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Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 11 August 2008

Latest Update: Sunday, 17 August 2008 3:10 p.m.

Monday, 11 August 2008

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I'm back from the Windy City. Learned and saw a lot in the short time we were there. I will have pictures up sometime this week. The weather was perfect for our full day of sight seeing. Low 80's, low humidity. I guess I brought it home with me. It is currently 78 degrees, no humidity to speak of, and a low tonight of 60. Very unAugust like weather. It is very dry. The flowers looked pretty droopy. The Bermuda grass has grown as had some of the other from the rains we had last week. Most of the yard is still somewhat green with some brown areas.

While on my trip I read another Ann Purser, Weeping on Wednesday and started a book in a new author and series for me. Laura Childs writes three mystery series, a tea shop, scrapbooking, and cackleberry club. I decided to try the tea shop series. Theodosia Browning runs the Indigo Tea Shop in downtown historic Charleston, SC. The first book in the series is Death by Darjeeling. Since I am enjoying the herb and tea shop mysteries by Susan Albert I thought I might like these.  

Bob did four loads of laundry for us today. I now have to go put it all away. He did the usual three loads of darks, whites, and towels, plus my special work load. I came home and mowed then watered everything real good. Some of the bushes in the front are starting to look a little brown. The lantana is like the Bermuda grass, it loves hot, dry weather.

The first day back at work was not too bad. Hopefully I will get caught up by the middle of the week.


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

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No update


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

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Of the 100 plus pictures I took in Chicago I narrowed the field down to 8. On Thursday night when we arrived we checked into our hotel, The Hampton Inn Majestic. Located in downtown Chicago, the ground floor of the building houses a theater. The hotel is on the 1st floor via elevator. The rooms start on the 6th up to 21st. We were on the 21st. If you have time, look at the website. The outside of the building is beautiful as are the rooms.

We had about two hours between arriving and boarding the bus again for the short trip to Tommy Gun's Garage show. As you can guess from the name, the show offers a 1920's speakeasy with music, comedy, and dinner. We ordered ahead when we made our reservations with several choices between meat, chicken, and pasta. The two ladies standing were part of the show. Everyone in the show also works as wait staff. They take orders, serve, etc while taking a break to go on stage to do a performance either individually or as a group. The MC also chooses people from the audience to participate in some of the skits. The talent was excellent, the show wonderful as was the food. The 2 hour show was over at 9pm. We did not have the place to ourselves, other tourists also came in. They order when they arrive. With full bus loads of people they take our orders ahead of time. If you go to Chicago you might want to take this show in.

On Friday we had a picture perfect day as you will see from the pictures. In the morning we had a step on guide take us on a two hour bus trip taking us by the sites such as Wrigley Field, the lake front beaches, Harpo Studios (Oprah), the Vietnam Memorial, etc. After the bus tour they let us out on Michigan Avenue along what is known as The Magnificent Mile. They gave us two hours to shop and sightsee. Our family chose the Grand Lux Cafe as our place to eat lunch. From there we walked a couple of blocks over to the waterfront for the Wendella Sightseeing Boat Tour. As the link indicates, we took the architectural tour. They point out the buildings, what they are, etc. The round building on the right was one of my favorites. The apartments are on top above the space where the columns are. Below that is the parking garage. 

Another pretty skyline.

I loved this building. Sorry I can't remember the name.

After the boat tour we went back to the hotel. For those who wanted to go, the bus took us down to the Navy Pier for more shopping and/or to eat dinner. The Pier is like an amusement park with shops and restaurants. Lots to do and see.

When the boat tour first leaves the dock they take us out to Lake Michigan to see the skyline from the water. In order to come and go from the river to the lake boats must pass through a lock system since the river is lower. This is a picture looking back from the boat after we went through the lock going out.

The Chicago skyline and Navy Pier from the boat.

Saturday morning before we left Chicago to head home we went to the 103 floor of the Sears Tower called the Skydeck. This is one of the many views. The morning was cloudy with rain showers but this picture turned out pretty good through the window.

As you can see from these few photos, Chicago is a beautiful city. Very clean, lots to do and see. I want to go back and do the museums. We stayed over night in Kentucky going up and back.


Thursday, 14 August 2008

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No update.


