Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween y'all

I'm baaaaaaackkkkk.

Charm City is very cool, and I wish I could have actually seen the sights I researched and wrote about. My day was spent inside the convention center and the nights at 'command performance' appearances on three evenings and the other couple I collapsed in my room.

So, no visit to Poe's grave. No visit to the aquarium. No visit to the Inner Harbor.

I did get to eat two very yummy crab cakes, some amazing Italian food in Little Italy, and sample a local microbrew and enjoy my beloved Harp on tap (a real treat).  I also met a ton of people I have emailed with over the past 2.5 years and was invited to the president's penthouse suite for a cocktail party one evening. That was a shindig for her 'closest friends' and I was very pleased to be included as I met a ton of the upcoming leadership in the association.

So, it was a very good trip. It was really hard work for one day and the rest was just work.

I have today off and am back in the office tomorrow.

So, have a great weekend and I should have a few book notes to share come Monday.

See ya later, hon!  (love the Baltimore 'hon' thing...and yes, I heard it more than once.)

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This will be my final post for a while. I don't usually post here on Fridays and with jetting off to the east coast early Saturday for our meeting, I doubt very much I will have time to compose blog posts next week. I'm sure I will have tons of stories to share once I return.

I have my clothes gathered for the meeting. I have my agenda printed off, certificates ready for departing committee members, my schedule of events, I'm as ready as I can be at this point.

Here's hoping for a smooth connection in Atlanta on Saturday and easy flights on both legs of my trip.

Bring on the crabcakes...and maybe a nice local microbrew or two.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


This morning there is not one happy story on the front page of our newspaper. The lead story is about the three medical folks who died in the helicopter crash yesterday. So very sad. It makes the cuts Delta is making at the airport and the school merger nonsense pale in comparison.

I saw on my Facebook feed this morning a 'share' of a post from on of the nurses' sons. It an area of our size, the whole six degrees of separation thing works really well. It is more like 3 degrees.

On days like today I am very tempted to read the comics first and find some laughs before I read the rest of the paper.

Why is it that folks are so fixated on sharing the 'bad.' Heck yesterday while I was giving the receptionist her lunch break I had three people stop by to tell my how hard it is to work the national meeting. They made it sound like it was the hardest thing to do in the world. Are you kidding me? Have you people never worked a 12 hour shift in your lives? Really? Worse than a bank on 3rd of a month that falls on a Friday? LOL

Give. Me. A. Break.

Work is WORK. If it was Fun they'd call it FUN.

I fully expect to be tired. I fully expect to have to deal with some grumpy people. I fully expect to have to deal with some grumpy people who don't speak English. Shit happens. You deal and move on.

As I told them all yesterday with a smile, "Well, it is a good thing that Sunday only lasts for one day then." And the next day will come. For some, like the 3 on the front page of today's paper, they don't get a tomorrow.

My thoughts go out to the families of the 3 medical professionals who died yesterday. They were doing jobs they were passionate about. Working with ill kids takes special people, and we have a lot of them in our area with the major hospitals located here that cater exclusively to children.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

way to go

The boy's speech team chalked up their 100th first place win at this past Saturday's tournament. That is a great thing, but what we are so happy about is that he seems to be truly enjoying being involved with this program. The trophy and the medal he brought home are secondary to that.

He had to wear his suit to school yesterday for club/team picture day. He said he was asked a lot if he was going to a funeral, but he also got a lot of compliments on how nice he looked.

Fun stuff. Three tournaments are scheduled for November, busy month! And then we host our own tournament in December. 

So, Way To Go, CHS Speech and Debate team! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


We had such a good visit with the middle kid. It was awesome to have her home and to be able to spoil her a bit with some nice meals, a bit of shopping, plus lots of laughs and lots of talks. It was wonderful.

Now it is time for me to get ready to head to Baltimore. All the last minute things we need to do before leaving are on the agenda for the next few days. Then off we go. I finally found a sweater to match the pants I bought for this trip. My work wardrobe is pretty limited and it was well past time to add some new things to it.

The ceiling project is still ongoing. Ugh. My house is pretty gross right now with all the dust and drywall bits.

Cooler temps have moved in and I caved and turned on the furnace yesterday. It was 60 in the house. That is a bit chilly.

Off we go for our walk. Nice to have the chill when we get going.  Enjoy Monday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

no walk today

It is pouring rain! Ugh. No morning walk. I did a few yoga stretches instead, which puzzled the dog, and didn't really give me that burst of wakefulness I've come to crave at this time of the day.

The middle kid is coming home today!!!!!

So excited to see her and have her home for a long weekend. I'm taking a half day off on Friday so we can go out to lunch and do a bit of shopping.

Guess I will read the paper now, or maybe I will go job in place to get the blood moving.

Happy Wednesday! Hump Day! Rainy Day!

This is me trying to be peppy. It isn't working.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

and the rain moves in

Rainy days ahead, which is just fine, except I don't want the middle kid and her friends to have to drive home in nasty weather tomorrow.

I'm debating on taking some time off on Friday. It would be fun to have an afternoon with the girl. And if I get home by 12ish, she might be awake by then!

The older girl is arriving for her fall break the same day I get home from the convention. So, no need to take time off as I get a day off after coming home to 'recover.'

The ceiling in the great room is coming along. Hubby pulled the sound system speakers and filled those holes. He also fixed the stains on the sheetrock and made sure nothing weird was going on with all of that up in the attic. So, later this week, after things dry really well, the next steps will begin! I may have a room we can sit in sometime next week!

