Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's been forever

since I posted anything. Facebook has overtaken my cyberspace life, I guess. And it has been very busy at work and with Tori's involvement in the LHS show, which ran last week/weekend.

Thanksgiving is already here - how weird! Time is just flying by. We're going to spend Thanksgiving with my family at Tim & Lisa's, and I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe it will help me clear my head of all the crap running through it as a result of Tori's student directing experience. Enough said in such a public forum...enough said in general. I have to let that poisonous stuff go!

Work remains very busy. The Frederick County Commissioners keep throwing around the possibility of privitizing the facility, which would be a huge mistake. But there it is, cropping up in the newspapers every now & then. So it's up to my colleagues and me to keep on keepin' on and do our best work to show them why we need a governmentally owned/run nursing home in Frederick. I do love my job, and the residents. Their families can be challenging, but what families aren't?!? They're facing giving over their loved one's care to us, strangers, and they're scared, or feeling guilty. They don't understand a lot of what goes into taking care of an ailing person. The payment system is complicated, and they are worried about paying for it all. I'd be a pain in the butt, too!

Anyway, between work and home, life is full. And I have to remember that it's generally a good life. Sure, there are bumps in the road. The hardest thing is overcoming the urge to protect Tori from all of the negative stuff. I can't - and shouldn't - do so. The sooner she realizes that there are people out there who you thought you could trust that will turn on you, or those who are supposed to help but hurt, the stronger she'll become. She's already learned lessons at age 16 that I didn't learn until I was in my 30's. I've told her that, and am trying to help her move forward. But I have to let go and move forward myself in order to help her. So onward I go......

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

split personality

November 1, miss Tori before she's gone....November 2, wish Tori was on her own, her crappy attitude with her...November 3, ???

Which relationship will prevail today? The mom wants daughter by her side forever or mom would like to shove daughter out of the nest head-first? Hmmmmm....I wonder.....

We went to the Fine & Performing Arts College Fair in D.C. yesterday, which precipitated much of the above angst. She was surly and ungrateful that I spent one of only two days I get off each week there for HER while she barely spoke to any college reps or took info from any schools. She got mad at me for naming schools as we passed the booths - it was crowded and it was hard to see what schools were where, so as I could see the sign, I turned back and told her what was ahead. That really annoyed her. So I gave her the boot - I went and sat and waited for her to finish her foray through the aisles. Which took all of 3 minutes because she wouldn't talk to anyone without me with her. She is driving me nuts!!!!!

Anyway, she did pick up info from two promising schools - one in Hartford, CT and one on Staten Island. She is bound & determined to be in/near NYC which, as long as they offer a good financial aid package, will work for me. She wouldn't even pick info up from UMBC, which has a great program - discounted it right off the bat. I understand, because I wouldn't originally have even considered it, but they have a wonderful program and offer a lot of aid. She simply seems to have no real grasp on what a difference it can make to graduate from college without a mountain of debt. Well, if she owes $80,000 upon graduation, it will be her debt, not ours, I guess.

Soooo.....I really need to get my butt in gear and get in to work. Later!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

It's November 1st, so the first words I said this morning are in the title of this blog. We need all the good luck we can get in 3 days when voters go to the polls. Please, God. Please.

Halloween was fun, as usual - my favorite Holiday. Tori is peeved at me because of the creepy clown doll I hung in the linen closet and then put in her purse. But come on - it was Halloween! She'll get me back eventually, and I'm an easy scare.

Lucy went to work with me in her ladybug costume, and I dressed as a butterfly - well, I wore wings and deely-bopper thingies on my head. She was a big hit. It was one of the busiest days I've had in recent memory, and I was glad to get the heck out of dodge and get home to the trick-or-treaters....

Now, we used to get 100 or so kids come by, but last night, we had maybe 20 or 25 if we were lucky. Tibby (Tori's final day-care mom) came with her four kids, and they were adorable. Her youngest turns 1 today, and last year, she had her mucho pregnant tummy painted like a jack-o-lantern! Melissa is such a cutie, as are Jack, Grace & Dawson. So we had a Hannah Montana come by, several princesses, an adorable St. Bernard (Mandy, age 1 1/2, from next-door), and a variety of other spooks & goblins.

November is here...weird. Time is just flying. Thanksgiving is a mere 4 weeks away, the Christmas. Tori is ever closer to her Senior year and then college. Last night I got a taste of how independent she's becoming. She and I have always done Halloween together - getting her ready in costume, handing out treats, and seeing her off to trick-or-treat here in Unionville. But not this year. She wore her costume to school, had rehearsal until 5, then drove over to Siobhan's house in Woodspring to hang out with friends and trick-or-treat in Woodspring and The Meadows. Didn't get home until after 9:30. I truly missed her being with me. And the years when she won't be with me at all are speeding toward me at an alarming rate. Who knew I'd be so sad? I've been saying for years that it's the natural order of things and, if I'm doing my parenting job well, we'll both be ready for her to fly away. Well, I lied! I will miss her terribly. There, I said it. Teen attitude and all, she is my baby. And I already miss her. *sniff* *sniff*

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thanks MOBAC/Uncle Kit

Tori and I have now entered the 21st Century thanks to my big brother, Kit - he sent us both GPS systems for our use! Especially useful for a new driver. I got one panicked call on my cell phone while I was in VA Beach because she'd gone too far down Jefferson Pike and was almost to Lander Road instead of at dance. She finally has the routes to routine places down pat, but if there's traffic or a detour - uh oh. So this will really be a life-saver. Not to mention we can use it when we go on road trips to visit colleges in unfamiliar territory, and to find our way around NYC on our next visit. And around Myrtle Beach in February. See - the possibilities are endless!

It's almost Wednesday, which is almost Friday, so I'm in much better spirits. Now if we could just get Bo's bladder infection under control so he quits peeing everywhere....I just scrubbed the kitchen floor and the dining room is next. I can't see any pee, but I sure can smell it....now to determine if it's all due to illness or he's just being spiteful because of Lucy being here. They play well and seem to get along, but who knows what on earth goes on in their little brains...

If you have any suggestions for products or remedies that work to get rid of pee smell, please let me know. I've tried many things, including expensive stuff from 2-Paws Up, but no real relief.

Now I just need to get caught up on the mundane, such as laundry. And I don't want to totally bore anyone reading this with anything THAT mundane, so I'll end here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've got the blues

And not from eating Kraft Mac & Cheese, either. It's Monday. A full work week looms ahead. Yuk. We are due for our annual survey by the State, and they may show up today. Double YUK. And I have a lot on my plate, including primary responsibility for admissions. Biggest YUK of all.

I'm trying to have a positive attitude about work. At least I have a job I generally love in these crummy economic times. At least I get to take Lucy in with me, and she cheers everyone up. At least I have a lot of flexibility and have a lot of fun things I get to do. At least I am not at DHMH anymore (now THAT was a nightmare of a place to work).

And it's Fall, my favorite season. The frost is on the pumpkins, and the air is crisp and finally cold enough for me. OK, so things are looking up....and I am fortunate enough to get four (count 'em, four) paid holidays in November because of Election Day and the day after Thanksgiving. And I have a wonderful loving family and a beautiful (if very small) roof over my head and food in the pantry.

OK, so life is pretty damn good. See, I knew I could turn things around!!! Blue no more (well, a lighter shade of blue anyway).

If only I could help Tori see the bright side - she dyed her hair last night to make it darker and it's....well....it's darker alright - pretty much black. And she hates it. And she's near tears. Oh dear. I think that this one may have to be remedied in the salon. She's been really lucky so far that of all the colors she's tried, she hasn't hated any of them. But this time...well, it's a huge change, from coppery blonde to black. But this, too, shall pass. And as I think I've written before, it's only hair. It can be changed.

Unlike the day of the week...it's Monday for the whole day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lucy is FAMOUS!

Check out www.cutewithchris.com and scroll down to posts for October 14 - you'll see Lucy in her ladybug costume! She was on that website when we first brought her home - Tori sent one in of her "laughing." And now this time. She is just the cutest thing in the world. Be sure to click on comments to read what people had to say - it's pretty funny!


I sure got my laugh for the week when I tried Lucy's Halloween costume on her - I can just see from her face what she must've been thinking - "I can't BELIEVE she's humiliating me this way -sheesh. Can I please take it off now???!?!?!" But darn, is she cute!

I have been trying to slow the speed of life down and enjoy things more. Yeah, as if in the middle of a historical and contentious Presidential election season I can avoid frustration... I will be so glad when it's November 5th (well, as long as the correct candidate wins).

We're taking Tori up to Towson U tomorrow for an Open House, and I'm really looking forward to that. While we both loved Marymount Manhattan, I'm hoping that she can love TU for at least two years before transferring there to save us some $$$ and let her ease into college life in a less urban environment. We'll be hitting a Fine & Performing Arts College Fair in D.C. in November to try to choose a few more schools to visit/apply to.

