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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 2 June 2008

Latest Update: Sunday, 8 June 2008 1:30 p.m.

Monday, 2 June 2008

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I'm back. We had great weather and a great time. We arrived at the house at the beach at 2pm on Thursday afternoon. It takes roughly 4 1/2 hours with a lunch stop. Thursday afternoon and evening was spent getting settled in, visiting, etc. The back of the house faces the beach with a nice deck. The front of the house, the street side has a nice deck facing the marsh which is on the other side of the street. With the house facing east/west you can sit in either the shade or the sun all day.

Overall I guess I walked 8 to 10 miles up and down the beach starting Friday morning through Sunday. Friday I did two short walks, one in each direction from where the house sits, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Saturday, I did a three hour walk, going one direction, coming back past the house, the down to the other end. Sunday I did the two short walks. Otherwise I sat on one deck or the other reading. 

We had a few late afternoon clouds but nothing to keep up indoors until the sun went down, around 8:15 until last night. A horrible storm rolled in around 7 with jagged lightening and thunder that shook the house. The storms finally blew on through around 10 last night but we had another mild one about 1 this morning.

When we left this morning at 9 to come home it was pouring down rain again. As we drove west the skies cleared up making a nice drive home. I dropped the folks off at their house and arrived home a little after 1:30. After unloading the car and spending some time with Bob and dogs I went out mow the lawn. Although we have had no rain since I left, the grass had still grown pretty high. It's a good thing I set the mower deck down on notch last Monday. The few bedding plants I set out survived since I watered them Wednesday night before I left. After I mowed and came in to cool off, it was in the high 80's, we delivered Shane's birthday present, the Chemistry set Bob purchased. He was delighted with it all the while telling me all about the names of dinosaurs. He can remember and say some pretty big names for a five year old. We only stayed a few minutes then I came home and watered the plants before dinner.

My uncle is an excellent cook. We fixed our own breakfasts and lunch then he and his wife prepared those two hour meals based around chicken, pork, beef, etc. We had a wonderful meal every night. When we left this morning he sent the leftovers we had been freezing home with me of which we ate part of for dinner tonight.

My beach reading went as followed: I finished the Death on Demand mystery I started last week. Started and finished a new Maddy Hunter, Norway to Hide, and am now in the middle of Murder on Monday by Ann Purser. The Maddy Hunter series, A Passport to Peril, features Emily Andrews travel agent for a group of senior citizens from Iowa. In Norway to Hide they are off to Scandinavia where they meet up with a group of senior citizens on the same tour from Florida. The two groups do not get along very well especially after one of Emily's group is accused of murdering one of the Florida group. Hunters books are light and funny with some really different characters other than her senior citizens to keep the plot interesting.

Ann Purser's Murder on Monday is a new series for me. She has written one for each day of the week up through Sunday. Bob has read the first three which we bought at the used book store. Character, Lois Meade lives in the small English Village of Long Farnden. Monday - Friday's she is the house cleaner in five of the village homes. As a mother of three, her house cleaning helps to stretch the budget for her and her husband. As a side to house cleaning, Lois wants to become a special constable, but is turned down because the local police feel like she is too busy with her family and house cleaning business. But, when a local villager is killed in the town hall, the police call on Lois to help with the investigation. Though she prides herself on not being a gossip about the things she knows from cleaning houses, she is willing to help with the investigation if she learns any inside information that will help to solve the case. Purser's books are very much  the small English village mysteries Bob and I like to read and watch.


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

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Back to real life today. I was not too snowed under with backed up work.

While I was gone to the beach another robin, or perhaps the same one, moved back in the same place on the gutter top. My neighbor and Bob said she started building the day I left. Guess we will raise another family of robins.

We had a warm, stormy day. Bob said it poured this afternoon for about ten minutes then stopped. We got between a quarter and half inch of rain. Good enough to wash in the lawn treatment Scott's put down earlier in the day.


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

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Bob put a couple of pictures I picked out from the beach trip up on my page for me today. Did I mention the house has an elevator? From street level to the main floor of the house is actually three levels. There is a short series of steps to the first floor sleeping area inside. From there it is a steep stairway up to the main floor. As with all beach houses it is built high off the ground. Dad is standing on the street level. We were just back from a walk down the street. 

These are just two of several flocks of pelicans that flew over the deck off and on all day. They have rejuvenated their flock on an isolated island nearby. They are beautiful creatures flying over the water hunting for fish.

