Fritchman Thompson Diary
of 28 April 2008
Latest Update: Sunday, 4 May 2008 3:30 p.m.
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
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
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
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
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
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
Saturday, 3 May 2008
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
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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