I went for my orientation to dog training last night, and I have a lot of work to do. Lucy's first class is Friday evening. I think she'll do just fine, it's me that will need to learn to behave!

So Leann won Project Runway - woot! I loved her collection. I would love to bid on her gown online, but that's just a pipe dream. Besides, who is 5'11" and a size 0-2?? No one in this house!

Off to another zany day at work....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I hate feeling sick. Especially the day after a 3-day weekend, when it might look suspect that I'm calling off of work. Oh well. I can tell you that I don't LIKE these stomach ailments - they suck - well, actually, the opposite but that's getting a bit too graphic for a public blog!

So, I'll be home today. I have conferences with Tori's teachers and the Drama Booster meeting this afternoon/evening, so I am praying that I feel much better by 3:30 today.

Lucy is going to start training on Friday to get some basics under her collar, then attend training to become a Therapy Dog! I am really excited about working with her on this, and being trained myself. Actually, my training is probably more of a challenge than hers - I have to learn to be consistent and not let her get away with things like kissing me all over and jumping into my arms when I get home. Truth is, I enjoy her exuberance, and it's going to be hard for me to keep her from showing me how much she loves me that way. But for the greater good of her ability to be a good companion to me and our residents at Citizens, I have to do it. Her sweet personality will still be evident, I'm sure. And boy is she a sweetie!

So life is ever more busy despite Tori driving. Why didn't I see that coming? Between Lucy's training, FtP Board stuff, LHS Drama stuff, and work, I still don't have enough hours to clean my house and scrapbook/card create as I need.

Well, gotta run....ugh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

trying again

So, I posted a wonderful, huge blog the other week and *poof* - it vanished into thin air. I hate it when that happens!

And I have no idea what it referenced at this point.

This one will be short & sweet as I have to head out of here for a work-related event at a church in Middletown. Can I just say that I love my liberal friends?? We had some folks over last night to eat munchies & drink wine (or whatever) and sit around the fire pit and just discuss the state of the union (which we all agree sucks more since the nomination of Sara Palin as GOP VP candidate). We had a wonderful time!
It has been such a beautiful weekend. LHS Homecoming dance was last night, so I've included a couple of those pics here:
I hope to post more substantial thoughts later.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just another Manic Thursday

Well, I know that's not the way the song goes, but it was especially true of my day!

The Frederick Elder Expo was today, and it is always a hectic day for me. True to form, I'd forgotten to get a gift card to donate as a bingo prize, so I had to stop at the Giant and buy one. This put me behind in getting to the Expo, but I was by no means late. I got all set up, and also true to form, the little old people came streaming through at a rapid clip, grabbing up all of my give-aways in record time.

The highlight of my day was getting to meet Sen. Barbara Mikulski and get my picture taken with her. I had met her last year, but didn't have my camera. Today, I had it with me because I had to go to the FtP studio to take pictures of the show posters from the past 40 years. Good thing, because I was prepared when she arrived. She was very, very gracious. I was excited!

So after the Expo I did, indeed, go take pictures of the posters so I can send them to Comcast. I was interviewed earlier in the week for Comcast 10's Artscape (Susan Thornton's show about arts and culture in Frederick County) which will air starting next Tuesday October 7th. Hey - that would've been mom's 82nd birthday. How poetic! Anyway, they wanted .jpg's of posters from throughout the last 40 years to highlight during the segment, so I had to get them taken and over to them.

That done, I came home and straightened up a bit, swept the driveway and deck, which was FULL of black walnuts, leaves, and twigs, and collapsed on the sofa. Tomorrow will be an insanely busy day as well, as will Saturday.

Tori is nursing a sprained back. She fell in the dining room on Sunday and has been in a lot of pain. I feel really badly for her, but she HAS to get back to school!!!!

I am getting nervous about tonight's VP debate. Biden just can NOT screw this up!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ahhhh, Autumn!

Walking Lucy this morning at O'Dark-thirty, I reveled in the cool, crisp morning. I simply love this time of year. The air smells different - better - than at any time of year (except maybe how it smells right before it starts to snow). Apples and pears are crunchy and sweet. I want to move around more - not so humid and sticky out there. And my favorite holiday, Halloween, is not too far off. Time to decorate the house & yard and get ready for trick-or-treaters!

So, life is good. Ahhhh, Autumn!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Home again, home again...

..jiggity jig. Well, I'm not exactly doing a jig to be going back to work today, but it sure is nice to be home!

The weekend, once I got home, was nice. Bruce & Tori had baked me a b'day cake and planned to have a family dinner on Saturday, so we grilled out despite the rain (it seems to have followed me home) and had a nice meal together.

Sunday, I started laundry, did some sweeping up, and just tried to enjoy my day. I had some errands to run and I went and spent the gift card to Coldwater Creek that Bruce gave me for my birthday - thanks, Bruce! I got three really nice tops - one to wear as a set and one amazing t-type top that has amazing colors in it. I met with a colleague from FtP to plan a tv taping I have at Comcast tomorrow, for Artscape with Susan Thornton. And I watched the Redskins BEAT THE COWBOYS!!!! WOOO HOOO! (Take that, Travis!)

Then it was time with Tori & Lucy. We built a fire in the new fire pit and Maggie (our other daughter in heart and soul) came over to make s'mores and hang out. The Amazing Race premiere was on, so of course I was glued to that and the season premiere of Desperate Housewives.

Anyway, woke up about 40 minutes later than ideal, so I have got to get running. More later...

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Today was an indoor day. Reading scrpits for FtP, finishing the novel I have been reading, making cards, and napping.....a good day.Plus, the season premiere of Survivor is on, so I'm psyched about that. But, of course, one of the two teams sucks, and they are about to vote their 2nd member off. Every damn season - why can't the teams be more evenly matched?!?!?

Anyway, we're hoping that the weather breaks a good deal tomorrow so that the Neptune Festival can get underway and we can go find some of the sand sculptors and their sculptures. Also, the arts & crafts vendors are supposed to set up at about 3:00, so we hope the winds and rains abate enough to allow that so that we can do some browsing. Tomorrow's our last full day, and we'd like to spend it outdoors if possible. I still want to swim in the ocean at least once more before we leave.

But regardless, it's been a great, relaxing week. I'm sort of missing my family, and of course I miss Lucy, too! I'm re-energized and ready to get back to "real life."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deleted updates

So, I typed an entire post yesterday, then somehow hit the "back" button in my browser and lost the whole thing. Dang. It was profound, too "-)

Ruthie and I went back to Beach Scrapbooks today to get pens to write on the back of a pic I took of us with the Neptune scuplture at 31st St. We want to send the prints as postcards. Of course, while there, I did more than buy pens....

BUT -- I got to meet Melissa and Jen!!! Susan is a real sweetie, too, and we had met her on Monday when we went in. But today the co-owner, Jen, and zany Melissa were also in the store. I felt as though I'd known them forever - reminded me a lot of Gina and how we clicked right away. I may go crop on Friday with them and the store regulars. The weather is supposed to go downhill from here, so I may get a lot done if I crop with all of them.

So, I was bound & determined to get in the ocean on my birthday. And, I did! Ruthie gamely ventured down to the beach with me, beach chair and blanket in hand, and we tried, really we did, to sit down there for awhile. Within just a few short minutes, everything in our bags was covered in sand. Buried. I got into the ocean up to my hips, but the waves and the outward pull of the tide were so strong that there was a foot-deep hole where I stood in less than a minute. I took some pics for posterity, we got sandblasted by blowing sand, and we retreated back up to the room to read in here. It wasn't worth getting whipped with blowing sand! We are still picking sand granules out of our hair, eyes, ears, and mouth - yuk!

So, it's been a restful and quiet day (except for the 10 minutes of chaos that was the beach on a day when the winds were gusting up to 37 mph!). We still have two full days of relaxation left, and are going to enjoy them thoroughly.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not a good beach day, but who cares?!?

It was very windy and cloudy all day, and the wind continues to whip around out there. But hey - is there ever a bad day at the beach?

We walked around a lot today once we got moving. I didn't sleep well last night and was awake from about 2:45 - 5:30 this morning, so it wasn't until close to 11 that we actually got out and about. We found Beach Scrapbooks, an amazing non-chain scrapbook store here in VA Beach. And yes, I spent some $$. Many, many thanks to my big bro, Kit, otherwise known as M.O.B.A.C. (explanation to follow in a future blog sometime....maybe), who called down and left me a very generous b-day gift card there. I bought some really cool papers, a VA Beach 6X6 scrapbook, a Quikutz disc for the Silhouette, and some other amazing stuff that I've never seen anywhere else. I hope to spend some time tonight cropping at the small kitchen table in the condo. Poor Ruthie may never see or be able to use that table again during the duration of our vacation...

