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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 3 June 2002

Latest Update: Sunday, 27 April 2003 08:39

Monday, 3 June 2002

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Nine of us went down to Concord, NC for Linda's funeral yesterday. We drove down in two cars. Linda had everything planned as to how she wanted her "celebration of her life" to be. She truly was a wonderful and brave person.

After the service we stopped at one of those outside ice cream stands for some refreshments before heading back to Winston. I guess I got home right about 6 pm. I was not really all that hungry so I fixed some left over pork tenderloin and salads for Bob and Lenore and I ate a small salad.

By nine o'clock I was just worn out. I think the emotional strain of the last few months just took its toll. We took the dogs for an early last time out and I went off to bed. I did sit up to finish reading Where Old Bones Lie by Ann Granger. She writes the Meredith and Markby mystery series. Markby is a Chief Inspector in the small town of Bamford, England. His friend Meredith works in the foreign office. Since this is my first novel read from this author I do not know the full history of the characters. In this particular novel Meredith and Markby are attempting to solve two murders. Both victims being found on a local archeological dig site just outside of town. Meredith has joined her friend on the dig during a weeks vacation. Good writing and great characters kept me from hardly being able to put the book down. I recommend this book and her others if they are all written equally as well.

I am off to the gym this morning for Body Pump class. This afternoon Lenore has a doctor's appointment. In between I have some loose ends to tie up from the meeting last week. 

Have a good week. I hope your Monday gets yours off to a good start.



Tuesday, 4 June 2002

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On tap for today is yard work. I need to trim the forsythia hedge that belongs to my neighbor with the gas trimmer. It runs along the lower portion of our drive. They do not mind if I keep my side trimmed. Their side runs along a natural/garden area and does not get in the way when it grows out. I have a couple of other bushes I trim with the gas trimmer that need some pruning back. By then the grass will be dry enough to mow. I am now mulching rather than catching the grass so it needs to be fairly dry before I can cut it. 

That will take up most of the day. I am not sure what I will get into this afternoon one the outdoor chores are finished. I started the new Donna Andrews mystery You've Got Murder. I will do a summary of that maybe tomorrow. I am reading it for a review to go in the mystery newsletter Bob and I hope to launch the first of July.



Wednesday, 5 June 2002

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Hot, muggy, and dry. Pretty much sums up the weather around these parts. The viewing has been so bad we have not had the scopes out in ages. It is either cloudy or hazy or both. And from the long range forecast that seems to be the trend for awhile. 

I did get all the outdoor stuff done as planned yesterday. Since I have a lot of shade in my yard my grass is still green and growing in most of the yard. And of course Malcolm pulled his favorite trick yesterday morning. I had finished up using the gas trimmer and let The Guys out to help me clean up the trimmings. Malcolm is very good about staying right with me when I work in the yard. Duncan will wander off down the block a few houses and Kerry eventually lays down or wanders just across the street.

It was not ten minutes after they came out that I could not find Malcolm anywhere. I checked the back and front and the street down behind. No Malcolm. I came in and told Bob Malcolm had disappeared and grabbed a leash and treat. I checked with the neighbors down the street working out in their yard, no Malcolm.

Bob got out the car and took a quick drive around the block but did not see him. I was starting to get worried. The only time he as ever really bolted and run away out of the neighborhood was one time when he was frightened. He is really afraid of skate boards. But the kid across the street was not out so I could not figure out what could have scared him.

Bob came back around the block and picked me up. We started driving around the neighborhood looking for him. Two blocks over there he was sniffing along the curb. A lady was walking in the same direction as Malcolm was coming.  Malcolm had evidently seen her go past the house when I had my head turned and as usual taken off with her. He is bad about doing that. He will just trot off with someone going for a walk and walk along with them. However, he will usually turn around once he gets to the end of the block. Fortunately we live in a good neighborhood and I am sure he would have made his way back home. But I don't like for that to happen so I will have to watch him better when I have him out like that.

I am off to the gym this morning for spinning and then the grocery store. Bob and I are going to the library and dinner tonight. We also need to stop at the cell phone store and buy some more phone time.  



Thursday, 6 June 2002

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Happy Birthday to Bob and also to my new brother-in-law Al. Bob hates to celebrate his birthday so we are doing......nothing! I did buy him a cake at the grocery store yesterday and we ate out last night. Tonight we have Astronomy League meeting. I told Bob we could order take out Chinese, one of his favorites, for his birthday. 

Other than having the dogs out for short walks it was a good day to stay indoors. For the dogs because of the heat and for me, with all the heat and haze, the pollen count was awful. 

This morning I am playing golf with dad. Guess that's about all the news from around here.


