house. She is at home under the care of Hospice. Frances came about thirty minutes later and she went over to see her. By this time it was getting on towards 8 pm and none of us had eaten dinner. We drove to Waffle House for a light breakfast/dinner.

Frances and I sat at our house until 10:45 and with no change in her condition decided to go home to our respective houses. I told dad he could call me anytime until midnight if he heard anything.

When I finally turned off the light after midnight I still had not heard any news. Around 1 am I got up and fixed a small glass of chocolate milk and read a magazine before trying to go to sleep on the couch. I think I finally dozed off around 2 and slept off and on until 7. I called dad this morning and she is still hanging on this morning.

It is supposed to rain today. I have some spring blooming bulbs my neighbor gave me yesterday to put in the ground today and I want to throw some seed on a few bare spots in the lawn.




Saturday, 13 April 2002

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  My page today is dedicated to the loving memories of Ann Sloan. As Bob mentioned yesterday on his page Ann was like a second mother to me and my sister Frances. But, more than that she was a friend and a confidant in my later years as I passed through the various stages of my life. 

Back when I was in junior high and high school Winston-Salem was a very small town. Almost every evening of the spring, summer, and fall our two families would sit outside in the front yard or driveway and spend the evening talking. Many times it would be just me and Ann sitting and chatting. 

She drove to Boone for my graduation from Appalachian and stood at the guest register at my wedding. Over the years whether it be pain, joy, or sorrow, she has been there for me and my family. She will be greatly missed by all those who had the joy of having her in their lives from family and friends to stranger's lives she touched while volunteering at the local hospital.

My parents bought our house when I was one year old, in 1955. Ann and Gilbert moved in next door in 1956. Our families have vacationed together, had cookouts, and of course looked after one another when a family member has been sick. She is survived by Gilbert, her husband of 52 years, a daughter Suzanne and her son Cameron, four grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren as well as two brothers. For us, it is like losing a member of the family.

Yesterday was a very long day. I did a little yard work in the morning then tried to do some work until lunch time. After lunch between waiting on the dreaded phone call and lack of sleep from the night before I finally gave up and sat on the couch to read.  At one point Duncan and Malcolm were up on the couch napping beside me while I was taking a short nap sitting up. Duncan can always sense when I am upset or worried and tends to stick pretty close to me.

Dad called at 4:30 to let me know she died about 3:45 in the afternoon. I finally gave up trying to stay awake last night and went to bed at 9:00.


Sunday, 14 April 2002

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Thank you readers of my page and Bob's  for the kind words of sympathy expressed to myself and my family.

While thoughts of her and her family remain at the forefront of my mind we must get on with life's daily grind. 

The forecast for yesterday was rain from early afternoon through last night. Since I had an afternoon appointment I tackled the wet, high grass mowing yesterday morning. I finished up with about an hour or so to spare giving me time to take my shower and grab a quick bite to eat. 

Bob was working on the taxes and almost had them finished so I hung around long enough to add my signature to those before Bob put them in the mail.

Duncan and I then left to drive over to Archdale, a small community just south of Winston-Salem. Ann Jackson and her husband have been sponsoring Scottish Highland games in that community for three years. This year they asked of CBCR would attend as one of the vendors. Although the games are not until August she needs to get her brochures out in the next few months. She wanted me to see where the games are held and if we will be happy with the location of where they plan to place us. 

While Ann and I sat on the deck enjoying the HOT sunshine, yes it was warm and sunny with not rain down there, Duncan played with her chocolate lab Diva. Ann was waiting on her husband to return from an errand before we drove over to take a look at the park. After about 45 minutes he still had not returned so we drove over without him. She gave me a brief overview of where everyone will be and showed us the shelter where we will be set up. I had Duncan with us on a leash while we walked around.

Duncan and I left to drive back home around 3:45 arriving back to Winston just about 4:30. And drat that weather guy, the sun was out, it was hot as heck for April, and DRY. Had I known that, I would have waited to mow when I got home. 

Oh well. After salad for dinner for me and sandwich and salads for Bob and Lenore I spent the evening finishing the Penman novel. I thought it was very well written. I highly recommend it if you like historical fiction, this one being set during the reign of Henry II.

Today of course is house cleaning day. It looks like at this point the race may be on  this afternoon from nearby Martinsville, VA, as the sun is once again shinning this morning. Tonight I will drop by the funeral home to pay my respects to the family. The funeral is tomorrow.






Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.