Anyway, then we found a Pier One and some other shops, ate lunch, and came on back, hoping to hit the beach for an hour or three, but it was just too windy and cool. I really didn't want sand in both eyes, both ears, my hair, and my mouth, thank you. And the water looked REALLY rough. It was bad enough yesterday when the waves were monstrous. But the water is pretty warm, I'd say about 82 or 83 degrees.

So now we're just relaxing at "home" - I'm piddling around on the computer and reading and Ruthie is getting into the book I brought, "Lost & Found," which is a really good read. I'm about to catch the Season premiers on CBS, shows I missed all of last year because Tori had voice & dance on Monday nights. So, sadly, I'm excited about this! Now if there just weren't annoying political ads every other minute....November 6th can't come quickly enough!

More later...tomorrow will be the day to parasail as the weather is expected to only get gloomier as the week progresses.....Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

1st Day of Vacation

We're here in VA Beach, and relaxin' over coffee, listening to the sound of the waves right outside our window. The sunrise was obscured by clouds, but it was still lovely. We haven't ventured out onto the sand yet, but that's not too far off. There are quite a few people out there walking, and I think that Ruthie & I are about to go out and join them!

Walked the boardwalk and Atlantic Ave some last night. VA Beach sure has a different vibe than Rehoboth - much more urban. But it's the beach and that's all that matters.

We got pizza last night at this place that says they have the best pizza in town, and I believe it - it was delicious!

So, day one is underway. Who knows what adventures await.....more later!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vacation prep, invisible fences, and the BEACH!

True to form, Lucy woke me up at 6 a.m., even on Saturday. It's all good, though, 'cause the Invisible Fence guy is coming at 7:30 to give me an estimate. Then I have to pack, organize Lucy's stuff to go to Carol & Bob's, and see if I can manage to pack up SOME (but not too much) craft stuff so I can make some cards at the condo if the weather isn't favorable for beach lounging. I figure that card making isn't too supply-heavy if I manage it well.

So Ruthie and I are going to head out around 2 p.m. and meander down I-95 toward VA Beach. It is so nice to just have to worry about the 2 of us, not about 15 people total. I don't think we're going to know how to act! So, we've agreed to just float along this week and do what we feel like doing when we feel like doing it. No pressures, no expectations - just relaxation. I am sooo in need of this coming week!!!

I plan to take my laptop down, so if there's wi-fi, I'll be updating from down there. Otherwise, I'll "see" everyone when I get back!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh, DEER!!!

Thanks to Gina for the title - yes, I hit a deer last night on my way home at about 10 p.m. - it was a big sucka, too. I saw its panicked face and I'm sure it saw mine...then BANG!!! It hit my passenger side front end. I kept driving, praying hard & fast "Please, God, let me get to a safe spot to pull over or make it home!!!!" I was relieved not to have blown my right front tire, but I could hear that something was dragging. The vehicle behind me was flashing its lights, but I was too afraid to pull over until I got somewhere well lit. And, since I had idiotically left my cell phone in my office, I wanted somewhere with a pay phone (there aren't many of THOSE around anymore!).

So, I limped along to the 7-11 in Libertytown. I'd hit the deer just past the Liberty Road Seafood place, so I was so happy to make it that far. The vehicle behind me pulled in, too, and checked to make sure I was OK, which was really nice of them. It was a young family, mom, dad & 2 young boys. The dad helped me disconnect the crud that was dragging - it was my running lights and grille. Another guy let me use his cell phone to call Tori. I told her that I'd hit a deer and if I didn't make it home in 10-15 minutes, please drive down Liberty Road and look for me to drive me home. She didn't recognize the guy's cell # on caller ID and so didn't pick up at first....I was about to panic.

I learned that I do not do well in a crisis situation. Bruce says I should've pulled over right away and put on my flashers. But there was no way I wanted to chance A) the car not starting up again once I stopped; B) being stranded on the dark roadside with no cell phone; C) having the vehicle behind me contain homocidal maniacs; D) seeing the injured deer writhing on the shoulder or staring deadly at me; or E) all of the above. So, I just kept going. The dad in the car behind me said that I was throwing up sparks the whole way and they were really worried. They were very kind.

So, I'm very sore on my left side, but otherwise OK. I was pretty shaken up. It could have been much, much worse. At least I didn't have Tori or Lucy with me - they likely would've been injured as it hit on that side of the car.

So, life goes on. The car is in the body shop so I have to drive the big butt truck for a day. No biggie except I suck at driving that monster. And it's harder to manage the wheel with my left arm while shifting because I drive it so seldom and it is such a stiff clutch. But I'll survive.

So, that's my big adventure for this week.....let's hope I have no more!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


is better than Monday, but still not late enough in the week! Especially this week, which stands between me and the sand 'tween my toes.

Back to School night was enlightening. I got to spend lots of $$$ on a yearbook, PTSA membership, and the PSAT fee. Plus Tori picked up class ring info - now there will be a chunk 0' change! She could have gotten a ring last year, but we felt like that should be a Junior year thing. It's weird - when I was in high school, it was a huge deal Junior year with a ring formal and everything. Now, they just get 'em whenever. And I'm not even sure that most people get class rings, do they? AND - Tori and I are having this battle: I say the stone should be in one of the school's colors, she says it's supposed to either be your birthstone or just a color you like. WHAT? This is tough for me to get my head around, but I want her to wear it if we're going to spend the money. Anyone else reading this have an opinion on it?

So I got to meet her teachers, and all but Laz are in their 50's or 60's I think. First year this has happened. I swear that her precalc teacher was about 12..... I can say that there is no way I could do her coursework. I'd be falling asleep in 4th period English (sorry, teach). Beowulf? UGH.

Well, I have to get my day moving along. Lucy just ate and needs a good long walk before I crate her for the day. I really don't want to go in to work today!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Six days and counting...

...until Ruthie and I leave for our week together in VA Beach. I just found out about a scrapbook store there, Beach Scrapbooks, that looks absolutely heavenly! Uh oh....and the owners/employees look like kooks, which is wonderful! I've enjoyed watching their posted videos. I think that I will fit right in there. Sorry, Bruce...

So, this week will be a bit hectic, I'm afraid, since Brandy is off and that leaves me in the Admissions role. I really should've left the house by now, but I'm dragging my feet terribly. I'll get there eventually.

Tonight is back to school night, so I'll meet Tori's teachers and get to spend some more time in the new building. I am sort of looking forward to it, actually. I want to ask her AP teachers some questions and the activities fair part is always fun. And this year it won't be in an un-airconditioned gym!!! So I won't sweat to death, which is always nice.

Well, on with my day....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Date Night

Bruce and I had the first date night together in waaayyyy too long. We went to see Burn After Reading, the new Coen Bros film and really enjoyed it. It was a bit bazarre, much like a Seinfeld episode the way it twisted and turned back around to meet itself.

Brad Pitt was hysterical - I'm really not a big Pitt fan, but he made me laugh out loud constantly. It was extremely well cast, and so much fun. The ending was a bit abrupt, but then again it sort of fit in with the whole timbre of the movie.

Go see it!!!

So then we hit Barley & Hops for dinner. It was nice to relax, have a craft-brewed beer (I had nut brown - yum) and eat a quiet dinner. We got to talk some things out and try to understand each other better, which is always a good thing. After almost 22 years of marriage, things can be interesting, to say the least!

Then we got home to watch the Season Premiere of SNL - not worth it. Other than the opening skit, with Tina Fey as Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary, it was really crappy. Michael Phelps had no decent material to work with and I didn't bother for long. Even Weekend Update fell flat. They're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that to make it worth staying up so late. The puppy gets up at 5 or 6 even on weekends, so.....

that's it for now!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gina + Sylvia + margaritas = a wonderful evening

I hung out with two of my favorite people in the world, Gina & Syl last night at Syl's place in Columbia. We hadn't had time for a Margarita Night since - well, none of could remember, exactly...so it was long overdue. We try to do it at least every few months, but life is barrelling forward at a break-neck pace these days. The three of us all worked for the ACS at the same time several years ago. Gina and I met in 2000 when I was on the Frederick Relay For Life Committee as a volunteer and she was a staff person. We are both cancer survivors, diagnosed the same year (1998) so we clicked right away. She is truly the Lucy to my Ethel! It is her fault that I am a scrapbooking addict, and I love her for that.

I joined the ACS staff in March of 2001, and Sylvia did as well - we were in the same orientation group and discovered how much we had in common then. She worked in the Anne Arundel Co. office, so we didn't see each other extremely often, but when we got together we really enjoyed each others' company. One Friday after work in 2002, the three of us met at Chili's in Eldersburg for dinner & margaritas, and Margarita Night Was Born!!!