Happy Tuesday. Stay dry, my friends!

Monday, October 14, 2013

construction zone

Two weeks ago my hubby put his foot through our great room ceiling. Long story on that one, but who knew dusting a ceiling fan would end up meaning weeks of living in a construction zone.

It is a good thing he knows how to do stuff like fixing drywall and such. The acoustic popcorn finish that is in every house in our subdivision is now off of my great room ceiling. The process has begun to finish that ceiling with a smooth surface.

And the dominoes will start to fall. Great Room. Foyer. Dining Room. Kitchen. It is all going to happen because I dusted the ceiling fan and he changed a furnace filter.

In other news, I finished "The Heist" by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. Hilarious as usual. Great dialogue, funny characters, and a cute story.

Exciting week ahead for us as the middle kid comes home for Fall Break! Can't wait to have her back in the nest, if only for a few days.

Good Week ahead. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

too early

It is not even 5:00 a.m. yet, but hubby and I are both awake. He has to drive to a meeting this morning and then drive home to head over to the airport to get his mom. She's arriving today for a visit.

We have meetings at work today about.....the upcoming meeting! I just love meetings about meetings. I'm sure some important things will be discussed, and as I've never attended a national meeting, I'm a bit curious about how everything unfolds.

I'm looking forward to the meeting and to seeing a place I've never been to before, but in many ways I'd be perfectly happy to fast forward through it all and come out the other side.

Think I will read the paper and try and wake up some more before we head out for our walk.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

just like that

Just like that, the weather has cooled. The mornings are chilly. The air is crisp and smells clean. The leaves are falling and the summer flowers are fading. Fall is here!

Duke and I walked extra quick yesterday with that chill in the air. I was able to walk again at lunch, just a 15 minute stroll, but so nice to get out of the cubicle and see the sun and breath the fresh air.

It is soup weather! Time for some pot roast! Yum. Yum.

If I didn't love Spring so much, Fall would be my favorite season.

Still reading "The Heist" by Janet Evanovich. Adorable book. I love the way she creates such witty, snappy, fun dialogue. She's one of the best.

Off to gather the flashlight, leash up the hound, and get the blood moving.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

reading recap

Even though I worked at the Friends of the Library book sale on Thursday, and stopped by to visit again on Friday, I didn't buy anything to read. I did pick up a nice copy of Machiavelli's "The Prince" for the youngest, but didn't find something for myself.

However, I did have some success downloading three books from the library's e-book collection. I finished one of them yesterday. "The Winter Palace" by Eva Stachniak was an interesting novel told by a tongue, or spy, in the Russian imperial court. Varvara is a bookbinder's daughter who comes to the attention of Empress Elizabeth and winds up spying on a variety of people for her and her chancellor. One of those people she spies on is a young German princess named Sophie who will become Catherine the Great. I enjoyed this book, but thought the ending was a bit rushed. It doesn't seem like we get a lot of historical fiction set in Imperialist Russia, so that was a nice change of pace.

Up next is a new one from Janet Evanovich about an FBI agent and the career con-man she is trying to capture. I'm only 30 pages in and have already been laughing out loud.

The other book I found is set in ancient Egypt. I believe it is a mystery.

So that is what I'm reading!  Plus, I need to go and download this lady's latest book.

I've followed along with Lisa's blog as she has written and edited this one and I'm anxious to read all about Pepper! Or should I say, Brigid?

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

busy afternoon

The boy has an orthodontist appointment, an allergy shot appointment, and I'd like to get my flu shot. Then I have to bring him home before heading to the library for the preview night book sale. He was going to work with me, but an English paper is due Friday and he needs to finish it up.

Busy day, busy night!

But, it is Thursday!! Yeah! The weekend is closer than not.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

too early

I had a restless night of sleep and am awake much too early today. Yuck. My coworker is off to New Orleans this morning for her first ever English conference. She is presenting a paper tomorrow and was quite nervous about the whole thing. She's going to be just fine! First train ride for her too; what a fun adventure. I'm sure she will come back with stories to tell.

We are wrapping up our national meeting chores. I worked on all of the power point shows yesterday and have three more to finish as well as the scripts that go along with them. It can be infuriating work.

I think the signs and banners are done now and the final program has been sent off to the printers.

We are all getting to the point where we wish it was November 1 and all of this would be behind us.

Glad it is Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

my flashlight

We live in a typical neighborhood/subdivision. But, our neighborhood backs up to a heavily wooded area that eventually leads to a river that feeds Old Man River. So, it is not unusual to see deer and other critters in the woods or on our walks.

One of our street lights is out and has been out for a few weeks. It is in a curve of the road and is quite dark in that area at 5:30 a.m. For the past two weeks I have been startled twice by a critter. The first critter was an armadillo. I was close enough to the next street light that I could actually see what it was. Both Duke and I jumped, the dillo jumped, and then scampered off. Talk about getting your blood moving!

Last week, I'm not sure what critter was hanging out by the mailbox down the way as it was much too dark to see. It could have been a cat, a coon, a dillo, who knows! Duke whined and pranced and I started walking faster as whatever it was scurried away across the street. Thank goodness our dog is well mannered and he didn't try and take off after whatever it was. He stayed by my side and was on high alert for the rest of the walk.

So, hubby decided that we needed a flashlight. I have a nice pink one now and am hoping that none of us have any more early morning walk surprises.