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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 6 May 2002

Latest Update: Sunday, 12 May 2002 09:22

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Monday, 6 May 2002

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We got things off to a little different schedule this morning. Bob had not created our new pages for this week when we got up this morning. After a late night out observing we did not get up until 8:00. By the time I read the paper and ate breakfast it was time for me to leave for the gym for Body Pump.

So, it is now 10:45 and I am just now getting my page written for today.

We had a pretty good night last night up at Bullington. We did get to see Mars, Venus, and Saturn in a nice triangle with Mercury just below and to the left, the star Aldebaran to the left and Jupiter above. Naked eye, we could view all five planets at one time. A very awesome sight indeed.

Once it got dark enough to start looking for deep sky objects I bagged M104, the Sombrero Galaxy. I must say I was very proud of myself. I also managed to find M 61, a faint fuzzy, and M67, an even fainter fuzzy. I also logged the Beehive (M44) which is actually naked eye, binocular, and telescope. It is really prettier viewed naked eye and with binoculars.

It was a nice evening weather wise with moderate temperatures and no wind. We broke down around 11:00 and got home just before midnight. After walking the dogs and getting a little time in with them it was well after midnight before lights were out.

Another very pretty day today. I am going to mow the lawn this afternoon. Not sure what the remainder of the day will bring.

I hope you have a good start to your week.


Tuesday, 7 May 2002

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I am reading a new mystery series that I found for Bob written by Peter Lovesey. He actually writes several series.  One series features his Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, the other one that I am now reading, features Edward VII Prince of Wales as his detective. The first one of the series, Bertie and the Tinman, Lovesey advises readers that more than likely the real Albert, known as Bertie, did not have time to write crime fiction featuring himself as an amateur sleuth.

In this first novel Bertie tries to solve the mystery of famous jockey who committed suicide supposedly from being delirious from a typhoid induced fever. Bertie gets himself in all kind sorts of hot water from blundering his way along as he tried to investigate the murder. He also causes several other murders to occur as he gets closer to the truth. 

The "Bertie" mysteries are of course set in Victorian England. They are light and funny and well written. They remind me somewhat of the Robin Page mysteries I have spoken of before.

I am off to run a couple of errands for Lenore. I am taking Malcolm to the vet at noon. It is nothing serious. I just need to get his anal glands checked. A lot of dogs have a problem keeping their anal gland sacs expressed. Duncan has had this problem since he was a pup and I have never had any problem doing them myself. However, Malcolm's have been bothering him for several weeks and I cannot seem to clear them for him. I want to make sure they are not impacted or infected, both of which can happen. 

There is a chance of thunderstorms today and the rest of the week. I am glad we got some observing in on Sunday night.


Wednesday, 8 May 2002

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We did get a couple of rumbles of thunder just after dinner last night and a very brief shower. More is expected for today. 

Malcolm's vet visit went just fine. They drew some blood to check for any medical reasons behind his constant weight gain despite the fact that I have cut his food portions way down and he is so very active. We also discussed some of his obsessive habits like the licking of furniture. The vet is supposed to call me back today.

On the home front. Remember last year when we were having all the sewer work done? Well, the guys who came back to put the curb and guttering in did not do a very good job. The new curbing is several inches lower than our existing curb making edging a pain in the tail. Also, the guttering collects water and debris when it rains because it is lower and will not flow through when it rains.

I called the city yesterday and asked them to come out and take a look at it to see if they will come out and repair the job.

I am off to they gym this morning for spinning then on to the drugstore and grocery store. 

Finally, everyone keep Marcia in our thoughts today as she undergoes knee surgery. I am sure she has been told all sorts of horror stories about her procedure from people who have had that particular operation and hopefully some positive stories too. My belief on any kind of surgery  and recovery depends totally on the person, their body, and the surgeon. Having lived with knee problems all my life and so far managed to escape the knife, I wish you a fast and speedy recovery. 



Thursday, 9 May 2002

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I spent the afternoon cleaning up my desk, office, and house. I usually do a midweek pickup of stuff that needs to be sorted and put away including a stack of things on my side table I have either read or need filed.

The vet called while I was out this morning and talked with Bob. He gave Bob all the information from the tests and basically concluded that at this point we do not have any major medical problems causing Malcolm's weight issues. Bob told the vet I would want to talk with him and would most likely call him back this afternoon which I did.

Malcolm did have the high end of normal on his sugar level and rather high triglyceride count. The vet was not very concerned with either. Right now we are going to try him on Science Diet Light for the weight gain and amitriptyline  for the excessive behavior problems. He gets so excited over almost nothing combined with his excessive I am hoping this settle him down some. It should also help with the confrontation problems between him and Duncan. If we are going to see any improvement it should be within the next 15 to 30 days. 

Around 4:00 I had gone into the den to check the weather channel radar because we were getting severe thunderstorm warnings. Turns out they were just south of us but about that time Bill walked in the door to visit his mom. We ordered Chinese takeout for dinner.