None of us now work for the ACS any longer, but we just love each other so much that we've kept the tradition going. Usually, we meet at Chilis, order three Presidente margaritas (one with salt, two without) and a queso skillet dip to share. Sometimes we eat dinner, sometimes not, but we ALWAYS end the evening with molten lava cake with 3 spoons...I've even scrapbooked this part!!! Anyway, last night Syl served us these decadent chocolate with vanilla ice cream bon-bons she got at Trader Joe's, and they were perfect at the end in place of lava cake! YUM!

So, I am still riding on the wave of happiness that I get when I'm with the two of them. They are amazing women, and I love 'em mucho!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Family Reunion Photo

As I read back over my older blogs, I realized that I never did post a family reunion pic. So here it is!

Wow - it's been a while!

Thanks to Lori for letting me know that I haven't updated in two weeks....been crazy around here! Nothing exciting, just the mundane every-day stuff that keeps me hopping.

Work has gotten really busy and is about to get busier: my colleague who directs the Admissions "department" (it's really only the two of us plus one other who helps out) is having her first baby and her last day will be Oct. 3 - she's resigned so she can stay home with him. Sooo....back to where I was two years ago when Lorna resigned. That time, it took a year to replace her. Pray for me that it isn't a year this time - I may not survive. I so much more enjoy the marketing and creative aspects of my job than the paperwork-laden admissions piece. And my title is Director of Marketing, so....yea, I don't like it when the admissions slot is open!

Top it all off with the fact that she's in a day-long training today and then on vacation next week, so for the next 6 weekdays I'm flying relatively solo. Marilyn will help me when she can, but she has other job responsibilities as well. Again - Pray for me!!!

Lucy went to work with me yesterday and my colleauge Paul, who adopted her sister Savannah, brought her in to visit. The two of them had a blast together! It was so darn cute. I took pics with my work camera, so as soon as I remember to e-mail those home to myself I'll post a couple.

Only thing keeping me really sane right now is the knowledge that a week in VA Beach is just a week away! Ahhhhh! Ruthie and I are going to spend one whole week as two adults without any kids at the BEACH! I can NOT wait!

Tori is assistant directing the Fall show at LHS - The Miracle Worker. Now that auditions were held yesterday, her schedule will get really busy as well. She sat in on auditions and she and Laz (the drama director) have an idea, I think, about things, but she will say nothing to me about any of it until the cast is announced. I'm really proud of her, and excited for the learning she'll be doing while experiencing this part of theatre work.

That's really about it. I do have more time in the evenings, but my volunteer work with FtP and actually spending some time cleaning the house eats away at my days. Tori continues to drive and I am more and more comfortable with it. Life goes on....

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Tori and I are heading to Pasadena today to my cousin Jimmy's place for a reunion on the Murphy side of my family - my dad's siblings' kids and their kids (and their kids)...Cousins I normally only see at funerals. My sweet cousin Val, my other cousin Jimmy's wife, passed away suddenly in June and she had always tried to get us all together for a non-sad occasion. Somehow, we just were never able to find the time or the place. So, in her honor and memory, we're doing it. And I am soooo excited!

I have a lot of good memories of spending holidays with these cousins when I was little. We'd all meet at Grandma's on Bentlalou Rd in downtown Baltimore - a skinny rowhouse that we all crammed into. Or we'd have summer crab feasts down at her place on Solomon's Island. I can recall so clearly helping her pick tomatoes and cucumbers from her garden, and having to talk REALLY LOUDLY because she was hard of hearing. Only four of the seven children on that side had children themselves, and I have 14 or 15 cousins. So it's quite a crew. Magdeline had 3 boys, Paul six kids (three girls & three boys), Walter five or six (somehow, I can't exactly remember, which is sad) and Mom & Dad five (four surviving). I think that maybe 12 of us will be there today, many of our kids will be there, too, and some of my cousins' kids are now moms and dads themselves.

I'll surely have my camera at hand for the entire afternoon, and am so happy that I'll be able to do some scrapbook pages featuring this extended family. We never all get together on mom's side anymore, either. There are only two surviving siblings on that side, and they don't speak to each other. Though every one of mom's six siblings had kids, so it's a larger group. Plus mom has an uncle younger than she is, so most of her mother's nieces & nephews are part of family functions that do occur on that side. It's a Major MOB when we all do get together.

Anyway, here's to beautiful August days (the last one of 2008) and fun with family....

Monday, August 25, 2008

We all survived

Tori survived her 1st day of 11th grade, I survived Monday at work, and Lucy survived a full day at Citizens with me. She is so wild in the morning and then just crashes in the afternoon. She's dead asleep on the sofa right next to me now. Here are a couple of pics.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The saddest day of the year for school kids

So school starts tomorrow, which means that today is full of angst. Tori had two girlfriends, Shelby & Rachael, over last night and they were all complaining mightily about how quickly the summer went by. It's hard for me to believe that she's starting her Junior year of high school - half-way through her LHS years. The new school is ready for the kids to get there, and it is lovely. But even the prospect of a brand new building isn't making it any easier for her to be ready to go back to school. I think that once the excitement of the fall show, football games, dances, and being with her friends every day builds, she'll be fine.

I spent a lot of time this weekend getting my scrapbook room organized and found out just how much scrap paper I have shoved into nooks & crannies in there. Now it's all organized, so I can use many of those scraps to make cards with my new Cricut machine (yes, I broke down and bought one...). So between the three QuiKutz machines I own and the Cricut, I'm really well set to do die cutting of letters & shapes. It's a lot of fun to play around with all of it, and now I actually have space in there to create.

Time to do a little bit of R&R to prep for a new work week....more later!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Movin' right along

And it's mid-week already. It's been a relatively quiet week, but that's about to change as I'm taking Lucy to Citizens with me today, which is always lively! Everyone loves all over her and is happy when she's with me. I have several presentations to make today, and a FtP Board meeting tonight, so Tori will drive in to Frederick and pick her up mid-day sometime.

She's really enjoying her newfound freedom. Even if she can just run up to 7-11 to get a needed grocery item or get herself to Travis' house so he doesn't have to come 10 miles east and then head 15 miles back west into Frederick, she's feeling so much more mobile. Which is nice for both of us.

We gave Lucy a bath yesterday, which was an adventure. She hates the water! But she's now fluffy and clean and presentable. I didn't realize how dirty she had become until I saw the bath water - yuk.

More to come when there's something exciting to write about...or not.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day!

Oh how I dislike Mondays (unless they're Holidays and extend my weekend...) Back to the grind. I really need to get moving, but am simply not motivated. The weather is nice & cool, the day is stretching out before me, and I hate the idea of having to be at Citizens all day. Though I do love my job as a rule, I don't love the idea of HAVING to be there when I'd rather be elsewhere.

Lucy has learned to climb the steps up to our 2nd floor, which is presenting a whole new set of problems for us. Anyone have a baby gate they're not using?? It would be OK except she makes a beeline for underneath my bed, where God knows what is lurking. Something good to a puppy must be under there or she wouldn't be so fascinated. Mostly, I worry about her having an accident on the carpet - at least on this level it's all laminate or ceramic. Eay to clean up if she piddles.

I guess my life is pretty good right now. Busy, but why wouldn't I want it to be? Nothing much to write about....see ya' later!

Friday, August 15, 2008

going, going....gone

Wow - my baby girl is about to pull out of the driveway on her first solo drive since getting her license this afternoon. She's just going about 2 miles down the road, to her friend Barbara's for an overnight....but man, is my heart ever hammering in my chest....I am having a harder time than I expected.

I am watching out the front window for the car to approach the road at the driveway's end.....I hear the motor approaching....there it is.....there she goes. I saw the turn signal, so she's learned her lessons well. That's all I can hope for. She's the first of her core group of friends from elementary & middle school to get her license. It's nice that I'm not having to stop everything to run her up and then get up and look decent to go pick her up in the morning. But I've asked her to call me when she gets there safely, in about 3 minutes. She thinks this is silly, but....

OH MAN - a siren is blaring outside - emergency vehicle about to race by....an ambulance, heading in the same direction she just headed. I hope she doesn't panic and has room on the 2-lane road to pull over to let it by. Wow. Another lesson to be learned, I guess. Am now waiting for the phone to ring, as I will many, many more times in my life, to let me know she's arrived safely at her destination.

The waiting is a killer. I told her this evening, when she was getting ready to go, that I am feeling things I knew I likely would but I really didn't expect. Sadness at this next step away from me, from our family life, from Unionville. She said "You have another two years, mom!", which seems like a lifetime to her, but feels like two days to me. Yes, I replied, but this license - it's a BIG deal, a big break. She'll now be going her own separate way much more often than she'll be by my side. And that's harder than I thought it would be to realize. Harder. Unbelieveable. I haven't cried yet, but I know it's coming.

