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Week of 28 April 2008

Latest Update: Sunday, 4 May 2008 3:30 p.m.

Monday, 28 April 2008

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As of dinner time this evening we have had 3 1/2 inches of rain since Friday night. The front, rain, and storms have now passed on through our area heading off to the coast. Along with the front came cool temperatures again with lows tonight back down the mid 40's and highs only in 60's for a couple of days. 

I sat up late again last night reading in order to finish the Anne Perry. Wonderful again as usual. Now I have to wait until she publishes a new one. Today at lunch I started another China Bayles mystery by Susan Albert, Hangman's Root. Hangman's root is the nick name for catnip. As you can guess from that clue China gets involved with the murder of her friends neighbor who has threatened to kill all her cats. Dottie, known as the Cat Lady, teaches biology at the local university. Being an animal lover she is not only at odds with her neighbor over the cats but also the unethical treatment of animals used at the animal lab on campus for research. When Dottie becomes the number one suspects in her neighbor's murder China goes to work to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, China's romantic interest puts pressure on China when he tells her it is now time to "fish or cut bait". 


Tuesday, 29 April 2008

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No update.


Wednesday, 30 April 2008

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As I write this Bob is winging his way to California to Maker Faire. He left home at 11:30 to give himself plenty of time to get parked, baggage checked and find he departing area. I left work at 3:30 to keep the dogs from having to go too long without another out. They are used to Bob being home to take them out every four hours or so. After walking them I mowed and edged the lawn. The maple seeds are still falling, the heaviest I think I have ever seen them. The roof, driveway, and yard are literally covered with them. I swept up the walkway and gutter before calling it quits for this evening. My neighbor was doing the same using his blower. He blew them off the top part of my drive then I swept them up from the street. I will do the the rest of the drive and down back in the turning area tomorrow.

While Bob is out of town I am going to watch a Masterpiece Theater series of Jane Austen's works we recorded back in January and February. We watched Sense and Sensibilities the other night. Now I will watch the others. Tonight I started Persuasion. While he likes some period pieces he is not overly fond of Jane Austen.

The guys are very puzzled as to where Bob is. Although he does go off sometimes during the day he not usually gone for very long nor when I am home for dinner. I am sure they thought it was him coming back home this afternoon since they knew it was too early for it to be me from work. Yes, they can tell time in what every dog way they have of knowing when things are supposed to happen.

It is also very weird for me. We are coming up on our 25th wedding anniversary this year. The last time Bob went out of town without me was 10 years ago when he had to fly to Boston for his previous publisher. At that time we had Kerry and Duncan, who was just 3 years old, and Lenore lived with us. This is actually the first time that I have been at home without Bob or Lenore being in the house. No, I am not at all frightened, it is just weird.

I have bills to pay and trash to take out.


Thursday, 1 May 2008

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Bob called last night at 10:22 to let me know he had arrived at the San Francisco airport. He was still waiting to leave the plane but wanted to call me before it got too late. By the time he retrieved his luggage and took the shuttle to the hotel it would have been closer to midnight I imagine.

In the meantime the dogs and I stuck to our normal evening routine. I took the dogs for last time after my show was over then read until 10. I was too tired to stay awake longer to read so I turned off the light and rested until Bob called.

This morning I slept in until 7:30. I left the house around 9 to drive out to Tim's to get the oil changed. From there I headed north out to Rural Hall. The license plate renewal office is across the street from a little shopping center that housed Tractor Supply. I made both those stops then drove back through Rural Hall to Lowe's to pick up an assortment of lawn and garden supplies. I picked up an electric trimmer. I have the edger but sometimes I need to use a weed eater to do some other trimming. This one has an electronic string feeder. 

While I unloaded the car I let the dogs run around outside then we played a little ball before I came back in to fix lunch. After lunch I fired up my gasoline hedge trimmer which is actually very easy to start. I did the forsythia hedge along the driveway, the azaleas along both sides of the houses and the bushes along the front. Once I had everything trimmed I brought the dogs out while I cleaned up the mess in the front. I put them on their tie outs just in case something exciting came along before I could spot it list the mailman or a UPS truck. I also pulled up all the winter pansies and viola's. They were leggy and faded. I will get bedding plants to replace in the next week or so.

After I finished up in the front I put the dogs back inside while I used the blower to clean up the drive and deck of maple seeds. Some are still falling but at least the worst of them are down and cleaned up. I filled up my lawn cart to the brim with all the trimmings and dead flowers. It was a beautiful day to be outside working. Warm, in the 70's with lots of sunshine and some winds gusting up from time to time. The robin is still sitting on her nest. It was very chilly last night, down in the high 30's.

