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 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...