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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 16 December 2002

Latest Update: Sunday, 27 April 2003 08:39

Monday, 16 December 2002

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Yesterday morning when I went out at 6:50 to get the newspaper I noticed Venus blazing away in the eastern sky with a very bright object next to it. As I walked back down the sidewalk toward the house I noticed another bright object higher in the southwestern sky. Later that afternoon when I returned back home from playing golf and lunch with my parents I told Bob about Venus and asked him about the two other bright objects. It turns out Mars is the other bright object next to Venus and Jupiter the third. It is well worth the effort to get up a little before dawn, depending on where you live of course, and witness these beautiful objects in the sky.

We had a beautiful day to play golf yesterday. Clear blue skies with very little wind. Our regular course did not open so we played the short executive course. It was just as well we did because we also had a heavy frost, which meant we did not get off until 10 am. The short course can be played in about two hours as opposed to four to five on a regular course. I did not want to be that late getting home since I had things I wanted to get done in the afternoon.

This afternoon I have a little yard work to get done. It is supposed to fairly warm, highs in the mid fifties, and not too windy. There is a huge limb down off the pine tree in the back yard from the ice storm that needs sawed up and placed on the curb. I also want to get the leaves up that have blown from the neighbors' yards. The Bradford Pears are just now losing their leaves as well as the oaks.

I hope your week gets off to a good start. Only ten more days until Christmas!


Tuesday, 17 December 2002

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As I mentioned last week, I was reading a book by a local author about a young girl who grew up in the town of Salem in the late 1700's. Peggy Rhodes started Rosemary for Remembrance back in the 1970's  after she learned of the true story of Martha Miksch while working as a tour guide for Old Salem. She went back to school to get her teaching degree then went on to teach English for 14 years. Rhodes wanted to tell the story of Martha but in the setting of historical fiction rather then non-fiction. 

Most of the facts within the book are true. The Moravians kept meticulous records which can still be accessed at the Moravian archives and library in Old Salem. The houses and shops have been restored much like they were back when Martha walked the streets. Martha's life revolved around her parents, her short teaching career at the school, and her married live wedded to the local doctor. If you are not familiar with the Moravian religion or their way of life this novel will give you a lot of insight into this very unique town and culture. 

The book itself was okay. Rhodes included far too much dialog and descriptions that could have been left out making the book shorter than the 400+ pages. I am not sure if she wrote the book using the elementary sentence structure to represent the time period or if it was style. And, there were a lot of mistakes. I came across countless sentences with words left out, etc. 

I feel like Rhodes would have better served the purpose of telling of Martha's story by writing it in the form of a biography much like Adelaide Fries did in The Road to Salem. Dr. Fries chronicled the life of Anna Catharina who made the perilous journey from Pennsylvania to Salem in 1753 as one of the first settlers. I recommend her book over Rhodes if the subject interests you.

I still enjoy visiting Old Salem on a regular basis. I am a Friend of Old Salem which gets me into the museum as a special rate and 10% off of purchases in the stores and bake shop. It is a fun place to go shopping once or twice a year. The museum usually has at least one exhibit a year that I am interested in seeing.


I need to make a grocery store stop on the way home today. Tonight is the Christmas party at the Brian Center. I will report on that tomorrow.


Wednesday, 18 December 2002

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The Brian Center had a very nice party for the residents last evening. They put Lenore in her wheel chair and we rolled her out to the living room to enjoy the festivities. Each family was supposed to bring one gift for a resident to be delivered by Santa. They have very nice refreshments for the residents and families. It lasted about an hour or so. After the party was over I rolled Lenore downstairs to see the big tree in the lobby and the beautiful decorations in the back garden area.

We got home around 8:30. After spending a little time playing with the dogs I did a quick e-mail check and wrote this post for today.

Tonight we have the FAS meeting/Christmas party. We are all taking snack type foods to share. I guess we will have a short business meeting but otherwise the time will be spent enjoying the festivities. Bob and I plan to eat dinner out and then head over to SciWorks for the meeting.



Thursday, 19 December 2002

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It doesn't happen very often. Yesterday afternoon I became sick as dog. I guess I could count on one hand the number of times Bob has had to nurse me over the last nineteen years we have been married.

