Sunday, July 30, 2006


Day 160 - Sunday Ramblings

Greetings, Blogregation!

OMIGOSH, I actually was able to upload a photo to Blogger this morning. A Sunday miracle has occurred.

We're having a thunderstorm and I hope we don't lose power as I'm blogging. I also have a wash in (so what else is new?).

That, by the way, makes TWO rain events in ONE week. More miracles. The sun just came out but we also just had a huge thunderclap that made me flinch.

So, Karen, shut up about the rain already and tell us what this picture is all about. Thanks, evil Bloggyman...

This picture is of my handy, dandy, go anywhere fold up or hang up organizer, made by 'Modella'. I bought it in the cosmetics department at Walmart for around $14. It has velcro strips to hold it shut when it is folded up, and each compartment is accessible separately.

I bring this whenever I go to the gym and hang it next to the shower, where I can reach all my soap, shampoo, etc as I'm getting ready for work. I used it Friday night when I stayed overnight in Nashville, and I will be taking it on my next 'away trip' in August. This is a travel NECESSITY for me now.

So, Karen, what's IN IT? I thought you'd never ask! Can you think of something else I might need in there?

Top compartment - toothbrush and toothpaste. (I just bought a toothbrush holder at the dollar store, so I'll be putting that in there too)
Second compartment - two kinds of body wash (Discontinued and very hard to get 'Tranquil Breezes' and Goat's Milk), shampoo and conditioner.
Third compartment - Cocoa butter lotion, chapstick, deodorant, hair elastics.
Fourth compartment - (that you can't see because I couldn't back up anymore without stepping into the bathtub) - Ginger scented body spray, clothing wrinkle releaser (for emergency wrinkle relief), hair gel, and q-tips.

Ah, it is SO nice to be organized! There's a girl who is also getting ready for work at the gym - she has to put a small duffle bag on the wet floor near the shower, and is always rummaging for what she needs in her locker. Maybe I should show her that travel kit...

Product promotion:

Do you like veggie lasagna? Well, this is the brand I like and the sodium content is reasonable (notice the light in sodium labeling).

I don't buy it because it's organic, but I don't MIND that it's organic.

So Karen, what's that freakin' MANGLED piece of fruit in front of it? Evidence? Thanks for noticing, evil Bloggyman.

That is proof that I was STARVING last night when I got home and devoured half of my MANGO NECTARINE before I could take a picture of it for 'da blog'. What is a mango nectarine? Well, I'd never heard of one before either. It has the size, skin and texture of a yellowish PLUM, but it tastes just like a peach! I don't like the skin on a peach, so these are YUMMY in my opinion. That's it for the product promotion in today's blog.

Well gang, I have a lot to do and it's only 7:30. I've got to change over the wash, clean house, and I may do some online training today. I've been at my new job for three weeks and haven't done any training in that time so now I feel guilty.

TTFN and have a great last-day-of-the-weekend!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Day 159 - 1-5-9 and Saturday's FINE

Greetings, Bloggisimo's! Aren't weekends the BEST?

I'm just saying Hello quickly. I'm home, I had a great time last night and a great time today.

Maybe I'll even tell you about it after:

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera....

Love you bye!

It's 8:30pm and I'll jot down a few highlights from yesterday and today.

Yesterday it rained quite a lot, we needed the rain but it would have been quite a bit easier to get across town in Friday rush hour traffic without pouring rain. Oh well.

Dinner at the Caney Fork Fish Camp was yummy - I had a coupon for a free appetizer, and we had 'catfish bites' which are breaded and deep fried chunks of catfish.

For dinner I had a grilled tilapia sandwich with lettuce and tomato, and buddy Joe had BBQ. Our waitress wasn't the most 'perky' person in the world - for example - when she wanted to take our order, she didn't say 'Do you need more time?, or 'Are you ready for me to take your order?' She just kind of mumbled - 'whaddya want?'. The food was good though!

After dinner I went shopping at the Opry Mills mall. When you're shopping at Opry Mills on a Saturday night - park somewhere NOT near the Grand Ole Opry and NOT near the movie theatre. I parked down by Saks Fifth Ave just because that entrance wasn't mobbed. I walked around the entire circuit of the mall, which is a mile loop with some offshoots. I bought a few things OF COURSE, including a book which I just finished.

I stayed in a hotel overnight last night (using a complimentary stay coupon I 'won' at last year's United Way auction at work) so I wouldn't have to drive back and forth to Nashville again today to hang out with my friend Debbie. Charlie is away right now in Iowa and comes back tomorrow, so there was no reason not to! Debbie arrived this morning at 9:30 and we had two complimentary breakfast buffets that came with my complimentary stay. YUM-O. I had a made-to-order egg beaters veggie omelette and fruit, which turned out to be both breakfast and lunch. Debbie and I ran some errands and shopped, then went to visit our friend who just had a baby, and then hung out at the beautiful POOL at my 'old' health club for a couple hours. Just a lovely day!


Friday, July 28, 2006


Day 158 - Friday, Friday We Adore Thee

Greetings, Bloggy Weekenders! She says, doing the 'happy dance' at the computer.

It's FRIDAY! Six delicious little letters that mean so much!

Even my COFFEE tastes better this morning. I need a bigger cup to enhance my bloggy juice experience.

Doctor Bloggy, WHY do I think Friday is so great?

Well, Karen, it isn't really Friday itself that is wonderful, it is your innner voice's perception of the 'freedom' you have on the weekend that you look forward to. That will be $250, please.

Bill me, Doc.

Hey, I've got something to celebrate!

I was so busy grouching yesterday that I didn't tell you I had my first PAYDAY yesterday at my new job! That must mean I'm entrenched in my new culture. My direct deposit isn't set up yet, maybe next paycheck.

I don't have any meetings on my calendar at work, so maybe I'll get a lot done. I am working on a bunch of stuff at the moment.

Tonight I have plans to go back to the 'Caney Fork Fish Camp' with Buddy Joe, and tomorrow I have plans all day with Buddy Deb. Ah yes, delightful weekend activities - goody. I just hope I can MAKE IT over to the Opry Mills area with Friday afternoon traffic. Wish me luck.

Announcement - tomorrow's blog entry will arrive (picture a stork flying in with a cute little baby blog wrapped in a diaper) in the afternoon or evening, not the morning. Sorry - too busy!

Maybe I'll go to my all-time-favorite-everythings-a-dollar-store when I'm in my old stomping grounds. I miss shopping there once a week, but it probably saves me money. Since I've started working again, my credit card bill has gone down. That's a good thing! Too busy to shop? NOT!

Well, I need to polish off this cup of coffee and get in the shower.

