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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 26 January 2004

Latest Update: Sunday, 01 February 2004 12:49

Monday, 26 January 2004

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I just talked with my dad on the phone. The physical therapist took him off the walker and put him on one crutch. Wow! Five days and already walking. He is on a blood thinner but other than that the home health nurse and PT are extremely pleased.

I have posted pictures of the dogs playing outside yesterday and this afternoon. As you can see from this photo we got about 4 inches of snow. 

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I got up at my regular time this morning of 6 am. Other than the 1/2 to an inch of frozen stuff we got last night nothing else had fallen. I left for work at 7. The roads were in pretty bad shape but not much in the way of traffic. I did not have any problem at all. My Trooper handles very well in snow and I am not afraid to drive on it. I don't drive like a maniac just because I have four wheel drive but take my time and stay well away of cars in front. The hard pack stuff is much easier to drive on than the slushy partially melted snow. The forecast had been for freezing rain to start falling around noon. Had that happened I may have come home early but nothing materialized before I left at 3. 

It took as long to get to home as it did to get to work. The roads were not in much better shape this afternoon than they were this morning. When I took the dogs out for their play session as mentioned above it felt like something was falling in the form of frozen rain.

We will spend the evening relaxing and reading inside where it is warm and dry. Hopefully the frozen precipitation forecast for tonight will not get here. I started the third Janet Evanovich, Three To Get Deadly last night.

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Tuesday, 27 January 2004

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No problems going to work this morning. Most of the main roads were either slushy snow or just wet/black ice. The fog started rolling in about mid morning making it impossible to see all but the buildings directly across the street. It rolled in and out all day but had cleared by the time I left. It was drizzling something when I left the car park creating a glaze on the trees. By the time I got to our side of town the drizzle has stopped. Our trees did not have any ice glazing on them.

Our neighborhood streets are still ice/snow packed including the driveway. When I took the guys for a play session the walk was a solid sheet of ice so I spread some ice melt. When we went out after dinner it had melted to slush allowing me to shovel it clear.

Dad continues to do well. I talked to him just after he finished his exercises. That of course causes the knee and leg muscles to be sore however that is the idea behind the exercises in am sure.  

Tonight it is to be 20 degrees with 15 to 20 mph winds. Good night to settle in with a good book. Bob fired up the gas logs this afternoon for a test. Although there isn't any glazing on the trees and power lines with those winds a line could still go down.

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Wednesday, 28 January 2004

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We have gone from snow/slush/ to snow/ice. The temperatures got just enough above freezing today along with sunshine to just barely melt the top of the ice pack on the side streets making them like skating rinks. Bob said Duncan slide all the way down our neighbor's driveway this afternoon when they were out. 

I make the usual bank, gas station, grocery store run on the way home. I drove to work in 4 wheel but took it out when I left the parking deck this afternoon. When I left the grocery store to head back home I turned the corner on a side street and had to stop and put it back into 4 wheel. All that is required is putting the car in park and moving the 4 wheel stick shift up for high or down for low. We use 4 high in town. The manual says not to drive it on dry pavement in 4 wheel but if you do to not exceed speeds of 50 mph or something.  To disengage the 4 wheel you put the car in reverse, shift out of 4 wheel and back up a couple of feet. 

After dinner we took the dogs out for their walk. That is when we discovered the streets had become skating rinks. Malcolm hardly pulls at all on a leash but I almost went down twice trying to cross the road to get out of the way of a car coming. After several more close calls of going down I took him off leash and we headed back home. And I was wearing my snow boots which have a tread on them better than my car.

I still went to the gym since I only had to negotiate two side streets to get back out to dry pavement. I had no problems going or coming back home but will leave the car in 4 wheel until I get up to the main road tomorrow morning.

I finished number three in the Evanovich series before turning off the lights last night. I think I will take a break from fiction for a change and read one of two books Mary loaned me. The one book is non-fiction, American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads, by Pascale Le Draoulec. Apparently Le Draoulec, a food writer, decides to drive across country from California to New York when offered a new job searching for the perfect piece of pie along the way. As many of you know I enjoy good, funny travel books as this one appears to be. I will let you know. 

 

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Thursday, 29 January 2004

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The ice and snow has just about melted off the side streets. The main streets are clear. I went to the early, 5:30pm, spinning class tonight since I missed Tuesday nights. We ate an early dinner of left over pizza.

My dad continues to progress in his recuperation from the knee replacement surgery. He is doing is exercises and walking pretty well with just the one crutch.

I did get a few chapters read last night on the American Pie book. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, very light, type adventure. She actually mentions Don McLean's song of the same title in the first chapter of the book. Any way, it will be a nice break from fiction.

Guess that's about all for tonight. I have a couple things to do at my desk before play time with the guys. 

 

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Friday, 30 January 2004

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I picked my mom up at 3:15 for her hair appointment. While she was getting her hair done I went to the bank for her then back home to visit with dad until she was ready.