I started feeling yucky about mid-morning while at work. My original plans for yesterday were to stop at the library and sort gift books for a couple of hours. By the time I reached the library I was feeling really, really bad and came on home. I immediately went to bed thinking it was just a short stomach upset and would pass. However, as the afternoon wore on I got progressively worse. 

Bob fixed me some soup later in the evening but I was unable to eat even that. I sipped on coke and water and eventually went back to bed around 8. As you can guess we did not make our dinner plans with Paul and Mary or to the FAS Christmas party.

I am feeling pretty much back to normal this morning. I got up around 6:15 to see how I felt after moving around for a bit. I am going to go on in to work this morning and if I start to feel bad I can always come home. I try eating small amounts of bland stuff until my stomach feels completely better.

The poor dogs had no idea what was going on. They wanted to play ball and couldn't. Malcolm became so frustrated last night he just sat in the hall and made these pitiful little whining noises. I shall have to make it up to him this afternoon.



Friday, 20 December 2002

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I came straight home from work, played with the dogs a little and then hit the couch for a nap. While I am feeling a little better I am nowhere near 100%. My appetite is still way off. I munched a small bagel plain with water during work yesterday morning and managed some soup when I got home. For dinner I fixed toasted cheese sandwiches along with a small fruit cup. That is all I have had to eat since noon on Wednesday. 

We plan to spend the remainder of Thursday evening resting and reading with an early bed.

If I continue to feel well enough I will try to work five hours today instead of four. Hopefully this afternoon I can get a few projects done at my computer.

I guess I am all ready for Christmas. I have one or two gifts to wrap that just came in the mail. Have a great weekend. If it includes Holiday festivities I hope you enjoy yourselves. 

I am reading the second book in Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy series Death of Riley. 


Saturday, 21 December 2002

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I am still not feeling 100% but overall am feeling better. My appetite is still way off. 

I did go visit Lenore yesterday afternoon for an hour or so. She enjoys my visits and was concerned about how sick I was. Last night we spent a quiet evening reading. During dinner I watched Return of the Native I had taped a few weeks ago. It was the 1994 version staring Catherine Zeta Jones. It was pretty good. 

Thursday night I finished Death of Riley. I enjoy the Molly books by Rhys Bowen okay but prefer the Evan Evans series. She has new one in that series coming out the first of the year. Last night I started another Gideon Oliver, Make No Bones.

This morning I am going over to the library for a short while and then make a quick grocery store stop. Tomorrow evening I am having my family over for an informal supper so they can see my decorations since we will be doing Christmas at Frances and Al's again this year. 

If you have plans to visit friends or relatives beginning this weekend please be careful. I will be posting my regular daily journal during the Holiday week so please stop by for a visit if you have time.  


Sunday, 22 December 2002

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After running a few errands yesterday morning I did the Lenore visit in the afternoon. When I got back home I hit the couch for a couple of hours of rest and reading. I finished Make No Bones last night after dinner and decided to try a new author I picked up at the library Leslie Meier.

I happened to get lucky and pick up the first five in her series which stars Lucy Stone. Lucy lives in Tinker's Cove, Maine with her four children and husband. In the first book in the series, Mistletoe Murder, Lucy discovers the body of the owner of the local mail order business dead in the parking lot while she is on break. Lucy works the 5 pm to 1 am shift answering phones and filling orders on the computer. Amidst the chaos of preparing for the upcoming Christmas holidays with pending visits from both her mother and her husband's parents she gets involved in solving the case with help along the way from her friend on the local police force, Sergeant Culpepper. 

Giving that this is her first novel I am not going to be extremely critical. It was funny in places and the writing is okay. She made a couple of "bloopers". Although these books are much like Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffrey series this early one is not nearly as good. However, it kept me interested enough to finish, which I did about 9:30 last night. I started on the second book in the series after I went to bed to read for awhile, Tippy-Toe Murder. Meier's books are definitely true funny Cozy.

Well, we have to clean and house and get the laundry done. My parents and Al and Frances are coming over for a simple meal this evening. I have very little to do in preparation. I made the peach salad yesterday. 

With the upcoming holiday it will be a short work week. Enjoy your day!




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