Y'all have a FAB FRIDAY and TTFN! If you get aggravated today, just tell yourself 'It's Friday!' and you'll feel better.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Day 157 - Aggravating Moments to Forget

Greetings, Bloggy Grouches!

I'm really NOT grouchy, but here I am blogging for the first time today because Blogger wouldn't even let me log in this morning. Grrrr...

Also, what IS IT with all these people who zone off the planet when they're at a red light, and then forget to DRIVE when it turns green? I don't wait very long anymore, I mash the horn gladly.

Tonight I went swimming after work at the outdoor pool at the Rec Center. It closes at 6 but that was a long enough swim. There was a kid in the pool who said 'EW' a MILLION times because there were leaves in the pool. If I were blind, I could have found that kid anywhere because the only words he spoke were 'EEEW' and 'Mama Mia'. OH PUH-LEASE.

I'm going to go eat dinner now, and I have some egg rolls cooking in the oven for a side item.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Day 156 - Open Your Eyes, Engage Your Coordination

Greetings, Bloggy Bruisers! Do you ever just WAKE UP Klutzy? (Is that how you spell it?)

Blogger still isn't cooperating uploading pictures, so I can't find a klutzy photo for you. Just pretend, shall we?

Charlie left early, early, early this morning, and I stayed in bed till the ripe old hour of 5:30 and might go swimming after work for a change.

Interruption - I just heard a car go by our house SO FAST it sounded like Daytona, and normally you can hardly hear any traffic noise inside the house! But today isn't normal!

Anyway, back to MY STORY - I think I slept on my 'Coordination nerve' and messed it up.

I've already knocked over a couple of things in the bathroom, made a mess making breakfast, made the bed all 'wompy-jawed', and I just thought I'd share ALL my 'discord' with YOU. ;-)

Come on, you bloggy women out there - does PMS make you klutzy? It does me. I stood in line once at a grocery checkout with a woman who was knocking over or dropping everything - she says it happens to her every month.

Poor thing! She must go around black and blue, or at least her husband does. (By the way, I got Charlie with a toenail the other night, sorry, Charlie! What I don't understand is how my FOOT was at his KNEE level. It's tough to be short. Charlie calls me 'Stubby', you know.)

I'll probably arrive at work wearing something inside out, and start talking nonsense in all my meetings. (So, tell us something NEW, Karen, you're like that all the time!)

So, I 'guess' I'd better start getting ready for work. On days that I don't swim I have tons of time before I have to leave, so I can blog and dawdle and take my time.

I have a meeting at 8:15, training from 9am-1pm through lunch (they're providing lunch), and a meeting at 2:00. Hopefully I can stay 'perky' all day, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

TTFN, gentle readers! Be careful! ;-)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Day 155 - Tuesday is Here, Monday is GONE

Greetings, Artful Bloggers! Pretend there's a nice picture here from the musical, Blogger hasn't wanted to upload any pictures yesterday and today. Sheesh.

Little Oliver here is going to sing for his supper...

Remember that I was in the 'Oliver' musical at camp. I played an urchin, and proud of it (not!).

Consider yourself at home.
Consider yourself one of the familhy.
We've taken to you so strong.
It's clear...we're... going to get along.

Consider yourself well in,
Consider yourself par to the furniture.
There isn't a lot to spare.
Who cares?..
What ever we've goin we share!

If it should chance to be,
We should see some harder days
Empty larder days, Why grouse?
Always a-chance we'll meet
Somebody to foot the bill,
Then the drinks are on the house!

Consider yourself our mate.
We don't want to have no fuss,
For after some consideration, we can state...
Consider yourself...One of us!

Ok, enough singing and time to go out the door to swim.

I have two half-days of training at work today and tomorrow. That will be interesting, I hope!


Hola, here I am again. It's 7:30 and we've just finished supper.

My training class was OK, I did learn some things but it was a bit tiring to listen and read handouts for hours and hours. Maybe we should call it 'Draining Class'? I did get free lunch though, and brought home a gigantic sugar cookie to Charlie. He ate it right away. ;-)

Tomorrow is the second half of the training class. I wonder if someone will sit in MY seat, or whether I'll get there first and get the same one again. ;-)

I think I'll send some emails and then read some of my book!

Have a nice evening and TTFN!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Day 154 - Maybe Dr. Suess Hated Mondays

Greetings, Gentle Readers! It's Monday again!

Time to start the Bloggy Work Week! (that sounded like 'Bloody Work Week', didn't it?)

Maybe Dr. Suess ORIGINALLY thought about the Grinch the same way I think of the Evil Bloggyman...

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Monday a lot,
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville DID NOT.

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Well, I need to go out the door and swim before work, so I can't continue that thought right now.

Happy Birthday this week to Linda and Xanthe - you know who you are!

TTFN! Have a nice Monday and talk to you later!

Hi there! It's 6:15 and I don't feel like cooking. Charlie and I are going out to Cracker Barrel for supper.

TTFN again!

Update at 8pm.

When we returned from Cracker Barrel there were three bunnies in the driveway. Now tell me what they were looking for in a gravel drive? A handout?

Cracker Barrel wasn't busy on a Monday night, we got right in with no wait. I had a roasted turkey salad, and Charlie had fried chicken livers, mashed potatoes, and green beans. At the moment I am thinking - hey -dinner out on Monday nights. Sounds good!

That would soften the Monday Blahs a little bit.

I went swimming this morning and they had taken one of the lap lane dividers down so there was a bigger aerobics area. That was fine, but then there weren't enough lanes for the lap swimmers, and a big ol' guy was splashing all over the old ladies trying to do their aerobics. Some of them can hardly walk, and they never get their hair wet, heaven forbid. Oops. :-)

One guy at work was kind of growling about Monday this morning. The guy that sits in back of me said something like - 'We need to send Karen back there to give you a dose of good cheer'. I said 'Sorry, ain't gonna happen on a Monday, I don't like Mondays either!' ;-) It was funny at the time.

Well, that's it for now (again) until I remember to tell something else! Hasta la pasta!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Day 153 - Just a Quick Jaunt to the Mountains

Greetings, Blogregation!

It's Sunday!

Charlie and I have just driven to the mountains and back this weekend, putting over 500 miles on the Honda-CRV-4-Door-Color-White. Whew!

Our friend is vacationing in Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains, and she invited us up for a visit.

We drove up yesterday, stayed overnight, and drove back today. A whirlwind trip but it was nice to see our friend, who we haven't seen in EIGHT YEARS.

My 'Sunday contribution' is a sign I saw on a church on the way to the mountains... You know how some churches have quotes or messages on their boards? Well this one caught my eye. It said 'Stop, drop and roll doesn't work in HELL'. Thank you very much.

A few highlights...

TUBING - Do you know about tubing? You buy or rent big innertubes and float downriver, sometimes through calm water, sometimes through rapids. It's a big deal in Gatlinburg.