Believe it or not...my dad is walking around the house without crutch, cane, or walker. While the leg and knee are still very swollen and several shades of yellow, green, and purple, he is progressing fabulously. The PT's are very pleased. He still cannot go outside until his February 10th doctor appointment but his indoor walking looks great.

After I picked up mom we stopped at Elizabeth's pizza for stromboli to take home. Dad had set the table while we were gone and was up walking around. We ate dinner then I headed back home.

Not much else going on. The dogs need some play time while I relax and read my book. Hope you have a great weekend. 

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Saturday, 31 January 2004

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It is 1:30 in the afternoon. I left home at 8:30 for the gym, Wal-Mart, and the library. Got home at noon, fixed some lunch, brushed the dogs, gave them some outdoor play time and have had my shower. Whew! Now I can catch up on mail and get some work done on projects.

I have read over half of the American Pie: Slices of Life (And Pie) From America's Back Roads. What a wonderful story about the adventures of the author, Pascale Le Draoulec and her friend who drive cross country, in her old Volvo she names Betty after Crocker,  from California to New York looking for great pie. Based on the title I was a little skeptical when Mary loaned it to me. This is one of those books you want to recommend to your friends to buy and/or buy it for a gift. Le Draoulec doesn't just ramble on about pie but makes the book seem more like a recipe for making pie. The basis of book, her holy grail is the pie, could be shell. Throw in descriptions of the people she meets in small town America, the various cultures, the museums and antique stores they stop at along the way looking for old mixing bowls and pie pans, etc and you have the makings of a wonderful book. Two and half weeks after she and her friend who does the photography arrive in New York you will have met many wonderful and a few not so wonderful folks along the way as well as learning about some very interesting pie combinations. 

Last night I was laying in bed thinking I would love to do this very same thing though instead of looking for pie I would be stopping in old book stores looking for wonderful first editions and other treasures of some of my favorite authors and/or titles to add to my bookshelf. Wouldn't that be a great trip? 

Once Le Draoulec arrives at her new job and spends the winter months in New York she is ready one again to hit the road during the summer in search of more great pie and slices of American life. She meets up with her old friend who flies out from California but this time will be doing video rather than photographs. Poor old Betty was totaled in a car accident the author walked away from with just minor scratches. She ends up buy another, new model of Betty, the same Volvo but as a station wagon which she names Betty Blue. Off they go in search of more pie on a different route this time. That is as far as I have read in the book but I wanted to share this with others. 

 

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Sunday, 1 February 2004

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I finished up American Pie last night. Just a couple more comments. As a child growing up my parents took us traveling all along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Pennsylvania, where I dad is from. Bob and I made have made several trips to Maine since we have been married and I flew to Dallas in 1980 for a library conference. That was the extent of my travels until four years ago when I started traveling with my folks and sister with Holiday Tours. 

What a thrill it was for me to sit and read the American Pie book and be able to relate to some of the places Le Draoulec traveled to: Wall Drugs in Wall, SD; Mount Rushmore, Wisconsin, etc. I love to travel and see new places. I have a map of the United States on my filing cabinet. I color in every state I visit when I get home. The upper part of the United States as far as Montana and all of the Eastern half of the United States this side of the Mississippi is yellow. I still have not been to the middle states west of the Mississippi and the West coast. I have also traveled to all the lower provinces of Canada that touch the United States border except for Manitoba and British Columbia. I may one day get to Alaska but have no desire to go to Hawaii.

By the way I had e-mail from one of my readers who said if she made the American Pie book trip she would be looking for quilting stores in the quest for writing a quilting book. I happen to know someone else  who would be riding right along with her.

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After I finished the morning house chores I ran out to Lowe's to pick up a bale of straw. The muddy place in the yard is getting progressively worse with all the rain/snow/ice. Malcolm, like all dogs and Border Collie's in particular, is a creature of habit. He runs out the door to in the same pattern to the same place in the yard where he eagerly awaits someone to come outside and play ball with him. That is the area in the lawn that currently has no grass and has become mostly dirt/mud where he likes to play. When he plays ball he likes to skid and slide rather than run up to the ball. Consequently he has been tearing up what little grass I had there. At least with the straw down he will not come in the house looking like he had tramped through a pig sty but on the other hand he and Duncan will be dragging straw in the house on their fur. Guess I would rather have the straw than the mud.

Hopefully this spring I can get a good stand of grass to come up that will withstand Malcolm's enthusiastic ball playing. When Duncan was a pup we he was a digger. I had several decent sized holes all over the left front side of the yard. Finally, to discourage his digging I put several soda cans filled with rocks and attached to sticks down in the holes. Fortunately he outgrew the digging and I was able to repair my lawn. Now I have a dog with a slide that most major league baseball players would die for.

Speaking of major league. I guess the entire world will be watching the Super Bowl tonight. Between being married to Bob, who hates organized sports and my disenchantment with the entire professional and college level sports thing, I haven't watched football or baseball in years. The only major sports events I watch are golf, tennis, and racing. Since the Carolina Panthers are playing I will more than likely turn it on with the sound down and look up from my book every once in awhile to see what the score is. That book will be the fourth in the Stephanie Plum series by Evanovich.

 

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