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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 26 May 2003

Latest Update:Sunday, 01 June 2003 09:25

Monday, 26 May 2003

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Tuesday, 27 May 2003

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Wednesday, 28 May 2003

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Wonder where I have been? Well, grab something to eat/drink, sit back in your chair, and get ready to read a rather long post.

Bob and I plus all three dogs left late Thursday morning for Bowie, MD to visit our good friends Marcia and Brian Bilbrey. It took a little under seven hours with three stops, one for gas, all of it driven in pouring down rain. Once we arrived, unloaded the car, and got all the greetings taken care of, Brian and Marcia served a us a wonderful pasta dinner. We spent the remainder of the evening getting settled in.

The next morning Marcia and I took off for the Amish market in Annapolis for our first day excursion. We bought some yummy stuff to eat while there plus I picked up some stuff to freeze and bring back home with me. Back at Marcia's, I spent the remainder of the day reading. As a matter of fact I read five mysteries during the entire visit. I read two Lee Harris, two Joan Hess, and one Carolyn Hart. Needless to say, most of the time we were at the house I spent resting and reading on the couch. Can't beat that for a relaxing vacation can you? 

On Saturday, Marcia and I took off in search of mystery book stores and quilt shops. The mystery book store in Annapolis was no longer in business but Marcia found a good quilt supply store. I found a cute gift shop to browse in while she did her thing. The second book store was in Baltimore. Unfortunately we got to downtown Baltimore at the same time as 100,000 fans of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. However, Marcia sliced and diced her way through that traffic jam until we finally found the Mystery Loves Company bookstore on Fleet Street. I had a great time finding about a dozen or so titles from my little black book. Unfortunately, we forgot to feed the meter and Marcia got a $20 parking ticket. Blimey!

Sunday we made a short trip to Wal*Mart and the historic antique area of Bowie. Marcia's knee started acting up so we cut that trip short. Fine with me since, as it did the entire time we were up there, it was raining. Monday we lazed around the house reading and playing with the dogs.

Speaking of dogs. My lovely wild thing, Malcolm, caused havoc from the time he entered the door on Thursday until he left on Tuesday morning. First thing in the door, he marks on the carpet and then tries to mark again upstairs in their bedroom. Monday evening, the clouds finally broke and the neighborhood kids were all outside riding their bikes and skateboards. Malcolm got so riled up he ran outside to bark at them but did not have the decency to open the sliding screen door before exiting the kitchen. Ripped that baby right off its hinges. And, as I said, like everyone else on the east coast we have been drowning in rain for the last six months.

Brian can plant either rice or swamp grasses in his backyard. The dogs tried as hard as they could to drag into the house the six tons of mud and gunk from the yard. SO! When we left on Tuesday morning at 7 am the Bilbreys had a kitchen floor and dinning room rug that looked like a herd of elephants had tromped through, a screen door hanging by the hinges, paw prints on the guest bedroom spread, a parking ticket... I think I will stop. You get the point. 

We had a great time. Marcia and Brian are wonderful hosts. Brian cooked several delicious meals on the grill for us. By the way, Kerry did great and was the best behaved of all of us. Other than tracking in his share of the outdoors he did not cause one iota of trouble the entire weekend. As for the rest of us, I suggest if you see a blue '93 Isuzu Trooper turn in your drive with two adults and three dogs aboard...lock all the doors and pretend you are not at home.


We got home just after 1:30 with those same three stops. We only hit rain here and there all the way down. As soon as we unloaded the car I took off for my folks house to take them some of those baked goods I bought at the Amish market. As soon as I got back home I changed clothes and mowed the lawn. The furnace people were supposed to come Wednesday morning for the semi-annual check on the AC/furnace. While I was mowing Bob came out to tell me they called to see if they could come now. After the furnace guy left I called in a pizza which we picked up and took over to enjoy while visiting with Lenore. I spent part of our visit catching up on the newspapers while we were gone. Bob did a load of white clothes while I mowed. Other than putting away the few clean clothes we came home with and some other stuff, we are pretty much settled back in and getting ready to awaken tomorrow back into the real world.


Thursday, 29 May 2003

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Things are pretty much back to normal. Bob did the laundry while I was at work. I made a grocery store stop on the way home. Otherwise, I spent the remainder of the afternoon culling through a ton of e-mails. We ate an early dinner so I could go visit Lenore before Body Pump class at the gym.

The dogs, especially Duncan, laid around most of the evening lat night. They were either exhausted from the ride home or they missed the Bilbreys. Not sure which one. 

Today, we had an entire day of sunshine. WOW! Hard to believe. My neighbor told us Sunday night while we were gone we had 4" of rain in about three hours. She said she had never seen it rain so hard for so long. I knew it had rained hard at some point because the mulch in several of my natural areas had washed into huge piles. No wonder, if it rained that hard.