We ate WAY TOO MUCH. There were six of us, and we could all pack it away!

Dinner last night - Delmonico steaks on the grill (thanks Charlie for grilling!), corn on the cob, asparagus, summer squash (that we brought from the garden) with onions, and baked potatoes.

Breakfast this morning - Bacon, sausage, grits, scrambled eggs, homemade jam, honey, and texas toast.

We visited for a little while after breakfast this morning, but then it was time to hit the old road again.

I am SOOO thankful that the two big traffic jams we saw on the westbound side of the highway when we drove up yesterday were GONE today.

We drove through the park on River Road on our way in and on our way out. We did get to see a few beautiful views on our way.

Well, that's it for now folks! Time to rest, unpack, and get ready for a WORKDAY tomorrow!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Day 152 - We finally got some RAIN!

Greetings, Bloggy Forecasters!

You're looking a little 'wet behind the blog', you know...

Last night around 10:30pm, we finally got the first rain we have had in forever. It rained again a little this morning. We needed rain SO badly!

Remember when I trimmed hedges this SPRING? We have had so little rain the leaves haven't even grown back! Poor little shrubbies.

I love the SOUND of rain. I love the fresh scent that the plants and earth give off after it rains. I love the 'whish' sound of car tires on wet pavement. I love the rumble of thunder and the flash of lightning. I love the song 'Little April Showers' on the Bambi soundtrack...

Very poetic, Karen-of-Sunnybrook-Farm. What don't you like about rain, pray tell?

I don't like when we NEVER GET ANY RAIN, and I don't like when it rains so much you NEVER SEE ANY SUN. I don't like it when bad timing of rain spoils an outdoor event or festival. I don't like it when I can't see on the highway due to heavy rain. I am not crazy about 'wet dog' smell. But I am sure everyone feels that way!

I am SO lucky with rain that no matter where I go (even desert climates), rain usually finds me there. Places like Phoenix, Arizona and Aruba - I can depend on a rain when there usually isn't any. The locals always say 'There's never any rain here this time of year. How unusual!'

Rain tip - when it is raining so hard you absolutely can't see in front of you or behind you, and can't feel your tires on the pavement (this happened to me on a trip we took to Florida), it really does help to put your emergency flashers on.

That way someone behind you (who can't see either) doesn't come barreling into you! As a matter of fact, watching the flashers of the car in front of me helped me to know where the road WAS. It really was raining cats and dogs and frogs and ducks and turtles and fish.

Rear window wipers are also a great help. Buy some today! (Yeah, right.)

Charlie and I have already finished breakfast, and I need to go get in the shower. (Get it? That's rain talk... Shower... you know...) You are DRIPPING with sarcasm, Karen.

Quote of the day:
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Advance warning - I won't be posting a blog tomorrow until nighttime. Apologies in advance but we have early morning plans!

TTFN and Happy Saturday! The Weekend is Here!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Day 151 - Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of 151 Rum

Greetings, Bloggy Imbibers!

How is your 'liquid culture' this morning? Swizzling?

Are you starting off your morning with coffee, or rum? Coffee for me, Charlie just brought me a cup.

Actually I don't have too much to say about 151 rum, just that it's Day 151 and that's what popped into my head.

I do love Mai Tais, especially those made in Hawaii, even though they cost around $10 each.

I think the first time I ever went to the Caribbean, it was TOO hot and there were TOO many rum drinks that were TOO freely given away. I think I disliked rum for some time afterwards!

Anyway, I don't need to make lunches this morning, but I will throw a few snacks and drinks in a bag before I go swim, and have breakfast (a banana and a yogurt) at work. Our department director is taking our team out for lunch today. Yay!

Ok, I'd better get a move-on.

Happy Friday, everyone! My second week at work is almost history!


Update at 7:45pm - Ahhhh, the weekend is here!

Most of Northern Tennessee got beautiful, lovely RAIN this afternoon, we got NOTHING but WIND. Drat!

Charlie and I can't remember the last time it rained, actually. The lawn is brown and I noticed at work the shrubs are starting to dry up.

I'm not going to chat for long. I have a wash going and we're watching baseball on TV and I'm reading 'The Merlin Conspiracy'. That ought to be enough to do!

You have a nice evening and IT's FRIIIIDAY!!!!

TTFN again!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Day 150 - I'm Feeling Very Dry and 'Thursday'

Greetings, Bloggy Word-Scramblers!

Yesterday was the hottest day in 6 years here. I wonder if my door lock will work today or not.

I need to make this short because I AM GOING OUT THE DOOR TO SWIM (that was me reinforcing my decision) and I need to make lunches first.

Here's a picture of Charlie in the garden from the summer of 2004, which was a very prolific gardening year. Those are his tomato plants, a good 5 feet high or more.

I guess I should say something about reaching 'Day 150' - it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Happy 150th, Karen! (thanks, everyone).

Bye for now and stay cool again!

Update at 7:43. Just another HOT day almost everywhere and Friday is almost here!

Sometime my door lock sticks, sometimes it doesn't. Today I got in the car, closed the door and pressed the lock switch to lock all doors. After it locked, it sounded to me like it kept on trying to lock itself again and again. Straaange... Is this a full moon or WHAT?

I went to Walmart after work to grab a few groceries ($46 worth), then stopped at Sams Club to buy gas - $2.76 with the Sams Club card. That is better than most places which are up to $2.89-ish.

Oh - one thing I haven't mentioned...

For the last couple of times swimming, when a lane opens up I do a few laps at an easy pace. Maybe EVENTUALLY I'll have a little more patience with lap swimming. This morning I shared a lap lane with another girl who is as slow a swimmer (actually slower) than I am. We had a good laugh over our swimming prowess (or lack of).

Birds of a feather, float together! (oh PUH-LEASE!)


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Day 149 - The 'Scorch-erers' Apprentice

Greetings, Bloggy Wizards and Enchantresses!

It's Wednesday! Midweek is here!

Is it HOT enough for ya?

Here's a great picture of someone 'holding the sun'. Neat-o!

It was 99 degrees here yesterday, and will be again today and tomorrow. Bloody well hot, I'll say.

My sister phoned last night and mentioned the heat. My mother phoned last night, and mentioned the heat. My son phoned last night, and mentioned the heat. It's hot across most of the country, AS YOU KNOW.

I'm supposed to be long gone out the door to go swimming, but I didn't go this morning. I stayed in BED an extra half hour, and haven't even been in the shower yet.

I've made lunches and have my big ol' mug of bloggy juice here beside me. Somehow, even though it was 83 degrees at 5:30 this morning, coffee still tastes fine.

Quotes of the day:
'Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat.' Caroline Schoeder

'Coolness and absence of heat and haste indicate fine qualities.' Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay gang, stay 'totally cool' and enjoy your Wednesday.