The first night we were there I missed getting a picture of the sun as it set over that row of trees. The next three nights we had clouds blocking a full view of the sun as it went down behind the trees. These clouds eventually brought us a really bad storm on Sunday night.


Thursday, 5 June 2008

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We went from cool/warm spring weather to sweltering. Highs have been in the low to mid 90's most of the week with more of the same through the weekend. No rain in sight. This is more like late July, early August type weather. I hope we are not in for another hot, dry summer.

Obviously with it that hot out I did not walk at lunch today. Yesterday I had to walk to the post office mail a package. By the time I got back to the building I was dripping sweat. With all the buildings and sidewalks downtown it makes it seem even hotter.

I am still reading the Ann Purser, Murder on Monday. I have been so tired when I go to bed I have not been staying up as late to read. Work is still busy with one project or another.


Friday, 6 June 2008

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Happy Birthday to Bob and to my brother-in-law Al. Bob  elected to have me fix one of his favorite dinners rather than going out. Since the temperatures were still in the mid 90's at five o'clock.

Last night I finally finished the Murder on Monday. Today at lunch I started another Martha's Vineyard mystery, Vineyard Stalker. J.W. finds himself helping out a young woman's whose brother is being vandalized in his home. It just so happens a relative owns the land his simple cabin is sitting on and apparently does not want to wait for him to die so she can sell the land. J.W. stakes out the place one night and catches the guys in the act but they get away. While all this is going on J.W.'s family is safely away visiting Zee's parents. What turns out to be a simple assignment once again turns into much more in the way of murder and mayhem.

After dinner I watered the few bedding plants I have in the front. The stuff I planted last month in back is mostly in the shade and is much more drought tolerant. I can give them a drink tomorrow.


Saturday, 7 June 2008

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It's been a busy morning and early afternoon. I did not sleep in late this morning, getting up right after Bob took the dogs out. First thing this morning I brushed the dogs good and trimmed up the hair under their tummies and back legs. Then they got their Frontline treatment.

I spent half an hour or so picking up and putting away after having been gone last weekend before getting the house cleaning chores completed. Two weeks makes a big difference with all the dog hair and stuff tracked in. As soon as I finished up the inside I headed out to mow the lawn. Even at 10:15 it was getting close to 90 degrees. When I finished up mowing I came in for a bite of lunch and to cool off a little.

After lunch I let Malcolm out back to play. In the shade and with the little bit of breeze it was not too bad. Still, I only let him out for ten minutes. At nine years old he is getting too old to be out in the heat and of course Duncan it way too old. After I let him back in I edged and swept up. By then it was really getting hot. The robins, in building their nest on the gutter, left a trial of twigs, leaves, and assorted other materials strewn across the front porch. I guess they dropped a lot of stuff flying over to the nest leaving a mess for me to sweep up.

Fortunately the humidity is low, 37% with the temperatures at 95 degrees. If this was July and August when we get the high humidity, 50% and up, it would be well over 100 with the heat index. I called it quits in the yard and came in to cool off before taking my shower. The dogs had another quick out but otherwise we will stay indoor this afternoon. Temperatures are supposed to reach 97 before it tops out.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

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Yesterday afternoon we went over to Frances and Al's for dinner. Frances made deviled eggs and egg salad and Al made a delicious squash dish. They had honey baked ham and KFC to go with the sides along with several types of rolls and biscuits. Frances and Al returned home last Monday from a ten day trip to Canada. Part of the trip, Niagara Falls, Montreal, and Quebec, they have done before. On this trip they added Ottawa which we were supposed to go to later this year but changed our trip. We traded stories of our beach trip and their trip. Frances brought me several very interesting books on Ottawa which I will talk about further as I read them along with some other mementos from their trip. We had birthday cake in honor of Bob and Al's birthday on Friday. 

I slept in this morning until 8:30 and spent an hour or so taking my time reading the Sunday paper. While it was still cool, 80 + degrees at 9:30 I took the guys down back for some play time. Afterwards I cleaned up the unfinished part of the basement putting things away and doing a general sweep of the floor with the big broom, flattening cardboard, etc. I then vacuumed and tidied up the finished area of the basement.

Once I finished up downstairs it was time to fix lunch. The temperatures yesterday topped out at around 97, 98 setting new records since 1933. In some areas of the state it topped out over 100. Today is to be worse, with higher humidity along with the 98 degree temperatures. The dogs will get quick walks this afternoon but otherwise we shall stay indoors. It is too hot there even for me.


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