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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 9 June 2008

Latest Update: Saturday, 14 June 2008 2:20 p.m.

Monday, 9 June 2008

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Greetings from the hot south. Another scorcher today getting up close to 100. Needless to say, I did not go out at lunch. After work I met Frances and Marcie for dinner at Firebirds. Good food, on the higher end of the range. I had grilled salmon, baked potato, and fresh veggies.  

We have yet another bird taking up residence. Remember I mentioned Saturday about the mess on the porch which I thought was from the robins. Not. Instead, a bird is building a nest on the front porch light, thus all the greenery and twigs. Not sure what they, as I have not actually seen a bird in there but they must not be shy to build right at our front door with us and the dogs going in and out. I will try to get a picture this week.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

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I finished up the Vineyard last night and started another China Bayles at lunch today, Love Lies Bleeding. Today is the last day of our recent run of scorching record heat. Tonight when we walked the dogs after dinner it even felt a little cooler. Tomorrow is supposed to only be a high of 85, a virtual cold spell after what it has been. Not getting much in the way of rain with the front. I watered the plants after we walked the dogs.

Bob and I have been trying out various new TV series, Hustle, Six Feet Under and MI-5. We did not make it through the first episode of Hustle or Six Feet before bailing on both. MI-5 was pretty good. Next up Lovejoy which we watch back when they first aired. Every time we have rewatched a series we always discover episodes we've never seen.


Wednesday, 11 June 2008

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no post.


Thursday, 12 June 2008

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Wednesday morning around 1am we had a short, noisy thunderstorm producing about .028 inches of rain. Last night at 10:00 a big storm rolled through with lots of thunder and lightning and dropping well over an inch of rain. The storm lasted about 45 minutes then another smaller one rolled through around 11.I sat up reading through the first one since there was no way I could go to sleep with Malcolm barking ferociously at the thunder. He finally settled down by the time the smaller one came through.

After work, on the way to the gym it started raining big drops as I got further out of town. By the time I got in the gym and changed it started raining a frog chocker that lasted ten minutes or so. We did not have much to show for here in the rain gage but it may have rained harder  there than it did here. It about a mile from our house to the gym. It was pounding the metal roof of the building. It has stopped by the time I finished up my workout. Now it is just a steam bath out there.

The rain will help the plants, trees, and yard. The Bermuda is very high since it likes the hot, dry weather. The rest of the lawn still looks pretty good.

We are under a smoke warning. Wildfires have been burning out of control in the eastern part of the state. The wind shifted this morning bringing the smoke up this far inland. I could smell it when I went out at lunch to go to the bank and grab a bite of lunch.


Friday, 13 June 2008

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I'm not much of a believer in Friday the 13th crap. However, I have had a rather frustrating day getting things done. I left work at 4 to run out to Tim's to get the right turn signal fixed. It started blinking rapidly last week. I knew it was a bulb burnt out. He closes at 5 so I wanted to get there and have time for him to do the work without holding him up closing. Across the street and left of Tim's shop is the Vienna Fire Station where Tim is also the fire chief. When I rounded the curve just before the station I saw the big fire truck parked out in front of the station with the lights going. Just beyond that in the middle of the road a car was turned on its side. Traffic was being routed around the overturned car into the oncoming lane by the fire guys. As I pulled around the accident, Tim was standing there beside the safety truck directing traffic. I waved and pulled in front of the shop. His wife was holding down the fort. About fifteen minutes later he came back in the shop after another guy took over his place directing traffic. By the time he took care of two customers ahead of me and replaced the bulb the street was not completely blocked while the wreckers turned over and hauled off the cars. A quick ten minute stop and back home turned into a thirty minute episode.

I had to turn right from Tims and go further out of town before I could get to a cut over street to head back home. I called Bob to let him know I was on the way. We were going to the library and grab some dinner. Back home I decided to mow the lawn this evening. We still have the smoke and haze from the wildfire hanging around. I thought it would better to mow this evening while there is a breeze than wait until tomorrow when temperatures are to go back up to 90. I had just finished the front and side and started on the back when the self propel cable broke again. Last year when it broke the lawn mower repair guy recommend Bob use a piece of coat hanger to attach the cable back. It had been replaced/repaired once before at the lawn mower shop several years ago. The home repair worked fine last year. Bob had to reattach it a couple of times. Tonight, the cable end itself stripped off. Bob tried to fix it but it would not hold. SO! I mowed the back, which is on a slope both down and to the side by pushing the mower. Push mowers are designed to be pushed by being light weight and easy to push. Self propel mowers are not light and are designed to be pushed. On top of that my left knee, the one not surgically repaired has been acting up for the past two weeks. Fortunately I have a lot of upper body, arm strength that allowed me to do the pushing without having to use my knees/legs too much. Even though it is only 82 the humidity is 50%

I called my lawn mower repair guy to get his opinion of what to purchase if I buy a new one. I bought this Honda in 1992. Two years ago after we replaced the wheels the latch for one of the front wheels came loose and would not stay in the groove to keep it tight in the deck setting. I have the front wheels being held together by a bungee cord and had the self propel cable wired up, so perhaps it is time to retire this one.