I'm bringing another box of squash to work today to give away, hopefully folks have eaten what I brought in on Monday!


Update at 8:07 - we are just finishing supper! It hit 100 today, maybe more. Ok, I miss the parking garage at my OLD job, it would have kept the car a lot cooler.

I'm having trouble with my drivers door lock - it is sticking when locking or unlocking when I use the remote. This has only happened twice, and both times in this boiling hot weather. What do YOU think is wrong?

I also had to go get a new cell phone battery today, mine wasn't holding a charge even all day. They also upgraded some software on my phone.

Did you know that a cell phone battery costs THIRTY bucks? Did I get ripped off?

Love you bye! Stay coolio!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Day 148 - Greet and Go

Greetings, Ye of Sound Mind and Bloggy Heart!

I would like to go back to King Arthur's time - all I got was King Arthur FLOUR. Robbed!

I can only blog for a minute, then I'm going to go swim.

We are having a heat-wave (just like the rest of the country), with high 90's expected.

We have an air-quality (or lack of) alert, so I'd better go exercise before the air is any worse. Just kidding - the air around a pool is mostly chlorinated anyway.

I killed a spider in the bathroom this morning rather than slaying a dragon or anything. Sorry, PETA.

Gotta run (I mean walk, considering the air quality alert). TTFN! Love you bye!

Update at 6pm...

I did save something today!!!! Aren't you proud?

I have this lunchbox that is bright orange (hey, I got it for a dollar, probably because of the color) - and I mean BRIGHT orange.

Anyway - I carried my lunchbox into work today because on Tuesdays we have a lunch meeting. When I set it on my desk - there was a beautiful butterfly on it that I hadn't even noticed landing on it while I was going into work. How special is THAT? Of course - I wasn't attractive, but my lunchbox was. That's ok with me.

So, I bragged to 'da guys' about my very special Kodak moment, and then carefully carried my lunch bag back outdoors to perform my butterfly rescue - and gently gave it a puff of breath to send it on it's way.

So is that good luck or anything super special? I CHOOSE to think it is. ;-)

Have a great evening, everybody!

Monday, July 17, 2006


Day 147 - Entering the Office Party Zone

Greetings, Bloggy Bakers!

It's Monday again! Let's find something to celebrate!

I just put a blueberry coffee cake in the oven at the crack-of-dawn hour of 6am. I hope it's edible.

Sorry for the marginal picture, but as you can see - it's baking!

Today is my first office-party-bring-food-to-celebrate-day.

I am also bringing in some summer squash to give away.

I remember when a former co-worker ML started work. On his first day, I reminded him (in a jesting way) that he needed to pitch in $5 for a group pizza party, bring in a shower gift, and that it was his turn next time to bake a birthday cake for the birthday club.

Also applicable - cubicle decorating for events and birthdays, posting little love notes in the elevators that say 'Lordy, Lordy, look who's 40', and stuff like that.

That is just office politics. If your group 'does stuff', you 'do stuff' too. If your group doesn't, you're off the hook and don't have to bake, decorate, gift, tithe to the office events, pitch in constantly for flowers or candy, or sit through agonizing team-building group lunches. ;-)

I will say that some of 'da guys' are allowed to 'opt out' if they feel very strongly about it. I won't tell any stories about that, but you know there are some. (YOU know who you are).

SOME folks love to bake, and use the office as an experimental station for their baking inventions. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes even office workers can't eat it.

Well, gotta go check on the cake. Here is the finished product.

Now that the cake is done, I need to think about what to wear today!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Day 146 - Sun-day-licious!

Greetings, Blogregation!

We are gathered here today to ask ourselves, 'WHY is tomorrow MONDAY?'

But let's not look ahead, let's concentrate on something else. BLUEBERRIES.

Hopefully that text will come out BLUE.

Charlie and I went blueberry picking yesterday at our favorite pick-your-own blueberry place - Fruity Patch Farm.

Where is THAT, Karen? Well you just go down Bear Creek Pike to Highway 50, and turn at Doo-dads market. What could be easier?

It is just the PERFECT place to pick blueberries. The blueberry bushes (I guess they are the high-bush variety) are well-established and taller than Charlie, meaning maybe 7 feet high, and probably 7 feet wide as well. There are lots of them. The place provides gallon-sized berry buckets so you can keep track of how much you have picked and know how to pay for them.

You just walk around and pick berry after berry without bending or stooping (unless you want to). It is a great place for anyone of any age, as you don't expend as much effort as wild berrying with short bushes close to the ground, or blackberries with their thorns! Kids can pick at their height, and adults at theirs.

There were a few cars around when we arrived, but we didn't really see anyone. We just parked, grabbed our buckets, and started picking on the closest bush to the truck.

A couple of women speaking Chinese came to pick, and one asked me (in English) what I used the berries for. I mentioned jam, cobbler, cake, pancakes, and muffins. I think she got the hint that you can use them for any recipe you would use any other berries for.

It took us an hour (I think) to each pick a gallon. We had brought boxes to put our berries in when we were done. A box is good because they don't get stacked too deep and don't crush.

One woman tried to PAY CHARLIE as we were leaving. I guess he looked the part with his camo-baseball hat, t-shirt with cutoff sleeves and cutoff jean shorts. I've been teasing him about it ever since. The owner actually looks like a ZZ Top band member, with a long white beard. Kind of farmer-gnomish I'd say.

Ok - so did I tell you what this place charges for a GALLON of berries???? SIX DOLLARS. That totally SO inexpensive when the supermarket charges $4 for a half pint of old berries! They have wonderful prices in the fall for apples too. I recommend the place highly.

We were going to get some sweet corn there too - but 'da farmer' said his first crop dried up in the drought. We totally understand, because our garden did the same thing. We have had a comparatively lean harvest, even though we eat summer squash EVERY SINGLE DAY.

When we left, of course we had to stop at Doo-dads market for a 'cold drink' - that means a soda. Charlie gets Pepsi and peanuts, and pours his peanuts into his pepsi for a sweet-and-salty snack. You have to drink it just right or you get a peanut in your windpipe. Did you know that Pepsi (or other cola) and peanuts is a Traditional Southern thing to snack on? Well, it is. Me- Diet Mountain Dew. YUM-O.

Well, I'd better get in the shower and get this show on the road.

Charlie and I are going to see Superman at noon today, and it's 10am and I'm not even ready. (I've been busy with breakfast and laundry and bloggification this morning).

After the movie I think we'll go to Logans Roadhouse and have a steak salad for a combination lunch and dinner. Sounds good, doesn't it??


Saturday, July 15, 2006


Day 145 - Sat-urday is So Sat-isfying

Greetings, Bloggy Weekenders!