Guess I better wrap this up and give the dogs some ball playing time. 

I started the newest Tim Myers lighthouse inn mystery, Murder Checks Inn


Friday, 30 May 2003

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Bob had to do a big backup when we got back home which delayed getting the pictures from the trip transferred off the digital camera. 

The first one is Kerry taking a rest under the kitchen table. He does not like the camera because of the flash being similar to lightning. Bob, relaxing on the patio. He doesn't like to have his picture taken either. Sally and Malcolm going in opposite directions.

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Brian and the guys playing while Sally enjoys the show. Malcolm doing his fangy routine. 

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After a long day what better place to nap than with your head resting on the table... 

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Malcolm and Duncan opted for the sofas.

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As you can see the dogs enjoyed their visit as much as the humans. 


Saturday, 31 May 2003

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Happy Saturday morning. And, yes, it is raining! We did have two days of sunshine and mild temperatures before returning to the status quo for the last five months. I had some things to do in the yard today but it is not looking real promising right now.

I have plenty to do inside this afternoon to keep me busy when I get back home from the gym and visiting Lenore. We had hoped to go observing tonight but that is not looking real promising either. 

Not much else going on right now. I finished up the Tim Myers lighthouse mystery and started another Carolyn Hart, A Little Class On Murder. The one thing I have discovered about Hart, the further along in the series I read the better they get. In this one, Annie has been recruited to teach a class at the college in nearby Chastain. Her topic, the 3 grand dames of mystery, covers Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers. Annie soon discovers the journalism department at the college where she is teaching has a torrid undercurrent of hatred among the faculty and with the student newspaper. Hart brings into the plot her three minor characters, Annie's mother-in-law, Miss Dora from a previous novel, and Henny, her mystery reading co-sleuth, by having them enrolled in Annie's class...much to the chagrin of Annie.

Well, I hope you enjoy your weekend. Perhaps the sun is shinning where you live. If so, enjoy it.  



Sunday, 1 June 2003

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It may say June 1st on the calendar for today but the weather feels more like April 1st. This morning dawned clear and cool with winds gusty around 20 to 30 mph. Normally by this time of year it would warm/hot and muggy. Yesterday morning we had a hour or so of rain and thunderstorms. By the time I got back home from visiting Lenore the sun was out. I very quickly changed into yard work clothes and headed outside to get a few minor chores taken care of.

With the weather forecast for the afternoon being showers and/or severe weather I finished up what I needed to do and came in to fix lunch. We were under tornado watch until 8 pm. I took a shower and spent the afternoon working at my desk. The severe weather/rain never materialized which meant I would have been able to mow the lawn around 3 pm. Rather than get hot and sweaty yet again, I decided to hold that project off until today.

We did go out observing last night but not to Bullington. Instead, we drove over to Paul and Mary's house, which is about five minutes from us. They have very few trees surrounding the front of their house. While the street lights are a bit of a annoyance the situation is great for doing in-town observing. Early in the evening we had a lot of left over cloud cover from the front moving through but around 11 or so the skies cleared up. I managed to bag several Messier objects for my Astronomical League Urban Observing Club list before clouds began to roll in again about 11:45.

It was fun to get out under the stars again and get in some observing time. The conditions were not great even without the cloud cover but were at least good enough to see some of the brighter deep sky objects. We packed up and headed for home about midnight.

As I said, this afternoon I am going to edge and mow the lawn. This morning is house cleaning. My mower is still in the shop so I will using dad's old clunker. The forecast for the remainder of the week is...yep you guessed it...RAIN. I fear July and August we will be wishing for some of this wet stuff as my lawn again dries up and turns brown.

Our new neighbors, two houses down, have been anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child. They have two dogs, an Aussie and a Golden Retriever. I had told them anytime they needed someone to come down and let the dogs out just let me know. Once Mimi gets back on her feet after having the baby she is going to come up to our house and get the introduction on how to do the same thing for us when we are out of town and need to leave the dogs. Anyway, Steve called me yesterday morning around 8:20, they had been at the hospital since 3:30 am. I went down to feed the dogs and let them out. Steve called back around 3:30. She was just going into labor and he would be spending the night at the hospital. I went down and let the dogs out again in the afternoon and then fed them and let them out for the night before we left to visit Paul and Mary.

Steve called while we were gone, Mimi had an 8 lb 2 ounce boy. All are healthy. I got up about 7:45 this morning and went down again to feed the dogs breakfast and let them out. It is nice to now have neighbors who can help out with our dogs when we want to go up to the lodge or away for the weekend and not have to worry about finding someone.

The Winston Cup race today is in Dover. Not sure if it will get rained out or not. I can listen while I mow the lawn if they do get it in. Once I get the outdoor stuff done I plan to spend the remainder of the afternoon watching the race and/or catching up on the pile of magazines on my side table. 




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