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....