It's been three minutes, and no phone call yet....four minutes.....five.....ring, phone, ring!,,,fifteen minutes later, I have to dial her cell.....six rings after that, she answers. "I forgot," she says. She's lucky I couldn't reach through the phone and throttle her! Short discussion about importance of calling me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or ELSE!!!!! Sheesh. So this is how it's going to be.

I will be lucky to get out of this alive.........

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Home, Exhausted, and Happy

We got home late last night. I was going to work half a day, but that went out the window. Tori and I walked the equivalent of 5-6 miles yesterday, after we walked about that far on Tuesday (including climbing 3 flights of VERY steep stairs to a secret room full of knock-off Coach purses on Canal Street). Our feet & legs are killing us! But it was all worth it.

Here are a few pictures from our trip. The Little Mermaid was about the best B'way show I've ever seen. I mean the full experience was so amazing - sets, costumes, props, etc... And to go backstage and see the way everything is organized was really cool. The space is extremely limited, so they use the walls, and even the rafters, to keep sets & props out of the way until they need them. During the backstage door, we only got to meet Sean, who plays Prince Eric, Merwyn, who is in the Ensemble, and Betsy, who understudied for Carlotta. Everyone else was flying out of there to get home. Unfortunately, the two women who star - Sierra Boggess (Ariel) and Sherrie Renee Scott (Ursula), didn't stick around or sign. But we weren't complaining. We decided to "stage door" on Wednesday after the matinee, and we got several autographs, but the two of them didn't come out while we were out there. We stood there for an hour until they dismantled the baracades.

We also did our first college visit, to Marymount Manhattan. Both Tori and I loved it. The academic and administrative buildings are in a very nice part of Manhattan, not far at all from Central Park. The dorms are about a 20 minute walk away, but again, the neighborhoods through which the students travel are safe enough. I was impressed with the staff and stuents we met, and the facilities are beautiful - the theatre seats 449 and is simply beautiful. So, now we just have to figure out how on earth we'd be able to afford it. We'll visit some other schools as well, but I'm afraid that she's hooked. And while I wanted to hate it, I have to say I didn't. So that's a problem! The idea that she could study so close to so many opportunities is so amazing. We'll just have to see.

So it's back to work tomorrow, for just one day before the weekend. Then I don't have a break until I go to VA Beach w/Ruthie in September. OK, so I'm kind of spoiled....oh well!

Monday, August 11, 2008

getting excited about NYC!

So, I just found out that the Prince in The Little Mermaid will be our tourguide for our backstage tour! How cool is that?!?!? This will truly be a once in a lifetime trip, no matter how many times we go to NYC. We'll be sitting in "house seats" - not sure how good they are. They're the seats that cast members can buy for family & friends, so they're probably pretty sweet. The guy who set this all up owns a local Frederick restaurant and has performed on Broadway - early on in the cast of LesMis as Enrojlas (sp?) - so he knows a lot of people and can get amazing things done. So, we are getting REALLY excited. Well, I am - Tori is still asleep, but I can't wait to tell her all of this!

Watch for pics etc... when we return. I'm tempted to take my laptop up, but don't feel like lugging it around most of the day on Tuesday before check-in.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Dawn - the jury is out

OK, so I finished and (SPOILER ALERT....)

Edward is NOT dead!!

So a lot of the book really, really annoyed me. The characters are somewhat cloying, self-absorbed, and waaayayyy too.....too......self-sacrificing, which I know contradicts self-absorbed, but it's true - they're both at once, which is one of the issues I have with it. Bella needs to get a life (no pun intended) and I am sort of sorry she doesn't get her comuppance (or however you spell that). She is just so sickenely good and really quite boring, even with her special powers (oops, let that spoiler slip out...)

Anyway, I am glad that's over with. I had to read the whole thing and see for myself. Truly, I wish I'd stopped with Twilight. THAT was a good book.

Parts of BD were interesting - the part written from Jacob's point of view was better. And I guess I wanted to know the outcome or I would've stopped half-way through. But it just isn't a very well written book. Lots of repetition, character names are stupid (Renesmee - WHAT?), and the concepts are so far-fetched it's almost beyond beyond.

Plus, I read on the author's webpage that, when she "ruled" over some recent book "concerts" - yes, seriously, that's what they called them! - she set up some pretty irksome rules, like:

  1. If you didn't have one of the books, you couldn't be in line for autographs - no signed t-shirts, body parts (uck), papers, posters - nothing but books, and you could only have her sign ONE book.
  2. You could not take pictures of her signing (now that's a scrapbooker's nightmare!)
  3. there were other things that annoyed me that I can't remember, but they were pretty draconian (now there's irony for ya').

Anyway, if you're a fan, you probably loved it. If not, and you want to see what all the fuss is about, read Twilight and STOP THERE! It's a good book. The others are just too much Bella. She is a pain in the butt, really.

So, that's my assessment. Now, off to work....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

should be sleeping...

I came home from work today exhausted, so I laid down to read some of Breaking Dawn and fell asleep at something like 5:30 p.m. and woke up at 9:00 - oops. Went back to bed at about 11 and now I'm wide awake at 3:56. Crap. This won't work very well as I have to work Sat. & Sun. - one of my 4 weekends a year (which doesn't sound too bad until they're actually here and I have to work them!)

As for Breaking Dawn...sheesh. Very annoying, really. Bella is seriously getting on my nerves - no one is that much of a martyr and that perfect, OK? I wish that both Edward & Jacob would see the light and dump the biatch. Of course, I'll keep reading and finish the darn book. Because now I have to see if theKevinCole is right about Edward....(sigh)....

Lucy is so tired she's not even responding to me being here in the living room with her in the crate next to me. She went to work with me on Friday and wore herself out. You have to see her in action there to understand - everyone just loves her! The residents, visitors & staff all take her from me to go all around the facility and visit. She plays tug-0-war, runs around the courtyard, and generally gets so much love that she's exhausted when she gets home. Pretty nice for a puppy's life, I'd say!

Well, I'm going to try to get another 90 minutes of sleep before I have to get up to get in at a decent hour so I can get out early-ish. 'til later.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I've got my laptop back (laptopback, laptopback, laptopback...)

Yeeha! posting from a familiar laptop!

Too bad there's not much new to talk about. Mattress is FINISHED and the cast party was a blast. Working this weekend, so that will suck. But then 3+ days off, two of them in NYC, so I have that to look forward to.

Tori and Travis are at the Lbtytwn Carnival. We went Monday night and took Maggie and saw a bunch of folks that we haven't seen since school let out, which is always fun. It's always interesting to walk around up at the annual Carnival and just observe people. I also love playing bingo and tip jars...I actually won some decent dough this year "-)

I'm trying to get Mattress costumes laundered and ready to take to the studio tomorrow evening to wrap things up on that front. Tori cleaned her room, so there are piles upon piles of dirty laundry downstairs that she has to take care of by tomorrow or lose her laptop & ipod for 4 days...let's see how that works out, shall we?

Always something to threaten her with. Why do I always have to be the mean mom?!?!??

Sunday, August 3, 2008

End of an era

Well, not really an era, per se, but at least the end of a show that has overtaken our lives for the summer.  I will be very glad when the curtain closes on "Mattress" this afternoon.  Then, after strike (which will not be fun, I tell you), we get to swim and party at the McCarthy's in Jefferson.  Should be a good time. The stress should be dissipating even as the party is being held. 

Next thing to look forward to is NYC on the 12th & 13th of August.  Little Mermaid, behind the scenes tour, and (I am hoping) the Today Show on the 13th - watch that morning to see if I make it on camera. This time, I'm going to make some sort of clever sign.  I have no idea on what topic, but I hope it makes them take notice and put me on camera!  

Otherwise, nothing new to report. Lucy is growing quickly, and once I get my own computer back (i'm using Tori's Mac to post this) I'll put some new pictures up.  Bo is rubbing on the laptop screen, marking it as his, so I guess it's time to shut down. 'Til later...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It is not good to drop a laptop

UPDATE: Well, the hard drive went, and it has a parasite. They said that dropping it didn't help, but didn't cause the damage, either. I'll have my laptop back by Monday at the latest...I guess I'll survive. Until then....


My laptop dropped off of the sofa last Sunday, and is now in the shop. On Monday, when I dropped it off, they told me they'd be back to me on Tuesday....it is now Thursday and I haven't heard from them. This frightens me immensely, and can not be good!!!

So, I'm not online as much or able to do many updates. Not much is new, however, so it's not really a big loss to the blogosphere to have fewer posts from moi for now!

Show this weekend - come see it! Friday and Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2 - FCC's theatre. It's cute, I promise!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

saying goodbye

My very favorite resident, whom I have loved since meeting her almost 3 years ago, passed on this afternoon. Luckily, I had been in to see her this morning since I knew her time was short, and I got to tell her one last "I Love You." This is the hardest part of working in a nursing home.

