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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 21 February 2005

Latest Update: Saturday, 26 February 2005 3:39 p.m.

Monday, 21 February 2005

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Monday evening greetings. Today was not a holiday for myself and of course Bob. The Washington office of the Firm was closed but all our other offices remained opened. Mondays mornings are now the "swamped day" with 600-800 database changes coming in over the weekend.

Below are some pictures I took Saturday of my first bulbs that have started appearing I ordered last year from the Dutch Gardens.

The first group of snow crocus are some I planted several years ago, thus they are more to them. The yellow and white ones are new for this year. They will multiply themselves over the years. I still have some other bulbs to come up as we progress further into spring.


<>At long last, you finally get to see our lovely, refurbished downstairs area. The sofa straight ahead is the sleeper. On the opposite wall, not shown is the fireplace. Behind the love seat and chair are some book shelves. I am really pleased with how nice it looks. Just in case you are not familiar, the doorway to the right leads to the full bath and full galley kitchen which runs along the right hand wall. French doors are to the left going outside underneath the deck.

We ate our usual early, light dinner to allow getting to step class by 5:30.

I talked with both vets Dr. Sue and Dr. Taylor. After some wonderful research by Sue and relaying the information to Dr. Taylor the diagnosis turns out to be a possible testicular tumor. Duncan will be neutered on Thursday. The poor Guy has had a rough time of it the last several months. He has never liked going to the vet but now he just loaths it. Malcolm, so far, has not seemed to mind. He is still limping on his leg and does not understand why he cannot play ball. Actually, Duncan is a little puzzled himself as to why there has not been any ball playing.


Tuesday, 22 February 2005

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I stayed up reading last night in order to finish the Sister Fidelma. Tremayne's setting for Act of Mercy was aboard a trade ship which also carries passengers. In this case, Fidelma has hooked up with a group of religeous from two Abbey's going on a pilgrimage to Iberia. The two Abbeys, one for males and one for females, had ties.

While Sister Fidelma traveled to the port from her hometown to meet the ship the twelve pilgrims left their respective Abbey's. In route, one older woman died. The leader of the group is murdered in her bed that night at a dockside inn where she was staying after supposedly meeting a friend. The remaining members of the group were staying overnight at a nearby Abbey. The following morning the ten pilgrims plus Fidelma boarded the ship. The group did not know why the leader did not meet the ship but at the time did not know of her surmise.

One of the first persons Fidelma runs into aboard the ship is one of the male pilgrims who just happens to have been her first love some ten years ago, a warrior named Cien. Injured in a battle, in lost the use of one of his arms thereby requiring him to leave the service of his King. Soon after his injury his wife, whom he broke off his relationship with Fidelma to marry, left him when he was now spoiled goods.

On the very first night of sailing the ships is met with a horrendous storm. When one of the pilgrims goes missing it was assumed she went up on deck during the storm and was washed overboard. When her blood stained robe is discovered hidden under a mattress Fidelma starts her investigation of the murder. During her investigation Fidelma learns several of the men and women within the group have been in relationships with each other off and on over a period of time, Cien included.

During the course of the voyage events continue to befall the group aboard the ship including out maneuvering a pirate ship, saving three members of another ship wrecked upon the rocks, and or course, a couple more murders. All a very interesting mix of murder, suspense and jealousy.

We reached a high of 65 degrees this afternoon. The forecast for tomorrow night is rain possibly mixed with snow or sleet. Go figure?


Wednesday, 23 February 2005

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Today was the usual grocery store trip, dinner, and gym.

The city of Winston-Salem and nearby Greensboro has a serial rapist on the prowl. So far, he has struck twice in Greensboro and four times in our city. So far, he has targeted young women in apartment complexes. Hopefully, one day soon, we will hear on the news he picked the wrong young female and got what he deserved!


Thursday, 24 February 2005

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Well, we dodged yet another chance at winter weather. A very cold rain was falling when I went out with the dogs this morning. The temperatures hovered around 35 to 38 all afternoon keeping our precipitation liquid rather than frozen or white.

