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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 21 July 2008

Latest Update: Sunday, 27 July 2008 1:00 p.m.

Monday, 21 July 2008

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Saturday morning while I was sitting on the front porch taking a rest break from yard work a female hummingbird flew right by nose to feed from my lantana plant. The by the front porch looks exactly like the one in the picture on Wikipedia. While they are listed as being hardy up to zone 8, we are 7, my dies off in the winter but comes back every summer. It gets about three feet high and two feet wide. I just planted a red one in another bed in the front where I moved a camellia bush. It was not doing well in that spot so I moved it to the bed along the house. I also get a lot butterflies at the lantana. The hummingbird flew off but came back for some more food a few minutes later. It was fun to get a good upclose look at how fast their wings beat.

I am reading the new Donna Andrews, Cockatiels at Seven. Just started it at lunch today. I will update you later in the week. 

The hot, muggy weather has returned. I think it reached close to 97 today with 40 to 50% humidity. Needless to say I did not walk at lunch but I did hit the gym on the way home.


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

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Duncan has morphed himself into our previous dog Kerry. When Kerry got to be about Duncan's age, 13 1/2 he too had hip problems. He would lay on the hardwood floor and thrash around with his front paws trying to get up on the slippery surface. We were constantly going around helping him to get up, he would move to a new place, lie down, and start all over again.

To combat the problem for Duncan, or so we thought, we have various size scatter rugs with rubber backing in the den, the foyer, the kitchen and the bathroom. Places he likes to lie down. Do you think he lies on the rugs? Of course not. He will lay down between the rugs in the den, in the hall where there are not rugs, in the middle of the kitchen, etc. Everywhere but on a rug. Bob spends all day listening to his scrabble, scrabble, noises. When we finally had to make the decision to put Kerry to sleep was when he could no longer get up at all and started having accidents while sitting in them. Not quality of life for a dog.

If Duncan gets in places where he can brace his back legs he can still get up as well as on carpet. He falls down a lot just walking around but seems to take it all in stride. He is on a joint supplement and Previcox. Yesterday I talked with our vet about trying a new type of NSAID. They were out of stock on one I asked him if we could try which he recommended, Metacam. It is a liquid. Since we have to give Duncan a few days of break between going off the Previcox and on the new stuff, I am doing that now while I wait on the Metacam to come in. As I told one of my readers who I exchange mail with about our dogs; she has an old dog too, Duncan is stubborn as a mule. As was Kerry. I am certain Kerry lived to be almost 16 due to his strong constitution.

Hot as heck today, with temperatures and heat index over 100. I had a haircut appointment after work. When I left to come home it was raining large drops in some spots and pouring in others. I was just east of where we live about 15 minutes away. A very large, dark storm with lots of thunder and lightening was following me home but when I got to our house it had stopped coming this way. Although we did not get the rain or the bad storm they got on the east and south side of town the temperatures here dropped from 95 to 85 in less than an hour. Where it rained it dropped down into the high 70's.

If you read my page a couple of weeks ago I told you about my mom and  her bad experience at one the hospital emergency rooms before we finally got her in the other hospital. Last Monday I mailed a letter to the hospital. Today my mom and I both got response letters stating a complaint has been filed in my mom's name to the emergency room. We are to hear something in several weeks. Guess we will see what comes of this.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

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One of Those Days at work. We had a drop dead deadline which meant I was running back and forth from the scanner and copier helping to prepare documents. By noon things were still under the gun so I worked through lunch to be available as needed. Late this afternoon I had to read through and compare two documents for sameness. By 4pm things were pretty much under control. In between I found a batch of files in the wrong place. Had to shift files again to make room for where they belonged.

At 4:30 I called it a day. I had to return something to Lowe's and make a quick Wal-Mart trip to pick up a few essentials to last until we make a Costco run this weekend. Just as I arrived home the skies were getting dark to our north and west, where we generally get our rain from. Last night the storm that sat over the middle and south of the county dumped four to six inches of rain, felled trees, knocked out power, etc. We had a small storm later in the night that brought a little rain. Tonight, the storm was coming in while we ate dinner.

After we checked the radar for severity we started watching The Tudors. I have read several different opinions of the show but wanted to give it a try. As Bob mentioned on his page we are bagging the remainder of Robin Hood. The storm finally went through allowing us to feed the dogs and clean up the kitchen. The temperature and humidity had dropped considerable when we walked the dogs.