Friday, 7 June 2002

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We have one of those weather alert machines in our bedroom. It is not one that alerts people in a specific location but the cheap kind that covers a certain geographic area. Ours sounds alarms for portions of VA as well as western NC and us here in the triad. Yesterday afternoon it was going off every five minutes as bands of thunderstorms were moving from south to north. However, most of them were west and north of us although we did get several rolls of thunder late in the afternoon along with some pretty high winds. It rained about a tenth of an inch last night but that was about all we got out of the storms.

The warnings are great for safety reasons but a royal pain when I need to concentrate. First, of course is the loud siren, followed by a computerized voice reading the alerts. Once the alert is covered the voice then drones on giving general weather alerts, statements, etc. If the alert is near us we go out to the den and turn on the weather channel to see exactly what the radar looks like. After about five minutes the machine automatically shuts itself off and goes back into alert mode.

I have discovered if it is a stormy afternoon in the area about all I am good for is to either read web sites or just do searches on the net or give up and go in the den to read. I cannot sustain enough of a concentration level to block out the automaton talking and interrupting me when I am trying to do anything serious. Of course the voice activation part can be turned off but that would defeat the purpose of the alerts. I don't want to move it from the bedroom, which is directly across from my office, again because we need to be able to hear it in case of severe weather in the middle of the night.  And now, after seven years Duncan has decided he is frightened of thunder storms. One of us usually goes out to the den to comfort him during a storm.


Well, Bob decided that he wanted ham sandwiches and salad for his birthday dinner. So, that is what we had with birthday cake for dessert. We had three people show up for the meeting last night which ran until 9:30 or so. 

Speaking of computerized voices. I finished reading Donna Andrews' new mystery You've Got Murder Wednesday night. Since her new series stars an Artificial Intelligence Personality (AIP) named Turing Hopper I was not sure I was going to like it. Her other series stars Meg Langslow ornamental blacksmith and her boyfriend Michael which are very funny cozy's. I was not at all sure how I was going to like a series with an AIP as a central character. But, Andrews manages to pull if off with her same sense of dry wit and funny characters. To assist her solving the mystery of why her best "friend" and creator Zack disappears from work she inlists the aid of two human Maude and Tim who also work for her and Zack's company. Through a series of hilarious plots and twists the three amateur sleuths solve the mystery and Andrews sets her characters up for further adventures.

Last night while waiting on the meeting to start I began reading another Dorothy Simpson.

I am off this morning to SciWorks for a couple of hours then back home to work on some projects this afternoon at my desk. Late this afternoon I need to go over to the library and sort some of their gift books. The holding room is full again. I thought I would work over there a couple of hours then order the Chinese take out for dinner tonight. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend. If the weather is clear for tonight I think we are heading up to Bullington to do some observing.


Saturday, 8 June 2002

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We had a very successful night last night up at Bullington leaving home about 9 pm. The conditions were pretty good. I did very well bagging seven Messier objects between the constellations of Scorpios and Ophiuchus. While the temperatures were not that bad, a little on the cool side, the wind was pretty gusty at times making it down right chilly. Paul and Alan from the club were also up there. We left at 1 am this morning getting home, dogs walked, Lenore settled and lights off by 2.

I woke up about 8 and got up to take the dogs out. Bob slept in until around 9:30. Today is a picture perfect day weather wise. Temperatures in the high 70's with a slight breeze and clear blue skies. Tonight is to be even clearer and less hazy so we are heading back up to Bullington for another observing session. 

Today I am meeting a rescuer at noon here in Winston to drive to BC's just to the other side of Greensboro to hand them off to our foster home who lives in Durham. Other than that we don't have much in the way of plans until tonight. With us being gone both last night and tonight I will need to give the dogs some good play time to make up for being away.



Sunday, 9 June 2002

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Another really good observing session at Bullington last night. I bagged a dozen or so objects with both the telescope and the binoculars. We left home about 8:15 last night to make sure we got a good place on the pad. With the forecast of it being one of the best nights of the year for observing we figured we there might be a pretty good turn out up there. We arrived to find several people already set up. After getting things organized for viewing we circulated around looking at scopes and talking. In all we had a total of nine people at the site. In addition to deep sky stuff we saw the Space Station/Shuttle go by at 11:16. It was a very bright reddish orange object moving through the sky. 

Most of us stayed up there until at least 1 am. The last ones to leave were Bob and I and Paul at 2 am. By the time we got home and took care of things around here it was 3 when the lights went out. It is a lot of fun to be up there with a small crowd looking at what everyone is finding in their scopes and socializing under the stars. Quite a relaxing way to spend an evening. 

As you can guess we did sleep in a little later this morning getting up just after 9. I will do a quick house clean to get things at least straightened up and the bathrooms cleaned. The race, from Pocono, PA, starts at 12:30. 

This afternoon we are going over to Frances' for dinner to have a small, belated birthday celebration for Al and Bob. The weather is again beautiful, with clear blue skies and mild temperatures. It will be a nice afternoon for sitting outside on her deck and enjoying this fine spring weather.




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