Go ahead and sleep late this morning if you want to.

It is 6:00am here and the coffee (bloggy juice) is perking. Aaaaah...

We might go blueberry picking this morning before it gets too hot, and I have an errand and shopping to do at the flea market later today.

The newspaper has actually been on time lately, that makes Charlie happy. He hopes my mentioning it won't be a jinx.

Charlie just delivered a lovely steaming cup of bloggy juice to me. My mug is about the size of the one in the picture (oversized) but has apples painted on it. The first big slurp of the day is the best one, isn't it? (Wasn't THAT a delicate statement?)

On WORK days I haven't had time to go search for and find a picture for 'da blog', so you folks at least deserve a picture on the weekends.

A couple of funny comments I heard yesterday...

I told you I am the only female that sits in my 6-cubicle 'region' at work, and they have been very nice in trying to include me in their conversation. 'Da guys' were talking about another cube setup that was all women and one male.

They suggested the proper 'bonding experience' for that group would be for all of them to go have a pedicure together... Charlie laughed pretty hard at that one.

Another guy in my area rides a motorcycle in to work most days, even sometimes in inclement weather. He pointed to the photo of his teenager on his desk and said - 'See THAT? That's a teenager. As long as I have one of THOSE, I'll never see my truck again.'

I'm going to go back to bed and drink my coffee and read the paper and listen to the morning news on TV and see how HOT it's going to be today. TTFN and I'll blog more later!

Update at 4:30pm... We just finished a nice afternoon snack of chips and salsa.

It's been a good day, HOT, but good.

You'll hear about our blueberry picking adventure on tomorrow's blog, but let me say it was a successful trip.

When we got back from berrying, Charlie worked out in the yard while I ran errands.

I drove down to the Franklin flea market which is held once a month. There is also a weekly Farmers market, but you need to get there early for that, and I think it's overpriced.

A lady I had met at the flea market while I was unemployed brought in some jelly and pint jars to sell to me for TEN CENTS EACH. I also picked up two more jelly jars at another booth for TEN CENTS EACH. Ridiculous, but who am I to argue with a bargain?

I bought a pair of vintage rhinestone earrings for $2 from the 'jar lady', and some Watkins dry soup base from a man at the Watkins booth.

Never heard of Watkins products? They've been around for almost 140 years...

Anyway, after my successful visit to the flea market, I went grocery shopping at Walmart and bumped into a former co-worker from my last job. We had a good catch-up, and I also got my grocery shopping done.

I'm going to pick over, de-stem and freeze those berries now, so TTFN!

Friday, July 14, 2006


Day 144 - My First Friday is Here!

OMIGOSH, it's FRIIIIDDAAYYY! Yippee! Hooray! Awesome, dudes!

Picture me hugging (squashing, actually) a calendar page that says 'Friday' on it, while I scream for joy.

March in a circle, kiddies... Fri-DAY, Fri-DAY, FRI-day, FRI-day...

I love you Friday,
Oh Yes I dooo,
I don't love any workday,
as much as yeeew,
When Monday comes again,
Oh, Friiiday, I love yeeew...

Are you getting some kind of vague vibe or impression that I am happy that it's Friday?

My first work week, almost ready to archive.

Heather, I dreamed about Sal's spinach calzone last night and I ordered an extra one for you. ;-)
(So, Mom, is your DREAM going to drive to Randolph Mass and pick it UP? Nope.)

I think I'll go swim and look for turtles... Maybe I'll even bring the right clothes today.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that I brought (and therefore wore) the wrong black slacks to change into yesterday for work. I happen to have around six different pairs of black slacks, and the ones I had to wear all day are NOT the ones I meant to wear.

Oh well, 'It'll never be noticed on a trotting horse', Pa Ingalls always said...

One of Charlie's former work buddies is unemployed and is looking for advice on finding a job.

Here it is... stay off work at least four months, and then the work will come to you. TTFN!

Update at 7:30..

Heelllloooo Weekend! AHHHHHH. I had a pleasant swim this morning, and there was actually one other lady getting ready for work just like me. She had her curling iron plugged in next to one sink, and I had my hair dryer plugged in next to the other one.

I didn't find a turtle in the pool this morning, but I did find a hand-held weight at the bottom of the pool and turned it in. It looked like one of those relay-race batons.

Yesterday I had noticed an older woman in the pool swimming laps, and was very impressed with how fit she is. Well, this morning she was manning the front desk, so now I know how she got to be that way. She was laughing with me yesterday about the turtle, and remembered me this morning.

I had a good day at work and made progress on some stuff I'm working on. I have my first software fixes to do starting Monday. (oooo, aaaahh). I also have three meetings on Monday. Sounds like WORK, doesn't it?

It was at least 95 degrees today, a super hot day with a hot wind blowing. I walked around the building a couple times on my break, and even though it was hot it just felt nice to be outdoors again! I miss being outside!!!

I ran over to Sams Club at lunchtime and they were out of Lipton Diet Green Tea that I've been drinking. Grrrr... Did you know that Sams Club is going to start carrying wine and liquor? They are renovating/expanding the store I go to.

Anyhow - you have a nice rest-of-the-day and ENJOY the WEEKEND like I'm going to do. I had a cell phone message from a lady who has a booth at a local flea market, telling me that she has some jelly jars to sell. I need to make a stop over there tomorrow.

TTFN again! Love you bye!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Day 143 - Swimmage and Turtleage

Greetings, Bloggy Backstrokers! It's Thursday! One more workday after today and the blessed weekend will be here!

It is 5:36am and I *think* I'm almost ready to attempt to go to swim BEFORE work. I am not sure how long I'll have to swim, because I need to allocate time to get ready as well.

Checklist for swimming:
Clothes to change into (check!).
Towels (check!)
Swim bag (check!)
Lunches made? (check!)

I just need to go brush my teeth and I'm outta here. Charlie is making me a go-cup of bloggy juice for the road.

Observation - it's Thursday and I haven't had to buy gas yet for my Honda CRV 4-door color white! I am definitely noticing my gas consumption has gone down.

Gotta go swim or I'll never forgive myself! TTFN!

(tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick, etc. etc. etc. etc)

Howwww-dddeeee! It's 6pm and here's an update...

I took the highway this morning for the first time this week, since it was early in the morning when I drove to the 'Rec' to swim.

I was totally surprised at how many people were already there at the crack-age of dawn. There were even Basketball games going on - you can hear the sneakers squeaking on the gym floor and the hollers of the players from inside the ladies locker room. There were people walking, jogging, and of course SWIMMING. The lap lanes had maybe 8 swimmers in them, but there were only 2 older folks in the non-lap swimming area.

That's where I went... AND THAT'S WHERE IT HAPPENED... (What happened, Karen! Tell us! Tell us everything!)