Saturday, 14 June 2008

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Last night I finished the China Bayles. Very interesting character development with China's live-in lover, Mike McQuaid. Just when China is ready to say yes to Mike's hundredth marriage proposal their relationship goes on the skids. China gets deeply involved with an undercover operation of one several of the law enforcement body of the Texas Rangers. Last night at the library among the reserves I picked up is the next two books in the series. I may pick up the next one to find out what happens to Mike.

I left the house around 8:45 this morning for the pet store and Wal-Mart. I think the pet store in the Wal-Mart shopping plaza is a Pet Smart. They have a couple of things the pet store near our house do not carry. Once Bob and I had the car unloaded I took off for Sears to look at lawnmowers.

They had two models in stock that fit what I was looking for. The higher price model was the same as the one I purchased but without the elaborate bagging system. It supposedly vacuums the lawn better but since I use the lawn vac in the fall there was no need to pay an extra 100 bucks for that. It was also more of a pain switching from mulching to bagging. In the end I bought pretty much the same type mower I have now with an added feature of a key start. The 2008 model on the floor does not have the key start but they did not have that one in stock. They had last years model with the key start so I took it for $50 less. I was not thrilled about the key start guessing that it would be a quick breakdown feature. It comes with a charging block to recharge the starter after every use. The mower still has a rope pull backup. Bob helped me assemble the handle, filled it with oil and gas, and I cranked it up. The key start is a nice feature. No more having to switch blades from mulching to catching.

While Bob and I were working on the lawn mower Malcolm and Duncan were in the back with us. Several times we looked out from the basement to see Duncan lying happily smiling in the shade in the yard. He loves to lay outside in the grass even when it is hot. After we finished getting the mower assembled I played some ball with Malcolm before putting them back in the house so I could wash my car.

By the time I finished it had turned pretty hot out. I decided call it day outside and put off my other outdoor chores to tomorrow.


Sunday, 15 June 2008

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Happy Father's Day to my dad. How very fortunate I am to still have him around. I am meeting Frances, the folks, and I think Al at Pizza Hut for dinner. Dad loves Pizza Hut pizza, Frances and Al don't have to cook, host, and clean up, and we can all just sit around and have a good time.

This morning I did the weekly cleaning chores. I took the dogs out to help with the yard projects. Although the temperature at 10am was only 78 degrees the humidity must have been 50 to 60%. The dogs' tongues were hanging out after about 10 minutes.

Duncan's back left leg and hip are not doing very well. He falls down a lot, which thankfully, he seems not to get hurt. We have baby gates across both the wide entrances to the living room. One is on the foyer side, the other on the dining room side. There are not doors. Last week Duncan fell into the baby gate breaking it in the middle. He was not hurt but could have been. It was latched only at the bottom on one side to make it easy for me to go in and out. Had it not been latched he may have fallen into and on top of the gate possibly hurting himself and/or not breaking the gate. This morning Bob replaced the gate with two pieces of thick twine going from the top and bottom of the hooks. Yes, this does work. When Lenore lived upstairs we used to put a curtain rod across the door if we needed to keep the dogs out. They are trained not to go over anything at a door. However, should Malcolm spot something standing in the foyer and looking out the living room window he may go charging through the strings.

My main project for this morning was to cut the lower branches from the maple outside our bedroom window. That was one of the trees we had trimmed back a couple of years ago. The tree has sprouted a lot of branches down low that I want to keep from growing out.With my short and long handled loppers I was able to get the majority of them down. Of course, it only takes a short time to cut them down and twice as long to clean up the mess. After I filled the lawn cart I dragged the remaining big stuff to the curb. I did a few more small chores and called it quits.

Last night Bob and I tried another new show, Eureka. Sort of a Sci-Fi type series about a small town full of high IQ scientist funded by the government. The pilot sets up the series scenario when a U.S. Marshall, traveling to LA to return his runaway teenage daughter back to his ex-wife, he wrecks his car. Stranded in the town for a few days he helps solve one of the continues weird events that are always happening in the town. They become so impressed with his skills that when the sheriff of the town dies he is reassigned to the town as the new sheriff. If you like Jericho you may like this series. We watched the pilot and the first episode. Lots of neat characters to latch onto. The weird stuff was not so far out that someone like me could get past to enjoy the interaction of the characters.


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