Miss Doris reminded me so very much of mom & Granny. Stubborn, funny, engaging, loving, and just full of herself. Her one daughter used to bring her dogs, Maggie & Milo, in with her during visits, and her other daughter and granddaughter (and great-grandson, Bryce) were here most days. I have become really close to all of them, and this is so damn hard. The tears won't stop and yet I have to finish up my work day.

Miss Doris, I do love you so and know that you're now pain-free and in a much happier place. Memories of the time we got to spend together will be among my most cherished. Say hi to my mom for me, will ya'? *mwah*

Wow...it's been a week

I haven't been posting much because here's what it would say - every day:

I am exhausted. I hate Tech Week. How in the Hell did I allow myself to be roped into this? blah, blah, blah....

So, rather than bore all of you with that mantra, I just haven't been on. But the show opens tomorrow night, I haven't killed any of the divas, and I am proud that I've been able to contribute to this show. It's all good.

Work continues to be very busy and more than a little stressful. The person who (finally) came on board last November as the Director of Admissions & Social Work submitted her resignation yesterday. She's having her first baby in November and hasn't had a particularly easy pregnancy, so she'll be leaving October 3rd. That racheted up my stress level, but I am happy for her and her husband. If any of you reading this know any licensed clinical social workers who might love to work for Citizens (and with me pretty closely), please tell them to get in touch with me!!!

Otherwise, come see Mattress. It's been a wild ride, with a lot of challenges throughout pre-production, but it's turning out to be quite a cute and impressive show. Visit www.fredericktowneplayers.org to find out more and learn how to reserve tickets. Show opens this weekend and continues next weekend.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm more than halfway there...

Through 8 days of a grueling 15 day workday stretch of insanity. I don't count weekends in there because at least then I can sleep past 5 a.m. - and I can take naps! Only two more days of combined driver's ed/Mattress rehearsals/Lucy at work with me in the afternoon craziness...then Tech Week craziness sets in. But that only lasts 4 days and then the show opens. So I'm in the home stretch....

Thankfully, Jesse Daniel is going to keep Lucy in the evenings next week for us. She can't go to the FCC theatre like she's been going to the FtP studio, and I dreaded crating her from 5:30ish until 11ish every night...she'd never have slept at night that way. So Jesse will let her run around his huge yard or come over here to play with her or a combo of both, and earn some $$$ in the process. And I'll have both puppy peace of mind and sleep for a few hours every night next week. Midnight 'til 5 for a whole work week = one cranky pain in the butt Margie. Oh well.

I wonder what my life will be like in a month or so when Tori can drive? What, oh what, will occupy my time?!??! I guess then I'll be expected to actually dust, vacuum, and have a decently clean house. Yuk. I'd rather be scrapbooking!!!

On to another day...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sick - blech

stomach pain + fever + uckies = no work for me today. Of course, Tori can't miss driver's ed or rehearsal, so I'll have to run around later anyway. Am hoping I'm feeling much better because if I feel like this, driving is gonna be a whole lotta fun....yuk.

Friday, July 11, 2008

One week down, two to go

It's been a crazy busy week, but it's ending, thank goodness! Tori will finish her first full week of Driver's Ed today and I think that she's getting more out of it than either of us imagined she would. Yesterday, the instructor had them stand out by Motter Avenue and just observe drivers' habits. And let me tell you, she says it wasn't pretty! No turn signals, people not observing road rules in the least. It was a great idea and a great lesson. She says that most people just stared at the group of kids alongside the road, taking their eyes off of the road far longer than safe. Wow.

Rehearsals for Mattress are going pretty well. The show should be cute. I'm helping with costuming, which is a huge stretch for me. As Bruce accurately observed I am not nor have I ever been a "Becky Home-Ec-y" and at age 44 I should know by now how to say NO when asked to do something I really don't want to do. But I remain, as ever, an idiot.

I continue to enjoy Lucy every day. She has been going into Citizens with me in the afternoons while Tori is in driver's ed, and she is a big hit with everyone. She is just such a happy, lovable girl. The residents smile and just ooh and aah over her cuteness. How can anyone be unhappy around a warm puppy???

Well, I have to run and get in to the facility. Maybe they'll have a bed for me to take a nap in today...... Well, one can always dream, can't one?!??

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I was finally able to steal fireworks pics from Tori's Facebook, so here they are. Jim & Jesse sure know how to pick 'em! Much less stressful than trying to find parking at Frederick's Fourth. And we had shelter from the drizzle as well. And Jim & Jesse know what they're doing - don't try this at home!

Hope everyone reading this (All 3 or 4 of you!) had a great weekend. Alas, it is Sunday, the final hoorah before a full work week. Sad that I so look forward to the weekends. And this coming Friday is a long overdue margarita night with my two phenominal friends Syl & Gina. I can't wait to see them!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Celebrating Independence Day

We had a great time at the Misner's last night. Good friends, good food, good fireworks = good fun!

I went to take the memory card out of Tori's camera because she has the cool "fireworks" setting so I used her camera to take pics of the fireworks Jesse shot off. However, she has already deleted the pics off of the memory card, even though I asked her not to....I'magonna have something to say to her about that when her sorry butt gets out of bed today!!! I wanted to put some of them up on the blog here, but that will have to wait.

Ms. Lucy joined us for the festivities last night, and boy was she ever worn out when we got home. Straight into her crate and asleep before we could shut the door. She was a big hit - everyone loved all over her and even Maggie Mae (the Misner's Irish Setter) tolerated her pretty well.

I feel so lucky to have the people in my life that I do - and to be living a good life. Ahhhhh.....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thank God for Holiday Weekends!

Finally, it's 10 p.m. on the eve of a three-day Holiday weekend. Hooray! I can sleep in tomorrow (well, to the extent to which Lucy allows it) and take a nap if I need to. I do have to do mondo house cleaning as I have let everything go wayyyyy too long. But it shouldn't take too long to do that, really.

I spent the time while Tori was in rehearsal tonight taking Lucy to PetSmart and then to Baker Park to hang out for awhile. She is worn out and sleeping soundly in her crate. She met lots of new doggie & human friends on our adventures. I really enjoy hanging out with her in the evenings.

Bruce got home right when we did. He said there was an accident on I-95 which held him up, so he's beat. It is always nice to have him back home after a 4.5 day absence. We plan to spend some family time tomorrow evening at the Misners celebrating Independence Day. We always enjoy our time over there so much, it's very relaxing and peaceful. And there are always gin & tonics & good beer "-)

So, time to relax a bit. This week at work wasn't too terrible, but it was hectic enough. No matter how much I love my work, a bad day at home is better than a good day working!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another vacation, please?!?!?

Well, two days back in the office and I'm ready for another vacation. It doesn't help that Tori has rehearsal every single weeknight (only Fridays and weekends off) for Mattress. That means I get a whopping total of 2-3 waking hours at home every day. The rest of my time is at work or driving or at the studio. It stinks.

Tori is dating a new guy, Travis, and we've known him for quite a few years, so it's nice that I don't have to wonder what the guy is like. I am not sure how to handle this dating stuff. The drama. The heartbreak. The stress. He's very kind and treats her well, so I guess I will try not to worry too much.

So tonight it's getting Tori to rehearsal, then grocery shopping, then getting home to get Lucy out of the crate. I had just enough time home after work to make a pot of chili & gulp dinner down.

On to the next thing.....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Re-entry into the post-vacation world

My house is dirty - needs a good cleaning. I don't feel like doing anything but sleeping and messing around on the computer. That's a problem.

Old episodes of Scrubs are on, and I am realizing what a good show I've been missing all these t.v. seasons. Good Sunday afternoon lazy activity, watching Scrubs re-runs!

I have to head back to Citizens tomorrow, and I made the mistake of calling to check my voicemail mssages a few minutes ago. BIG mistake. Some of my colleagues really have to get a clue. Others have a clue and are wonderful to work with, but the one leaving me messages.....yea - no clue. So now I'm stressing about getting back in there. Not good. I have to let it go. At least this is a short week with Independence Day on Friday.

So, this blog features a few more pics from the beach. I need to find the disc I made and get some prints made so I can start a scrapbook. Maybe that's what the long Independence Day weekend will be -- a perfect opportunity to get some cropping done.

We're meeting Claudia & Jer in Eldersburg a bit later for dinner. I haven't seen them in several weeks, and it will be nice to catch up. I also need to do the mundane - make a grocery list, stock up on basics, etc.... From vacation to day-to-day so quickly. Man.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Since when does it take 8 hours to get from Rehoboth to Unionville?!?!?

Since Tori's car is old and overheated and needed to be towed to Roche in Libertytown. Yes, it was a fun-filled ride home. No drama until we stopped for gas in Clarksville. Pulling away from the pump, I noticed that the temperature gauge was awfully far toward the red section. Crap. Call Bruce, ask what to do. Then the girls see a Jiffy Lube and we pull in. They take a look, replace some coolant, say it's either the thermostadt or the water pump. I should not drive home the remaining 33 miles unless I stop every so often to dump water on the engine. OhhhhhKaaayyyy....