I am reading another Dorothy Simpson, Inspector Thanet mystery, Dead on Arrival. Another good novel in the series, Thanet is trying to solve the murder of a young man, Steve, found dead in his apartment by his landlady. Thanet and his sergeant must work through the usual long list of suspects ranging from Steve's twin brother and two half brothers to their spouses. Steve was apparently a rather pathetic fellow who managed to make almost everyone around him mad for one reason or another including his wife who had recently left him. Thanet and his sergeant, in addition to handling the murder investigation, continue to cope with personal things on the home front. When Bob was reading this series he pointed out the Simpson wrote in real time. As the books have progressed in the years so have Thanet's family in ages. At this point Thanet is dealing with his son's pre-teen pressures of his fellow peers and his teenage daughter growing up.  

I am off to play golf this morning with my dad. I have Friends of the Library meeting this afternoon and then back home to pick up Bob to go out to dinner.


Friday, 10 May 2002

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Hot and humid. It feels more like August than May around here. Yesterday afternoon we had a very quick downpour that lasted maybe two minutes while the sun was shinning. Afterwards, it was steam bath city.

I asked Bob if he minded if we ate leftover Chinese for dinner last night instead of going out after my Friends meeting. Since I ate lunch out with mom and dad after we finished playing golf I did not feel like eating out for dinner. Bob said it was fine with him so I headed over to the library early to look for books for Bob and Lenore and get ready for my meeting.

After dinner we had a few rumbles of thunder and dark skies but we only got about .02" of rain. We spent the evening reading. I finished Dead on Arrival and picked up a book off of my "to be read" shelf for a change of pace. Montreal : The Days That Are No More by Edgar A. Collard is a book I picked up on our Montreal/Quebec trip in a used book shop I stumbled on in Kingston, ON where we were staying overnight on our way to Montreal from Niagara Falls. Mr. Collard was an editorial writer for the Montreal Gazette for thirty some years with over 1,700 columns appearing on the history of Montreal. From these columns he expanded and researched various events from the 17th and 18th centuries of Montreal history in a culmination of essays for this book. As with other books I have purchased while on my trips, I am able to go back and "visit" the places I have toured. 

I am off to the gym this morning and a stop at the garden store. I want to get a few more plants for the shady areas of the yard and another fuchsia hanging basket for my mom for Mother's Day. I bought her one at Lowe's and hung it temporarily in the dogwood tree in the front yard until Sunday. I liked it so well hanging there that I am going to get her another one and keep that one for myself. This afternoon I will get the plants in the ground. I also need to trim so dead limbs from the two dog woods in the front and do some other minor maintenance yard stuff.

I hope everyone has a good weekend where ever you may be and have planned. Thanks for stopping by to read my page.



Saturday, 11 May 2002

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Bob is in the process of splitting and migrating our web sites to a new server. My personal web site has always been a part of I now have my own domain name, for my personal site. Last year we moved my business site to 

While most of this operation takes place behind the scenes you may experience a few glitches here and there. If so, please give us a few weeks to work out all the problems. If you try to get to my journal page and cannot find me I am still around. Bob will be setting up redirect links, etc.

Today I am going over to Historic Bethabara Park  for the Celtic Music Festival sponsored by Fiddle and Bow Society. In addition to several Celtic bands they will have bagpipes, food, dancing, and other Celtic cultural type events. It just so happens the park is just around the corner from where we live. We actually live on land that at one time was most likely part of that Moravian Settlement.

The weather does not look too great for outdoor events. Cool and rainy this morning though I think it is to just be cloudy by this afternoon. We had a few showers over night last night to dampen things down a little but not any significant amounts.




Sunday, 12 May 2002

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Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. I feel very fortunate to still have my mom around to visit and do things with. 

The Celtic festival we fun yesterday. The cloudy weather and drizzle kept the large crowds away while I was there. However, I left around 2 pm when the sun was trying to peep out so hopefully they had more people show up for the afternoon festivities. The three Celtic groups featured played a morning set and an afternoon set. 

Malcolm has injured his dew claw again. Yesterday afternoon I had The Guys out playing tennis ball fetch in the yard. When they overrun the ball they come to a skidding halt in the grass to double back for the ball. I guess he got his nail caught on a root or the dirt. This was near the end of the playing session because both dogs' tongues were hanging out and they were getting tired. I did not know Malcolm was injured right away. I threw the ball as usual and he went to retrieve it. Then he brought it back and headed straight for the door to come inside. I assumed he was just tired and ready to come in and get some water. 

However, as soon as he came in he laid down and started licking at his leg. I knew he must be injured. Sure enough, he broke the nail off at a right angle and it was bleeding. Rather than try to pull it out like the vet does, I just put some antibacterial cream on and wrapped it. He may have to make a vet visit this week to get it tended to. 

We spent the evening reading and listening to classical music. I played one of my favorite CD's, Handel Water Music Suite from II pastor fido. I started a new Melissa Cleary dog mystery. However, I have not been sleeping very well lately with my sinus's acting up so we walked the dogs early and I went to bed. I guess I turned out the light a little past 9:30 and slept very well all night waking up about 8:15.

House cleaning this morning. There is not a race today. This afternoon we are going over to Frances's for Mother's Day. Steaks and chicken on the grill with potatoes and rolls. 







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