Thursday, 24 July 2008

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I finished the Donna Andrews Tuesday night and started a Kate Ellis. I discovered her many years ago but have been unable to get the most recent of her four books. She is a British publisher that does not do much business in the US. I found her earlier books at the library but they stopped getting them nor could I find them in bookstores here or when I was traveling. I found one at Malice last year at a Canadian vendor booth. I ordered a couple of more from them this year via e-mail since I did not get to go back to Malice.

Andrews recent book, Cockatiels at Seven has Meg looking for her friend Karen who is the mother of two year Timmy whom she dropped off for Meg to watch for " a couple of hours". When she did not return by the next morning Meg was hot on the trail. Meg has lost touch with her friend after she married and did not know Karen  had a young boy or that she was divorced. When the mother's ex turns up dead things start to get a bit crazy. Karen worked in the accounting department at the college where Meg's husband teaches. As the FBI are investigating an embezzlement crime within the accounting department, Meg soon learns the disappearance of Karen, the dead ex, and the embezzlement are all related. Meg finds taking care of a two year old more than she was prepared for which made her contemplation of having their own little one something very serious to ponder.

Another wickedly busy day work. I picked up Bob for a quick library stop and dinner at the Chinese restaurant. I am writing this page while my dinner settles before I go out and mow the lawn. Still have to get the trash and recycling up for tomorrow as well.


Friday, 25 July 2008

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Happy Birthday to my dad. He is 86 years old. I picked them up after work to go to Texas Land and Cattle Steak House. We met Al and Frances there. Very good meal. It was my first time. Good food, great service. Mid-price range. Both dad and mom are doing very well. Mom went back to the doctor yesterday. He is very pleased with her progress. She is taking a ten day high doss of antibiotic to treat the H-Pylori. The first of September she goes back for another camera look at her stomach to make sure the ulcer has shrunk.

TGIF! Whew! It has been a long week. 


Saturday, 26 July 2008

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With no yard work on the schedule for today I decided to give the dogs their quarterly baths first things this morning. Or mid-morning. The dogs and Bob let me sleep in. I did not even hear them get up. After dog baths I am washing the load of towels it takes for that project. Two on the bathroom floor, two to dry them off, and one to dry me off. I also need to wash a load of work cloths and iron this afternoon.

In between I had a mountain of papers on my desk to be sorted and filed, checks to write, checkbook to balance, etc. Lots of fun stuff to keep me busy.

I am enjoying the Kate Ellis book, A Cursed Inheritance. DI Wesley Peterson is investigating the murder of a young man found floating in the Trad river. Several days later Peterson and his team learn the man was killed on the grounds of a healing center located in an old 16th century Devon home known as Potwoolstan Hall then dumped in the nearby river. Potwoolstan home was the scene of a brutal murder of the family who owned the home twenty years earlier. The housekeeper, who supposedly committed suicide after she went on a rampage killing the family. It is discovered the young man killed was investing the murder, his belief being someone else committed the crimes. The daughter of the house keeper hid during the shootings but witnessed the entire events as a young girl. Now as a grown woman she decorates doll houses to sell. She has built and decorated an exact replica of the Hall including the murdered family members based on flashback from her memory of what happened. She keeps it hidden from her husband and her father. In order to recall the horrid events and learn who really killed the family and her mother she books a week at the new age center. Also in residence under an assumed name is the husband of one of the daughters of the murdered family. She escaped being killed by being away in London overnight.

Wesley, who studied archeology in college, has a good friend who has gone to the States to study a dig at historic Annetown. From the description of Annetown, I feel like Ellis modeled her fictional town on Jamestown, VA. The clue to the murders in Devon twenty years ago and present may lie in the historic town across the Atlantic Ocean.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

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Malcolm let us sleep in until 8:15 when I woke up anyway. I did the usual weekly house cleaning chores while Bob did the laundry. I took the guys out back for some play time but not for very long. At 11.30 this morning it was already 87, felt like 90. After I put the dogs back in I watered the back flowers. My black eyed Susan Marcy gave me to transplant has bloom. The other stuff that survived the early transplanting are doing well. I will have to wait to water the front flowers this evening after the sun goes around to the back of the house.

Last night I grilled steak, chicken, and yellow/zucchini squash along with a roll of French bread. We are doing a Costco run this afternoon.


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