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Barbara Fritchman Thompson
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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 19 April 2004

Latest Update: Sunday, 25 April 2004 18:11

Monday, 19 April 2004

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It seems I have decided not to post on the weekends since I have skipped the last couple. This past one, like most all of them, was pretty much the same old thing...gym, house cleaning, working. We did go out Saturday night for a short observing session. The conditions were not great but we did log a few objects on our various working lists.

Dad and I played nine holes of golf Sunday morning then I sat and visited with them until it was time to meet Al and Frances for lunch. They treated us to lunch at their favorite Chinese restaurant for the buffet in honor of their 2nd wedding anniversary which is actually tomorrow. Al will be out of town so they celebrated over the weekend going to Charlotte for a teapot exhibit on Saturday and the small gathering with us on Sunday. After we ate too much for lunch we went over to her house for cake and they exchanged gifts.

I knew I would not want to eat dinner so I got Bob a takeout box from the buffet. When I got home I took the dogs outside to play while I worked a little on the weeds in the back natural area. Thirty minutes later I was soaked to the skin needing a shower followed by watching the race and napping. Bob ate his dinner early then he too went back to nap. I woke up at 5, fed and walked the dogs, then watch the remainder of the race before heading back to my office to check my mail. 

I started the Rhys Bowen Evan Evans newest over the weekend. Speaking of reading. As Bob mentioned this is National Turn Off Your TV week. Well, I do all the things he listed you should do instead of watching TV as a regular part of my week. I probably read more books in one week than some people do in a year or even a lifetime. 

When I came home tonight after picking up KFC for dinner I sat down to eat and watch the news/weather. Bob usually reads while we eat, I enjoy just vegging for half an hour since I usually have some work to do before the evening is over. After repeatedly trying to get the TV to turn on I started to removed the back cover to check to see if it was the batteries when Bob proudly announced he had unplugged the set. WHAT!. Yea, I don't need him or anyone else to tell me when I can and cannot watch TV since it does not rule my life nor interfere with my continual search for knowledge. I don't mind checking the weather on my PC but I do not enjoy reading the national news web site. Our local news is pretty pathetic but sometimes they run something I am interested in hearing. My choice. Had the situations been reversed and I had made a unilateral choice for both of us to do or not do something he would have been livid. Well, I am not amused to say the least.

After dinner I mowed the lawn. The weather for the remainder of the week is iffy at best with possible storms and/or rain. The grass was high after all the rain we had last week the results of which, had I waited another couple of days it would have been impossible to get the lawn mower through it.

Now, it is time to go to the den and read, play with the dogs, AND TURN ON THE TV. Wait until it is National Wash Your Windows Week!


Tuesday, 20 April 2004

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Happy anniversary to Frances and Al.

Last night I finished up the Rhys Bowen, Evan's Gate mystery. Rhys is one of the best in the genre. He Evan Evans series, set in Wales, are wonderful reading. Evans started out in the early books as a uniform policeman in his tiny Welsh town. Occasionally, in later books, Rhys takes the series to other nearby towns which keeps the series fresh and full of surprises. In her latest, Evan is now in plain cloths and solving the case of a little girl gone missing. He also finds the body of a little girl who went missing when Evan was a little boy of seven. I highly recommend reading this series. You will not be disappointed.

Well, this new schedule thing has me all discombobulated. I am still waking up at 6am. Taking the extra half hour for lunch is actually making the day seem even longer, which it is because I am at work 8 hours rather than 7.5. And, I hate getting home so late in the afternoon. Tonight, I stayed home rather than go to the gym so Bob could shoot the last of the pictures he needs for the system we started building over the weekend. Getting off at 4:30 is going to rush me in getting to the gym. When I do the 5:30 classes I will go straight to the gym and then come home and fix supper. On the 6:30 nights we will have to have something I can fix quickly to give me time to eat, walk the dogs, etc.

Also, it is very noisy down there working with the help desk and tech people. Again, I am sure I will get used to it eventually. My radio does not work but I learned how to play it through my PC today. I cannot get our local public radio station but I can get the one from Raleigh or Boston. I guess by next week I will be used to all the changes.