I put on my goggles and started to swim. After a few 'meanderings around', I noticed an object on the bottom of the pool in 'the deep end' next to one of the lap lines that are 'drawn' with tiles along the bottom. After a few more meanderings, I recognized what it was - A TURTLE!! It was just sitting on the bottom, not swimming or crawling.

I thought 'Good grief', someone has released their turtle in the pool - how can it live with the chlorine?' Long story short, I swam down there and TOUCHED it. Of course it was fake. Very lifelike looking, but fake. I turned it into the life guard and I don't know what she did with it after that. ;-)

I had a shorter swim than usual since I had to get ready for WORK. Quite a large group of water-aerobic seniors had arrived by 7am. I was very happy that there was no contention for showers, I don't think any of the other women were getting ready for work.

My manager and director took me out for lunch today. I chose TGI Fridays so I could have their low-fat potstickers again.

I am working on two projects already, and neither of them were on my objectives for this quarter. That's work for ya.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Day 142 - TGIH - Thank Goodness it's Hump Day

Greetings, bloggy midweekers! It's Wednesday already!

I SHOULD already be GONE out the door to go swim, but I just haven't been able to get myself to move that fast in the morning yet. (Shame, Karen, you're just feeling sorry for yourself) I really have missed my swimming these last few days, so I've got to figure out a way to work that into my schedule and not feel like I'm missing out on my 'at home' and bloggy time in the morning. *sigh*

Did I mention there is an exercise room at my new work, complete with lockers and a couple of showers? Unfortunately no pool though. There are treadmills and bikes and a few other pieces of equipment. Maybe I should take a walk on a treadmill now and then ONCE I GET ACCLIMATED.

I guess that's what WORK is all about - time you spend doing stuff for pay vs. stuff you want to do but don't get paid for... Right?

I've got my cuppa bloggy juice goin' on, and I just read an advertisement for a light up toothbrush with a suction cup base. How unnecessary is THAT?

I have a couple of meetings today at work, and more 'acclimating' to do. I made my lunch to bring to work today, and gathered up a few reference books to bring in as well. I'm bringing in my 'finding Nemo' mousepad today to keep me company. Why don't I have a 'Lord of the Rings' mousepad??? What was I thinking???

Joe, Ross, or Debbie - please look around at work and see if you can find one of my SQL Server Reporting Services reference guides - a green and white one with 'Goldsmith' written on it- hanging around - I can't find it so it must still be there. I think I might have lent it to Brent at one time, so it might be somewhere around the dev area.

Well, I'm going to go have some breakfast and maybe unload the dishwasher. I have about an hour before I need to leave the house to get dressed and eat.

TTFN and Happy Hump Day!

Update at 7:29pm. We're eating dinner, but I just wanted to 'drop a line' and say Hi and tell you a bit about my day...

Today went by more quickly than yesterday.

I am still working on getting my work environment set up and sending a lot of emails, BUT I got my first assignment today as well - something to research and possibly fix.

I had a couple meetings today too, and I think I have at least one meeting or training session a day for the forseeable future.

I chatted with a lady at work who stopped by my cube to see what I was reading (second volume of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci) - she is borrowing my Harry Potter book 5 to read. I have LOTS of stuff for her to read if she is interested.

Did I tell you that all my cube-buddies (there are 6 desks in a set in this arrangement) are men that aren't in my immediate team? I know I mentioned that the two that sit right behind me are both named Steve, and one guy is out of the office most of the time). I am right next to my team's 'set' of cubes but there is a partition in between, so I spend more time talking to folks not in my group. (I don't think that's a problem, at least not for now!)

Anyway - I set up my printer today and came back with my very first printout. (whoa!) I came back to my desk, held it up and said in a sugary voice 'Look, my very first printout at my new job'! One of 'da guys' responded in a dry voice - if you're going to get emotional over a printout, we're in trouble'. It was funny. He asked me later if I was ready to run off yet, and I said no.

That's it for now! Even if I go swim tomorrow morning I'll at least say HELLO to the blog.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Day 141 - Two-for-Tuesday

Greetings, Bloggy Brainiacs, and Happy Birthday to Tony!

I'll just say 'Good Morning', then go into the kitchen for that bloggy-juice (coffee).

Count 2 demerits against me so far for staying home and relaxing before work instead of leaving at 6 for the health club. (whine - but I can, it's my first week at work!)

I need to remember to throw my sun-shield and umbrella back in the car (no, I don't need them both the same day, I had just taken them out when I had my car cleaned).

I report to my actual department today - time to meet and greet lots of people and hopefully I'll remember a couple names (unlikely!). Maybe I should bring a little notepad and start writing down people's names. That would look too dorky, Karen.

Okay, okay...

I'm off to the kitchen to make Charlie's lunch and 'pour a cuppa'. TTFN! Love you bye!

Update at 7:30pm...

Apologies to my son in law, Tony, for not remembering to write 'Happy Birthday' on the blog this morning when I did my first posting. Happy Birthday, Tony! I did remember to get a birthday card to him on time though!

I've been meaning to mention that I got laid off on my daughters birthday, and I had my first 'real' day at work (since yesterday was orientation) on my son in law's birthday. Go figure!

One funny that I found out about today... Remember that I didn't realize that orientation was an all-day event? Well, my managers didn't know that either and they were looking for me at lunch time yesterday to take me out to lunch! Evidently orientation used to be half a day, but now it is all day. I have a rain check for Thursday or Friday to have lunch out with my new manager and director.

I had an uneventful but rather tiring day spent 'absorbing' where things are and getting access to things I need set up. I had 17 emails waiting for me, and I just started!!!! EEEEEEK! Two women in my group showed me around and described various systems and processes to me.

There are two guys that sit behind me, and they're both named Steve. What fun! There is also a desk next to me, but the guy that sits there is only in the office occasionally. No problem.

I am already slated to start work on several projects simultaneously, with several more waiting in the wings. If I listed them all I'd freak out, so I'll just take one day at a time!! ;-)


Monday, July 10, 2006


Day 140 - It's Monday AGAIN and I'm a-goin' to Work

Greetings, Bloggy-Eyed Commuters!

It's Monday morning and I just got out of the shower. I've got my bathrobe on inside out, and working on my new, lovely 5am bags under my eyes like I used to have before I became unemployed.

I ditched the idea (no surprise) of hurrying on my very FIRST DAY BACK TO WORK - the health club can wait. I am going to have a leisurely morning at home, get dressed, eat breakfast, make Charlie's lunch, and report for orientation on time at 7:55am.

I dreamed last night that I was an hour late for orientation, then I dreamed I was only 45 minutes late. Nickel and diming it in a dream. Sounds like me.

Well, that's all for now, gentle readers. Talk to you later! TTFN!