Bob is preparing for his 8:00pm radio show. Duncan is sacked out on the couch recovering. The vet did find something unusual looking in one of his testicles which they will send off to the lab. Hopefully if it is a tumor it will not be malignant.

I am reading a very interesting mystery I picked up at the library, Overnight Float. The "author Clare Munnings" is actually a pen name for Jill Kerr Conway and Elizabeth Kennan. If you have not read Jill Conway's autobiographies you should consider doing so. In the first book  The Road from Coorain, Jill talks about her life as a child in New South Wales on an isolated sheep farm to the University of Sydney. Her early life was filled with very tragic loses in her family plus overcoming the changes from isolation to the hustle and bustle of life in a major city in the 1960's.

A True North continues her life as she has married and moved to the United States where she eventually becomes president of Smith College. Not only do you learn about her life but also the many hurdles she overcame in both her professional and personal life.

The third book in the trilogy, A Woman's Education, she details her life in academia, being president of a small woman's college, etc. Masterpiece Theater did a movie based on the first book and perhaps the second, I cannot remember.

Now, Jill and her coauthor, also the president of a woman's college, have written a mystery set at a small, fictional college in Vermont. The writing is as pure as it was in Conway's autobiographies. Their character Rosemary Stubbs comes to this small college after abandoning a very successful Wall Street job and then graduating from Divinity School. The novel is centered around the murder of the college financial officer who recruited Rosemary to come to the college. The challenge for Rosemary is to get the Chapel program popular on campus, get in tune with the students, and save the program from being cut from the budget.

Rosemary left her high flying job in business finance after her husband drowned in a boating accident. Looking for a new direction in her life, she went to Divinity School but had no idea what she wanted to do when she graduated. After being on campus for a short period of time she finds her new job is exactly what she needs. And of course, like most mysteries featuring armature sleuths, she finds herself getting into life threatening situations while trying to solve the murder.

This book was supposed to be the first of a series of books about Rosemary. It was published in 2000 so I am not sure if they plan to publish any more or not.


Friday, 25 February 2005

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If you read Bob's page this morning you know my dad had to take mom to the emergency room last night. However, while I was concerned I was not worried enough to interrupt his radio show. My main concern was why dad had not tried to call me back when he did not reach me the first time. Mom has been having a series of small health issues which for her tend to run in cycles. Yesterday she was feeling dizzy and light headed. Finally they called their doctor but were told they could not see her until this morning. Dad was concerned enough to go ahead and take her to the emergency room rather than wait. He had called to let me know they were on the way down while we were picking up Duncan.

As a matter of fact I was talking to Al and then Frances on my cell phone just as I was finishing up last night's post. Since I still had very little information as to what was going on I decided not to mention anything about it last night. I knew as soon as Bob finished up I would be heading down to the hospital.

Duncan is doing fine. He let me check the area of the surgery at dinner time and everything looks fine. The vet said to watch for swelling which can happen sometimes when older dogs are spay/neutered.

This afternoon after work I made a trip out to Lowe's hardware to pick up some stuff Bob needs for the book and to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I have so very little time on the weekends I hate to use up an hour and half running those type of errands and would rather tack it onto the end of a workday.


Saturday, 26 February 2005

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I was up and out of the house by 8am to give me time to make a quick stop at the drugstore on the way to the gym. After the gym I filled the car with gas and stopped at the pet supply store.

Before fixing lunch I had some things to do in the kitchen. After lunch I gave the dogs a good brushing before doing the usual weekly house cleaning. It is always good to that chore behind me.

This afternoon I have sorted through the usual backlog of e-mail plus the pile of paperwork on my desk. Instead of writing hacks I am now reviewing those complete by Bob for additions, corrections, etc.

It's a beautiful day outside with moderate temperatures and clear blue skies. With Duncan continuing to recover and Malcolm's back leg still lame, I cannot take them outside for a play session today.

Last night I finished up Overnight Float. Up next, I will read Rhys Bowen's new book in her Molly Murphy series, In Like Flynn. I promised a review for Mystery Morgue.


Sunday, 27 February 2005

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