We go get 3 gallons of water from a convenience store/gas station. They have a car repair shop there, but it closes at 1 on Saturday and it's now 2. Crap again. I call Bruce back, and he's hesitant for me to try the drive and drench method of keeping the car cool enough. Meanwhile, a guy who is a mechanic comes over to take a look, declares it's the thermostadt (thank goodness, much cheaper than a water pump...) A $2 part, it's "right there" (he points to the location near the engine). I call Bruce back and ask if he wants to buy the thermostadt and drive out to Clarksville to see if he can install it. He says sure. We hunker down to wait.

He arrives, and the thermostadt is NOT "right there" - we look everywhere it should be and can not find where the old one is/new one should go. I call a tow truck, and while I wait (ultimately about 75 minutes) for it to arrive to tow the car to Libertytown, Bruce rescues the girls and gets them home (thank goodness - they were getting antsy). So, 6 p.m. arrival at home it is. $207 later. Crap a third time.

But, I'm home. We had a most amazing week in Rehoboth. Perfect weather (well, all but one day). Perfect company. Perfect down time from work. Perfect in most every way. Above are a few of my very favorite pictures from among the 400 or so now on my computer. More on my Facebook, so go check 'em out. I still have to make another album becaue the limit is 60 pictures and I had too many I wanted to put up.

Oh, and on the drive my driving (left) arm got a terrible sunburn. It hurts! And Lucy had doubled in size in just one short week. We just went and picked her up from Carol & Bob's in Creagerstown. She seems glad to be home, but she looks so much more like an adult dog....

More later after I drink my gin & tonic and get some sleep......

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sun & Fun

I am rested and relaxed, and hopeful that these feelings will carry over into my life in general once I get back home.  

The beach is just so lovely this week.  Blue skies + hot temps + cold water = my kinda place.  We have had a few exciting moments with 10 teenagers in the house, but overall it is always nice to see them laughing and getting along so well.  We all went out to dinner at Jake's last night and it was great to drink Mojitos and have my best friend here on her birthday.  We figured out that the last time we spent more than a few hours together was 5 years ago when we celebrated our 40th b-days together.  It was more than overdue.

I've gotten a bit of a sunburn, but nothing too terrible.  Most days, I'm spending between five and eight hours on the beach, so even the best sunscreen, staying under the umbrella, and wearing my wide-brimmed hat can't prevent all sun exposure.  Plus, I have to admit, I sort of like having tan arms! Well, tan for me....nothing compared to Sharon and Avery, who tan when they just look at the sun for 5 minutes...

We'll be home soon, and I'll post pics then.  I've taken some amazing pictures this year. I think I'll even enter a few in the Great Frederick Fair this year!

Monday, June 23, 2008


We arrived, around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, and have been in relax mode ever since.

I'm sitting on the screened in porch using Avery's laptop to update the blog. For some reason, I can't get a connection on my PC but everyone else is managing to connect. So at least I have some way to update - yea!

Can I just say that the water is FREEZING! When I immerse all but my head, it actually takes my breath away for a few minutes. Then everything goes numb. Today, we've had showers and thunderstorms, so were only out on the beach about an hour or so before we cleared out. Today will be a town/boards/house kind of day, I guess. If I can get to an internet cafe somewhere to connect and put photos up I will. I've gotten some really good shots of the girls in the water and on the beach.

Am trying to read some books, but none are capturing my attention very well. It's frustrating as I want to beach read so badly! But at least I have the sea air, the salt water, and the sand between my toes to calm me every day. More later!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anger & Threats - resolved

Tori is quickly angling to stay home and not go to the beach after all. It just may happen. Seriously.

OK, she redeemed herself. She was thiiisss close to staying home to pet sit while I enjoyed a week at Rehoboth.

Lucy is dropped off and now we just have to get all of our crap crammed into her car. And perfom in/sit through a two-hour or so recital. And survive a 3+ hour drive in the wee hours. And....then.....


First day of vacation!!!!

Well, sort of....

Due to a certain teenager having to perform in her dance recital this evening, we can't head down to Rehoboth until about 10 p.m., but whatever....it gives me more time to do laundry, organize, and pack I guess. That's today's agenda.

We have to take Lucy over to my friend Carol's around 1:00. Carol and her husband Bob are being so kind as to keep her during our beach week. She is so excited, too, to have a puppy at her house. So not only do I have to pack my stuff up, but I have to pack Lucy's up, too! And write directions for care and stuff. I almost forgot that I have to do that part....

Then, recital at 7 and Tori will do her first long drive to Rehoboth. I am glad that between going down and coming back she will get 6-7 more hours logged in. And there should be very little traffic, so we may even get there in less time. Maybe.

And then....I can sink my toes into the sand and relax! For six whole days!!!

I haven't yet decided whether or not I'm going to take my computer to the beach, so this may be my last post for awhile. Or not. Wish it were easier to decide things! You'll just have to tune in to see...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thoughts, for what they're worth

You know it's going to be a good day when you got a full night of sleep to start it off...Lucy slept through the night!!! It didn't hurt that I took her to Baker Park while Tori was in rehearsal. Right off the bat, I ran into Carolynn Ashoff and her bf Josh and his siblings at the tennis courts. They spent about 30 minutes playing with Lucy and wearing her partially out.

Then Lucy and I walked the whole perimiter of that part of Baker Park - she walked on the leash nearly the whole way - what a stout puppy!!! Of course there were the requisite "oohs" and "aahs" from people along the way. She approached everyone she met with wags and puppy kisses. What a good girl! But boy was she ever worn out in total by the time we went back to the studio to pick Tori up. And she retired to her crate at about 10 p.m. and was still in there, quiet as a mouse, when I got up at 5:15 - yipppeee!

Now if I could just get her to stop playing with shoes and play only with her many toys....which she is now in the process of removing from her crate one-by-one and attacking - good dog!

So only two more days of work and then REHOBOTH! I am so excited. We're going much earlier than usual this year, which is nice in a way. The water won't be as warm and I practically live in the ocean and on the beach reading, so that will be interesting. I will just be so glad to recharge my batteries. Spending time with some of my favorite people in the world - Ruthie has become so much more than a close friend - she's a confidante, a healer, a breath of fresh air when I'm getting whacko about things out of my contol. And Sam is coming! For three or four whole days! It's rare anymore that we get to spend more than a few hours together. Life just gets in the way. So my bestest buddy since we were 14 (well, she was 14 when we met but I was still a young 13 for several weeks. she is, after all, older than I!) and I will get to spend a chunk of time hanging out. 30 years older, 30 years wiser, three kids between us, still crazy after all these years (wait, isn't that a song?). Can you say sangria and margaritas?!?!?

Ahhh, I am sooooo ready!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday musings

Ahhhh, a Monday when I don't have to be at work. Nice. I am up early anyway because a certain puppy spent the first full night in her crate, and she did well from 11-3:30, but then from 3:30-6 she cried the whole time. I managed to ignore her and sleep some, but it wasn't a good sleep. I made Tori get up once, around 4:30, to see if she needed to go out (which she did), but mostly she just had separation anxiety. She is a major social animal - loves people (so come meet her if you haven't yet!). This is great, except for in the wee hours. Then it sucks!

So I have stuff to do around the house, and I'm heading out to Sam's Club with Ruthie some time this morning to buy basics for the beach (6 days and counting down!). Then, of course, Tori has Once Upon a Mattress rehearsal tonight. Yuk. And I've gotten myself backed into helping with costuming. Yes, you read that right. I, who can not sew a stitch, am helping with costumes. They swear it's just help with taking measurements (which I shouldn't be able to screw up too badly) and maybe hand sewing a few hems (which I can manage). Still. The one thing I've always avoided and I got conned into feeling guilty enough to help with it. I must love FtP.

Even though I really do love my job, any day not working is a good day. I plan to enjoy it, and I'll see if there's anything more exciting to post another day. Meanwhile, I've also posted a new picture of Lucy above for your viewing pleasure...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Through the tears - remembering Tim Russert

The shocking news this afternoon that NBC's Washington Bureau Chief and political commentator Tim Russert has died suddenly of a heart attack has left me in a state of disbelief. As a self-proclaimed "political animal," I watch Meet the Press most Sundays and always watch the first 10-15 minutes of The Today Show to see what Tim has to say about the political news of the day. With his dry erase board all throughout this political campaign season, he kept tabs on who would get their respective party's nomination, and I was always listening for his opinions, his take on things. He was always on the mark, and I have such respect for his ability to stay neutral even though I know his political leanings and his religious views. THAT is what this country was built on - people being able to set aside their own personal gain/beliefs for the benefit of the many vs. wanting happiness and well being for only those who think/act/pray as they do.