Update at 7pm...

First day is done, and boy it was easy! Long, but easy.

I didn't know this morning that orientation was going to be ALL DAY LONG. I filled out forms and watched educational movies and listened to 'benefits talk' and all that good stuff ALL DAY LONG from 8am till 5pm.

We're eating dinner and I'm blogging in between bites from a laptop in the den.

We had a cozy group of new employees at orientation - TWENTY FOUR of us. Sheesh! Good thing someone is hiring nowadays.

I have a nice badge with a semi-ugly (could be worse, could be better) photo on it. I'm too old to really care about my picture. You should see my passport, you'd bark and growl at it. ;-)

Traffic to and from work was just lovely - I avoided the highway both ways and didn't have any traffic jams. AAaaaaahhh...

Well, I'll write more later if I feel like it. TTFN!

Oh, as you've noticed, I've updated my blog description and profile too. TTFN Again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Day 139 - Employment Tomorrow!

Greetings, Blogregation!

My world is a-changin', starting tomorrow. (Run for the hills!)

Today, however, is largely the same. Charlie and I have just finished breakfast. I've got yet another wash in, and I need to mop the kitchen floor today.

I just logged into the state unemployment site and did my LAST weekly certification, to get my LAST unemployment check. So long, unemployment. Farewell, free money. Gotta go work for a living again.

Yesterday afternoon we went to see 'Pirates of the Caribbean II', and went to TGI Fridays for dinner (yes, so I could get more potstickers). Johnny Depp's swagger looks more like a swish to me, but it was enjoyable. A bit too much sensory overload in this one. It seems to me that instead of a plot, writers often create opportunities for action, effects, battles, etc whether they really make sense or not.

So you're a screenwriter critic now, Karen, since you've been writing a BLOG for 139 days? Get over it. Thanks, Evil Bloggyman, for keeping me centered.

I liked the 'Davy Jones Locker' sea creature phantoms, and of course the part where they tore off Orlando Bloom's shirt. ;-)

The showing that Charlie and I planned to attend was sold out, so we did have to wait a bit at the theatre for the next show. We had a nice time people-watching on a bench outside the theatre. Almost every parking spot at the theatre was occupied, so we knew it would be packed when we arrived. We spotted quite a few head scarves - people wearing 'pirate garb' to the movie.

Quote of the day:
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life. Walt Disney

Speaking of pirates, I used to work with someone who claimed to be descended from Maine 'Moon Cutters'. These rascals would build bonfires on rocks and jettys to lure ships into the rocks, then seize the contents of the shipwreck. Has anyone ever heard of a 'Moon Cutter'? I googled it but didn't see anything interesting. Sounds like a hit novel to me!

Who wants to advance me a year's salary to start writing a book about Moon Cutters? Please post a comment on the blog before tomorrow. ;-)

So, I know you're wondering 'What about the blog tomorrow morning?'

There will not be a morning blog. Apologies, but I have to WORK now.

I am leaving early tomorrow morning for the health club, and going to work from there. I sure hope I remember all my stuff. It would be great if I showed up my first day with flip flops on because I forgot my shoes! I think I might need to make an emergency clothing kit that I'll keep in my car.

My initial plan for my daily schedule is this; get up at 5, make lunches, leave the house by 6am or so to beat the traffic, go swim, get ready for work at the health club, go to work, run errands after work, get home whenever.

I'll post something tomorrow night after I get home, no idea what time!

TTFN, Dearest bloggies. It's been nice blogging with you EVERY DAY FOR 139 DAYS WITHOUT FAIL.

Play sound clip of 'Happy Trails to you, until we blog again'... Love you bye!

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Day 138 - The Saturday Before 'The Big E' - Employment

Greetings, Bloggy Weekenders! What are YOU doing today?

Getting the car washed?


Charlie and I have just finished breakfast and already started the dishwasher. When you dirty a coffee pot, casserole dish, two frying pans, plates, cups, silverware and other utensils at breakfast, there isn't room for the rest of the day's dishes!

BTW - (that means By the Way), speaking of the dishwasher - do you keep your toothbrushes in a cup or holder in the bathroom? I do, and I throw mine into the dishwasher from time to time and then I never have to touch the toothpaste goo that accumulates. I do the same thing with soap dishes. No charge for the Bloggy Heloise tips, gentle readers...

I got a few of my checklisted items 'off the list' yesterday.

I joined a health club - yes, it's the one I tried before that doesn't provide soap OR towels but the location is fine and pool is OK, (they have an outdoor pool open in the summer too) and it has a year-round indoor walking track and gym and raquetball and aerobics and all that. I am just too spoiled to my hotel pool, but I called several in the area and none of them offer a health club membership. My new membership expires 7-7-7, and I liked that. ;-)

I got my car cleaned inside and out - and the car wash was mobbed yesterday afternoon. I swear every person was also getting 'inside and out' done, so it took a while. They forgot to vacuum the junk (wrappers and toothpicks) out of my ash try, those rascals. I guess I can do that myself.

I dropped off three bags of stuff to Goodwill, and I could have made three more. I feel guilty because I didn't fold everything nicely. Admit it Karen, the last bag you just rolled them over your arm and stuffed them in the bag, and then had the nerve to turn it in. Sigh, yes I did but as punishment I didn't take a tax receipt for them. ;-)

I pulled two gray hairs out of my EYEBROWS before I start my new job. YUCK! Think young and vibrant thoughts, Karen... Yes, Peter Pan...

I still have several things on my list, but maybe I'll get to them and maybe I won't!

I'm gonna go swim at my new place, and try to write more later.

I'm also still shopping - after all the clearance shopping I did, I have decided I need a new pair of navy blue slacks and a new pair of red slacks for WORK. My former navy and red slacks went to the consignment shop (I have made a whopping $11.20 commission on what I brought in so far). I don't know if I'll find them today or not, as I am FUSSY about the style AND they have to be on sale or on clearance.


Friday, July 07, 2006


Day 137 - Last Friday Off Before Employment!

Greetings, Bloggy Workers! It's Friday, Hooray!

Here is a picture of the view from my Aunt and Uncle's deck. Aaaaah...

Another weekend has arrived; my last non-working weekend for a while (remember I do have a vacation coming up in August).

Bright and early Monday morning I'll be getting up to go to work with all of you instead of hanging around with my fuzzy slippers on and making you jealous of me being home!

I've been getting some of my errands run and things taken care of before the 'Big E' takes over. I may go join the Y today, and I may get my car cleaned inside and out, so I won't be embarrassed if I take anyone to lunch in my car!

I had a nice lunch out yesterday with some of my former work buddies.

We were going to go to Chili's, but ended up at Fridays because their outdoor patio area was less crowded.