Wednesday, 21 April 2004

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No update



Thursday, 22 April 2004

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Sorry about not posting last night but, as usual, I ran out of time. I left work at 4pm, made the grocery store run, and had just enough time to check my mail before we left for the library, dinner, and FAS meeting. By the time we got home, played with the dogs, and walked them it was time for reading in bed.

I did go to the gym tonight, first time all week. I fixed dinner first. Instead of doing a class I just did 50 minutes to two different cardio machines. One thing about the new place I am working. I walk down and back up several flights of stairs each morning and evening in the parking deck rather than take the elevator. Also, only one set of elevators go down to the basement. If I have to go up to one of the other floors and happen to come back down on the ones that do not go to the basement I hit the stairs and walk down. Today I took a quick walk around the building during my lunch break.

I am reading the newest Susan Conant mystery, Bride and Groom. Holly Winter, dog trainer and magazine columnist is finally marrying her long time friend and veterinarian Steve. Holly has two Alaskan Malamutes, Rowdy and Kimi, which are show dogs but act like any other normal dog at home. In the last book, Steve and Holly become reunited after Steve's divorce because Steve got one of the pups from Kimi's liter. The focus of the book are four murders all taking place within the space of several weeks before the wedding in Cambridge where they live. Each one has a tie to the dog world and to Holly in one way or another one. Holly will be trying to solve the murders and prevent herself from becoming the fifth victim. 

This latest book in the series is really good. The last couple were so, so, but I think she got back on track with this one. It is funny, at least to me, especially when she describes some of the dog behaviors. Another side plot in the story has Holly doing book signings to promote her new book on how to cook liver treats for dogs. Basically her character, being a writer, is somewhat like the author herself. Susan actually owns a Malamute. 

Guess that's about all for tonight. I need to finish checking my mail. It has been a long week, thankfully tomorrow is Friday. My folks have been at the beach this week sharing a beach front condo with her brother, his wife, and her four sisters.


Friday, 23 April 2004

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I sat up until 11 last night finishing up the Susan Conant book. Today at work during my lunch break I started a book of short story mysteries I have to do a review on. It will be good weekend reading to pick up and put down between chores. 

Now that Friday has arrived giving me a full week in my new place with my new hours I guess things are not too bad. The advantages far out weigh the disadvantages to our old location.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Perhaps I will even update my pages this weekend for a change. I plan to get some work done in the yard if the weather cooperates along with the usual house cleaning, etc.



Saturday, 24 April 2004

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Well, I have had such a wonderful day working inside and outside that I decided I would share it with you now rather than wait until Monday. Plus I had to wish a big Happy Birthday to Brian Bilbrey.

First off this morning I gave Bob a haircut then did a quick vacuum of the house while Bob did the bathrooms. 

I asked him to go up and blow out the gutters before the rain comes in, something this weekend or first of next week. Yes, it is maple tree helicopter season when all the little seeds blow off the trees and float down on EVERYTHING. The roof, the yard, the planter, the porch...you get the idea. When it rain they clog up the gutters then lay in the bottom and rot until Bob can get them blown out. It stinks to high heavens and make a mess on everything when it hits the ground. There are still a few to blow down but at least the majority of them are not in the gutters. I used the blower to get them off the sidewalk and front porch.

Next project, I had intended to just reset the cement brick edging around a little natural/garden area in the back corner of the yard. I then needed to move two little bushes that were not doing too well on the other side of the yard and finish digging up the grass and chick weed from that side of the natural area. When I removed the edging and starting digging a little trench to set it in I took step and went through the ground all the way up to my knee. Apparently my sink hole from years ago has continued to sink.

Two years after we moved in here, 1989, we had a one of those little downburst storms come through the neighborhood. They did not call it a tornado. What it did was blow off part of our roof, the top of my large maple in the back, and most of the large weeping willow down to the street behind us. We had the willow taken down. Several winters later I walked around to the back of the yard one day and found a massive hole in that corner which I had turned onto a little natural area. Our neighbor told me she thought they buried the trees and other debris there when they built our house. At any rate, I ordered a load of fill dirt, wheel barreling it down and filled up the hole. So I thought. 