I need to round up the recycling and get dressed for a dinner outing. My friend Betsy retired from the library system yesterday. They are having a dinner for her tonight at a local restaurant.


Friday, 2 May 2008

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Another busy "vacation" day. This morning I made the usual library, pet and grocery store run. By the time I got back home, unloaded and put away the groceries, it was going on 11:30. A little early for lunch but rather than start and stop again in the yard I fixed my salad.

Once again I had the dogs out helping. Today's weather is almost a carbon copy of yesterdays; breezy, sunny, and warm. I did take some time to site in my chair and enjoy the sunshine while we were out front. I took a picture of the dogs enjoying themselves while lying in the shade watching me work. Perhaps Bob will post it for me next week.

Speaking of Bob. Here is the link to an add for Bob's book on the Maker Faire web site. The Faire starts tomorrow. I am not sure what his schedule was for yesterday and today. I am sure he is very busy meeting, greeting, and getting ready for tomorrow.

I have had a beautiful male rose-breasted grosbeak on feeder. We are on their migration path back to their northern summer habitat.

Last night when I got back from dinner I watched another Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey. Tonight I am meeting my sister and parents for dinner.


Saturday, 3 May 2008

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Malcolm let me sleep until 7:30. After I read the paper and ate breakfast I took them out back while I finished a couple of things up outside. Once they had ample time to run around I took off to visit my friend Bonnie. When I visited her new house back in December I was not able to see the second floor or walk around the acreage due to my knee surgery. They had not actually moved in yet when I was there and Bonnie had not finished all the painting.

We had a nice time chatting before she showed me the rest of the house then we walked around outside. I did not take the dogs this time because I wanted to see the rest of the inside and did not want to leave them outside by themselves. Next time I go up I will take them along to run around in the wide open spaces.

I stayed a couple of hours then came on back home. It takes roughly half an hour or so one way. I am taking it easy the rest of the day.

Last night I started reading Hounded to Death by Laurien Berenson published in 2007. It was on my list of books to look for at the used book store but the library system finally bought a copy before I found a copy. Main character Melanie Travis shows her standard poodles and teaches special education. Normally Berenson focuses her plots around Melanie and her Aunt Peg solving mysteries at dog shows. In Hounded to Death, Melanie, Aunt Peg, and Melanie's sister-in-law Bertie are attending a dog handling symposium. Aunt Peg, much to Mel and Bertie's astonishment, is meeting up with a man she met via an Internet show judge forum. When the keynote speaker is found dead, the trio start investigating the murder. This is one of the better dog cozy series but even if you are not a fan of dogs you will enjoy reading Berenson.

No, I have not heard from Bob. I am sure he is very busy. But, I did find this picture of Bob wearing one the t-shirts Paul and Mary bought him to wear at the Faire. It was taken either yesterday or Thursday during the Maker education days they hold for school groups.

Warm again today. Thunderstorms in the forecast for tonight. I hope it rains at least enough wet the seed and fertilizer I put down in the base spots yesterday. Last night the family and I ate at Macaroni Grill. I have leftovers for tonights dinner. When I got home I watched another installment of Jane Austin, Mansfield Park.


Sunday, 4 May 2008

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After a somewhat leisurely morning, up at 8, paper read, and breakfast I tackled the very full ironing basket. Next, the usual house cleaning chores of which I added mopping the kitchen and hall bathroom floors.

While I was doing the cleaning I put in a load of dog bedding to wash. We had an old sleeping cot mattress along Bob's side of the bed for Duncan to sleep on. On top of that we use two thin soft dog beds not only for comfort but also for protection. As an old dog Duncan leaks sometimes. His old thicker foam dog bed with the built in pillow is at the foot of the bed, where he likes to lay during the day and at night when we first go to bed. I keep a bath towel on that which we changed every week. Malcolm has a thin soft bed in his crate which he sometimes uses to sleep on and at other times balls up in one corner and uses it as a pillow.

After lunch I took the dogs out for some playtime before mowing the lawn. During the spring, early growing months I have to mow about every five days. After I finished the mowing I put in a load of our winter coats, hats, and gloves before I put them away for the season.

That's about it except for the load of dirty towels. Bob said he would do the whites and darks when he gets back from his trip. The dogs and I miss having him here at home. Last night while I ate dinner I watched Miss Austen Regrets, based on the life and letters of Jane Austen's later years in life up until her death.

When that was over I switched to the NASCAR race in Richmond, VA. While I had that on I was also reading the Berenson book. About ten I took the dogs out then went on to bed. Both dogs and I were tired and ready for bed. I read for another half hour then turned out the light.

We never did get any rain. Today is magnificent. 75 degree, clear blue skies. slight breeze. The dogs and I may sit out front and enjoy the nice weather for awhile until time to fix something for dinner.


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