Friday, 15 August 2008

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Friday finally got here. It was a very long and tiring week catching up from being off last week. I did make it to the gym Tuesday and last night but did very light workouts both nights.

We had a little rain shower yesterday and another one this afternoon. About 1/2 an inch total.

I am now reading the most recent J.A. Jance, Joanna Brady mystery, Damage Control. It has been two years since her last book in this series. Bob and I also read her J.P. Beaumont series. She has two other series but I have not read those.

Sheriff Brady and husband Butch are busy as usual. They have an infant son to care for as well as Joanna's teen very grown up teen age daughter. The book opens with a short four or five page intro story that I will be interested to see how it fits in with the plot of the book. She has an elderly couple driving over a cliff, two bodies in plastic bags washed into the valley after a severe rain storm, and a possible suicide/burning down of a mobile home with the victim being a handicapped man in a wheelchair. All this happens in one weekend as Butch is trying to get is second manuscript off to the publisher and has been asked to go on a book promotion tour for his first one. 


Saturday, 16 August 2008

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Bob and the dogs let me sleep in until 9am. After spending a leisurely half hour reading the paper and having breakfast I started on the house. It took well over an hour to get things picked up and put away. This includes all my stuff from the trip that I just dumped last Sunday night either on the kitchen table or in my office. If you are wondering about the kitchen table, we only use it to store things temporarily, as a workbench for Bob, and where I eat breakfast. On some occasions we use it for dinner when we have company otherwise Bob and I eat on the This End Up tables that attach to the arms of the sofa/love seat.

While the cleaning upstairs was going on I washed a load of my work cloths. After I finally got everything organized I took the dogs out back to play, switched my load to the dryer and put the sheets in to wash. It took almost as long to do the vacuuming. Two weeks of dog hair and debris brought in from outside. That is why I prefer to clean every week. It makes it much easier.

The only thing left is my desk, piled high with stuff to sort & file, and ironing.

We are still having very unseasonable like August weather. Today's high is 82 with only 47% humidity. Normally this time of year it should be well up into the high 80's or 90's. Not that I am complaining. 


Sunday, 17 August 2008

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Late yesterday afternoon we took a disc of 49 of the 100 pictures I took in Chicago to Walgreens for printing. While did the transfer I did some shopping while waiting on a prescription to be filled. The pictures would be another 20 minutes so we left to go eat across the street at Coppola's. They were closed for vacation so we drove to a new Greek restaurant open the first of year in the place of another one that closed. Bob was skeptical since we ate at the last place when the food was awful. To our delight we discovered a true Greek menu with lots of choices. The food and service was excellent.

After we ate we drove back over to pick up the pictures. Last night we tried out the first season of Weeds. Sort of cross between Wonderfalls, which l liked; and Californication, which I did not like the first 10 minutes of the pilot. The writing and jokes were good in Weeds and at least the raunchy parts were funny and part of the plot.

We had a very weird storm early this morning. I woke up around 1:30 when the room lit up with a flash. I thought perhaps it was car since I did not hear thunder. I finally fell back asleep to wake up again around 2:30 with the room being lit up constantly with flashes. Still no thunder. It was very weird. Finally, Malcolm started barking and growling. I guess he could hear the thunder. I got up to check the radar online. We were under severe storm warning. The storm went just north and east of us. Where it was skirting us we were seeing the sheet lightening but not getting much in the way of thunder or rain. It finally rained very lighting sometime later that morning.

Despite not sleeping well I still was awake at 7:30 and could not go back to sleep. Bob has just gotten up with dogs. After I read the paper I did some work on the computer until time to take off for my folks house for a visit. On the way I did a cardboard drop at the fire station. I had planned on doing some outside projects this afternoon. The morning and early afternoon was still cloudy, cool, and overcast. The yard is not really high enough to mow but I had some other things to do. By the time I left the folks, stopped by Frances' on the way home, and got here it was 2:30. Too late in the day to start yard project plus I was not in the mood. Instead, I put the towels in to wash and took the dogs outside to play.

I have some bills to pay and a letter to write for mom. The hospital, in their internal investigation, of course found nothing wrong with her care at the emergency room. They wrote a letter for follow -up that resembled nothing in the reporting of the true facts. I have an independent source also going to investigate. I need to get some paperwork and letter out to them tomorrow.


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