Probably what is most difficult for me to imagine is these next few months leading up to the presidential election without Tim Russert there to guide me through. He was so jubulant about the firsts this election season - first woman running for president, first African-American to be nominated by one of the "big two" parties as their presidential candidate, first primary season in recent memory to ever go all the way down to the wire the way it has. He always said that he is proud of our country and its political process. Even when I've been in doubt as to why on earth I keep voting when the system is such a mess and so few people participate in the process, Tim brought me back to the realization that I keep voting because it is my duty - and every American of voting age's duty - to do my (their) part to make a difference. He always spoke his mind, but not in a disparaging or mean way. He loved his family, he loved his work, he loved his country.

I am so sad for his wife and son, for his father, who now has to bury his child, for his colleagues, and for us "common" folks who watch the news and try to understand and keep up with how things work and what on earth is going on with the election process. We are poorer now for his loss. He will be so sorely missed.

No, I didn't know him, never met him. But I felt like he was the guy next door. His death has hit me hard, and I am so saddened. I am glad I'm working this Sunday so I can't turn on Meet the Press and be reminded that he's not going to be on that set. I have enough faith to believe that he's in a better place, that God needed him up there with Him to help HIM understand what on earth is going on here in America!!! Just like when my mom died right before Cal Ripken, Jr.'s final game as a player - she had the best seats in the house from up there! But I selfishly wish that he'd had many more than those short 58 years here on earth, contributing his wit, wisdom, and laughter to the mostly tense world of politics. Tears for someone I never met? You betcha. I just can't help it.

Summer in Full Swing

The clematis is blooming out front, so I know that it is, indeed, full out summer.

On another note, can I just say how proud I am of Tori for being such an amazing pet mom. She is sleep-deprived and elated to have Lucy here, just like any mom. It is so cute to watch her with the puppy. In addition, she is caring so carefully for the cats and the guinea pig. It's a lot to keep up with - food & water, litter box, cage maintenance. And she's juggling it all so well. Plus helping with laundry and dishes and general clean-up around here. All while basically sleepwalking. Lucy sleeps in short spurts and needs to go out pretty frequently, so this teenager, who usually sleeps until noon or 1 on her days off, has been up every 2-3 hours through the night and then up at 5 a.m. to start her day. I have told her to sleep when the puppy sleeps, but she can't seem to get on that schedule. So, she's going on 3-4 hours of real sleep a night. But she's not complaining. She loves this dog!

I changed my schedule around so I'm off today and Monday. Thought I'd sleep in this morning - haha! I was up, as usual, at 4:45, so I took over Lucy duty. It will be nice to have today to get some stuff done around the house, then I'm going to the Orioles game tonight with my sister, cousin, & niece. We're sitting right behind 1st base, near the Oriole dugout. There's a ceremony honoring Earl Weaver tonight, too, so I feel lucky to be able to see that. I love Earl!

Then work Saturday & Sunday, but maybe it won't be too bad. OK, I'm determined it won't be too bad! There. It'll be fine.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Between the new puppy and dance classes or Once Upon a Mattress rehearsals until 9:30 or 9:45 each evening this week (Tori, not me, though she needs transportation!), I have been way off schedule and am starting to feel the pain of much less sleep than normal. Plus, I woke up at 3 this morning and took Lucy out so Tori could continue to sleep, then Iolaus and Bo wanted attention and I felt badly about the attention Lucy is demanding, so I petted them for a good while. Iolaus is doing surprisingly well with the puppy, but Bo is uberly freaked out. We totally expected the opposite.

It doesn't help that I have to work as Manager on Duty at Citizens this weekend, either. Eight days straight working until I have two days off. Yuk. But then - REHOBOTH!!!! Only 10 days until my toes hit the sand, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it this year. Lucy is going to stay with a co-worker of mine, Carol Haugh, and her husband the week we're at the beach. They are so excited to be having her! Carol's already asking me when my next vacation will be so she can have her again.

I guess I've procrastinated getting my butt in gear to get in to work long enough....I have to go get my camera from the Misners so I can take more puppy pictures and get them up on the blog.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Puppy power

Well, after years without a dog, the Weaver household is about to try to manage puppydom - getting a little girl dachound/cocker spaniel mix tomorrow. She's almost 8 weeks old and a colleague of mine's mom and dad need to find good homes for her and her brother. No name chosen yet. We want to have her here for a few days and get a sense of her personality before we choose. Bruce is less than sure that this is a good idea (that's putting it mildly), but with school letting out and Tori not having any camps or anything this summer, it will be the perfect opportunity for her to work with a puppy. She wants to get in shape, so there will be many "woofie walks" on her horizon. Once school starts up in the Fall, I hope to be able to take her (the puppy, not Tori!) to work with me most days so she won't be home alone too much.

So, wish us luck. We'll go pick her up tomorrow after Tap class and see how it goes. Tori knows that, since she's the only one in the house who won't have to be at work in the mornings, she's on "whine duty" every night and she'll have to get her butt out of bed at a decent hour to go on walks. She swears she's ready, and I have to believe she is.

So, here's the girl herself --- who could possibly resist those eyes?!??

A BIRD?!?!?

So, I heard on the news on my way in to work today that yesterday's power outage was due to a bird flying into a substation and killing power to a wide are - something like 19,000 homes & businesses. Guess it killed the bird as well, but no definitive word on that. So, 72Festers, that's something to tell your kids some day, how your shot at fame & glory was interrupted by a bird.

Hot Enough For Ya'??

OK, so I HATE this heat & humidity. That being said, I know I'm in for a lot more of it before this summer fades into fall. Oh well. I'll just have to deal!

Tori and I went to the Frederick Festival of the Arts yesterday to browse around a little bit before our shift volunteering for the FtP table. There weren't a lot of people down there, folks. The art this year was amazing. I wanted to buy one whole booth out. They had the most amazing bowls, utensils, pitchers, and margarita glasses and I wanted to outfit my whole kitchen with cool new stuff. Alas, my wallet did not want to cough up enough cash for me to be able to make this dream come true! I did get Sam a cool 45th b-day gift, though. And I'll be able to give it to her at the beach since SHE'S JOINING US FOR A FEW DAYS -- YEA!

We tried to support Team Charlie from Linganore H.S. by going to see their one-act play at the 72 Play Fest at the Cultural Arts Center. Bought our tickets, settled in, enjoyed half of the Frederick High School group's performance (it was really impressive!), then - uh oh - power outage. Whole of downtown and then some. Crap. Play Fest rescheduled. Those poor writers/directors/performers worked so hard on their plays, and then circumstances beyond their control wrecked things. Sorry, guys. We wanted to be there for you....!

So it was a nice weekend in all. Jesse's graduation party Saturday night was a lot of fun, too. But now it's time to head back to work. I'd better get moving!

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's Friday!

Fridays are generally something I look forward to, but in the nursing home business, they can be the most stressful and hectic day of the week - the hospitals try to discharge as many people as possible prior to the start of the weekend, so we sometimes get slammed. Not that admissions are a bad thing - I love 'em - but they create a lot of work for my colleagues and me. I just wish they were spread out more during the 5 weekdays to create more balance, but see, there I go wishing for things beyond my control again.....

So today was pretty busy at work, but I got home at a decent time (after quick stops at Scrapbooks & More and the Safeway). Wait - is there ever a quick stop at a scrapbooking store? Well, hey, I got out of there for less than $20 since they're having a 30% off sale on everything all weekend. And I got some cool stuff!

Anyway, as I strongly believe in child labor, I put Tori to work getting dinner started before I got home and threw the salad together once I got here. Bruce went out and harvested fresh lettuce from my small garden plot, and that is always nice - fresh salad just says "spring/summer" like not much else.

So, pretty mundane info today, but they can't all be gems, now can they?!? I'm looking forward to a great, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Beauty in a Garden

I got to spend an hour or so with my friend, Ruthie, at her beautiful place nearby. She has a huge property full of gardens, animals, and ponds, so it's a great place to go to relax and regain perspective on life. Doesn't hurt that she's the type of friend who loves me no matter what she knows about me and she doesn't ever judge me. Makes it very easy to be me there.

So she just showed me around and we looked at all of the blooming flowers, the ducks (there were two mamas sitting on nests!), and just enjoyed each others' company. I took several photos, some of which I'm posting here - see what I mean?! What an awesome place!

I feel much more relaxed and positive about things now. I realize that I can't control anyone's behavior but my own, but sometimes it's easier to accept that than at other times. I may feel badly about a situation that I had nothing to do with, or wish that I could make people treat each other more kindly. But ultimately, I can't do anything to change those things. I can change my outlook and not feel so badly that my mood is shot.

So enjoy the pictures, and may you find positive perspective, too!