After extracting my leg I grabbed the shovel and starting digging around the hole. I managed to cave in all the top dirt from the sink hole and eventually hit solid dirt all around the edges. I guess I ended up with about a four foot deep by five foot wide hole.  I dug up the two little bushes along with as much dirt as I could take from the area, barreled it over to the sink hole and began filling it in. After I got it refilled enough to reset the edging it was almost noon, I was soaking wet, and already tired. 

I came in for a break, put on clean dry socks and a clean dry t-shirt, fixed some lunch and rested a bit. Back outside, I finished digging the trenches for the edging leveling up the yard side as much as possible for the lawn mower wheel, planted the two little bushes in the filled in area, and finished digging up the grass and chickweed. The hole is not filled up yet on the inside area of the edging. I will add dirt from other project and use mulch from the leaf vacuum this fall to continue to fill it in. 

I then mowed the lawn, which was incredibly high after having just mowed in on Monday. By this time I was exhausted. Seems to me digging takes a lot more out of me than it did ten years ago. After a long shower I took a rest on the bed and watched last Wednesday's West Wing episode before fixing dinner. 

Tonight I need to do some revisions on an article for NoveList  but I doubt I will work for too long.



Sunday, 25 April 2004

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It has been another fun day in the yard, except it was over at my dad's house rather than mine. Our original intent was to make a trip to Lowe's Lawn and Garden to get a couple of things I needed and get some landscaping blocks for a project dad wanted to do out front. We got my stuff but they were out of stock on the blocks dad wanted.

No really a problem. With his bad knee and subsequent surgery his yard and garden areas have sort of gotten away from him in the last six to eight months. First I went ahead a prepared the area where we would build the little planter by removing the old landscape timbers, digging up the sod where he wants it extended and finally just smoothing out the existing dirt.

Next I trimmed and pulled some ground cover that had gone wild in the area at the front door where he has a couple of bushes. I trimmed a bush back that was dying, pulled grass and other assorted weeds from part of that bed and trimmed back another bush in the back. After a lunch break I used the gas trimmer to trim down the wild ground cover in the back garden along the fence where his rhododendrons are located, trimmed around all the trees, and edged along his other walled garden areas. I used two of the landscape timbers out front to repair two that had rotted away along the shrub bed by his tool shed. 

All told I guess we worked four or five good hours in the yard. Fortunately it was not as hot as it was yesterday although today I was wearing long pants so I got just as hot and sweaty. After finishing up in the yard mom wanted me to slice some homemade bread my aunt brought them last week at the beach. I was using their new fancy bread knife, which  I have used before. It has a little bar you can move to make the slices nice and even at whatever width you desire. I was finishing up doing Frances' loaf when I got to the very end and tried to slice my left index finger off. I shall spare you the gruesome details but it bled like a stuck pig, whatever that means. I put ice and cold water on it then mom got me a old piece of rag. I wrapped it tightly then drove home with my hand above my heart resting on the window ledge of the car. By the time I got home it had just about stopped bleeding. Bob helped me unload the the stuff from the car then assisted me in putting that liquid Band-Aid stuff on. I wrapped it tightly with a regular band aid and took a shower.

Just before I did all the first aid stuff I went looking for a package of the single finger Playtex covers to put over it after I got it all bandaged up even though you do not need to cover the liquid stuff. It was still bleeding just a little in one spot even after applying the liquid bandage. I knew I had taken the package out of the drawer and into the kitchen with me so I could remove the rag first before heading back to the bathroom for the first aid. 

I looked every darn place I had been since I came home and could not find them. Finally I used one of my disposable gloves I use for cleaning the bathrooms so I could  get of my nasty cloths and get a shower. I continued to look for them while working around in the kitchen. When I went to get the deli stuff out of the fridge that mom sent home with me so Bob could have a sandwich, there was my little package of finger covers. Bob had put away everything laying on the counter in the fridge for me. I was getting concerned that when I cut my finger that was where my brains were located and I had dissected part of them out.

That liquid bandage stuff is really great. After dinner I removed the band aid to check on the wound. It had stopped bleeding completely. I can type without it bothering me at all. Very often, a band aid on my finger goofs up what little typing skills I have. 

I really enjoy working outdoors, in the yard. I don't mind the heat when it was like yesterday and today with low humidity. When I get back over to dads to do the bricks, I can get most of the other stuff that needs taken care of done. 



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