At Fridays we discovered a new menu item- low fat chicken potstickers with dipping sauce.


Two of us ordered them, and I thought mine were really good. A nice alternative to ordering a burger or a salad or something.

To do list before WORK:

I just put in a wash - mostly bathing suits and towels (something I use a lot of!).

I intentionally left one of my swimsuits hanging on the screen porch clothesline at my mother's, so she will see it and think I'll be coming over soon to swim and not miss me so much. ;-) I'll get it when I visit the end of August.

I'd better get serious with my wardrobe and pick out a first-week-of-work's worth of outfits that will convey an impression of brilliance, professionalism, common sense and creativity.

Yeah right, if you could do that, Karen, maybe you wouldn't have been laid off to begin with. Thanks, Evil Bloggyman. Bite me.

I think I'll go drop a load of discard clothing off to Goodwill today. Add that to the list above. ;-)


Thursday, July 06, 2006


Day 136 - Home again, FOUR days to Employment!

Greetings, Dukes and Duchesses of Bloggydom!

I'm Baaaaack, and partially unpacked. I found the evil Bloggyman stowed away in my luggage (play sound clip of Gollum whispering 'Not listening, Not listening'). I think it's his fault that I had such a hard time getting back home this week.

Evil Bloggyman: Serves you right, you Pollyanna. This is how people in the real world suffer every day like they're supposed to.

Hold on while I go put in a wash....Okay, I'm back again...

We went to sleep early last night, as I hadn't had much sleep in the last 24 hours.

Charlie woke up at 12:30am and thought it was morning! I said 'It's 12:30!' (because I can see the clock), and Charlie said 'No, it's getting light out!'. He did go back to sleep and the alarm rang at good ol' 5am. I think the moon must have been very bright last night. ;-)

I know I've forgotten to tell lots of stories about my trip, but one thing I am sure I haven't mentioned was seeing an 'Oreo Cow' for the first time.

What the heck is an Oreo Cow, Karen? I thought you'd never ask...

An Oreo Cookie Cow is another name for the 'Belted Galloway' breed. They are native to Scotland.

There was some small discussion in the family about where they originally came from, but they were introduced to the US around 1950.

They have a nicely marked 'white center' surrounded by dark chocolatey regions, obviously like an Oreo cookie. Cute, eh?

Here's a link if you want to learn more about them.

I've downloaded my pictures (105 of them!) from my Maine trip, and will be showing a few of them here and there. You know, when you take over 100 pictures, only a handful are really GOOD ones. Sheesh.

Here are some of the fifty LOBSTERS we cooked over a wood fire and enjoyed this past Monday...

How good does THAT look, says Rachael Ray!

I can brag that every day of my vacation I had lobster, clams or Italian sandwiches! Heaven!

Did I tell you I'll be going on vacation again in August? I had to negotiate that with my new job, as I had already booked my trip.

Well, today will be a busy day.

I wrote out some birthday cards around 5:15am, and Charlie got them into the mailbox when he went out to get the paper. I have laundry to do and lots of errands to run.

Have a great day and TTFN!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Day 135 - Stranded in Washington, D.C. - Five Days to Employment!

Greetings, Bloggy Travelers!

Did you make it through the 4th of July OK?

I didn't. ;-) Well, my schedule didn't.

I am home now after a grueling episode getting from Boston, MA to Nashville yesterday afternoon. My plane out of Boston was delayed, and delayed, then we got on the plane and BACK OFF AGAIN when we had yet another delay, and then finally got back on the plane and flew away. We were over two hours late leaving Boston.

My plane was supposed to stop briefly in D.C. to take on passengers (no change of planes for me). It left so late from Logan, and Washington National was so full of planes trying to land (we circled and circled and I saw at least 20 simultaneous firework shows going on) that when we arrived in D.C. they deplaned everyone and said the remaining leg of the flight (it was even the same flight number!) was cancelled. Since when do they cancel a piece of the same flight??

Actually, they didn't SAY anything - we didn't know the remaining part of the flight was cancelled for several minutes after everyone was off the plane. There wasn't even a gate agent there right away, and all the ticket counters were closed too. Not fun. I did find my luggage later in the airport baggage office, tucked away in a corner, and asked to have it back so I could have some clean clothes. Those people on the plane who didn't find their luggage were out of luck. One lady I spoke to this morning slept IN the airport. That is awful, but I've been there, done that too.

I got on the cell phone last night and rebooked myself for the first available flight in the morning - at the early hour of ELEVEN am. Thankfully I didn't have to go to WORK today or be at a meeting or something.

Several of us called a phone number the airline gave us, and stayed at a reduced rate ($89 - for DC that is fantastic) at the Crystal City Hilton and had free shuttle service from the airport last night (at 11:30pm) and back to the airport this morning. I asked for a king bed, non smoking, and it was luxurious and cushy, with Crabtree and Evelyn soaps and in-room coffee. Aaaaah.

I took the Hilton shuttle back to the airport this morning, nice and early so I had PLENTY of time to sort out the problems. The airport was still experiencing problems from the issues the night before. The line to the ticket counter was 75 minutes long, and they took a long time trying to figure out HOW to reticket me, since their COMPUTER showed that my flight had flown. No, HALF of my flight had flown. If ALL of my flight happened, I wouldn't be THERE.

After I had my ticket, a seat, a boarding pass, and had gotten rid of my luggage, THEN I could think about having something to eat. I hadn't eaten a MEAL since lunch the day before. I did eat a plain bagel at 12:30am this morning because I had a bag of bagels in my suitcase that I was bringing home. Thank goodness for that.

I had a delicious western omelette with foccacia bread and fresh fruit at a restaurant at the airport. It was delicious because it was FOOD. Getting any food was a miracle because they had ONE waitress working, and every single table in the restaurant had dirty dishes on it when I got there. I moved some dishes to another table, wiped it off myself, and sat down. The waitress NEVER bussed the dishes on all the other tables while I was there, just the tables that people wanted to actually SIT DOWN at. Go figure.

When I wanted to pay, I just went up front and stood there till the waitress came by and took my money. I wonder if some people left without paying. Probably...

By the way - after my breakfast, I got in the very long line for security, and got down to the gate. My departure gate this morning was right next to my arrival gate the night before, so it was kind of a spooky sensation to 'recognize' the place (deja vu) when it was busy and bustling, vs. deserted as it was last night.

We had an uneventful flight over to Nashville, my baggage arrived safely, and the Park and fly place picked me up and had my car ready and waiting for me. I stopped at Sams Club on the way home and picked up a few things in case there wasn't any food in the fridge!

Well, Charlie will be home soon so I'd better quit blogging and start unpacking.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Day 134 - Happy 4th of July! Six Days to Employment!

Greetings, Bloggy Dudes and Dudettes!

Happy 4th of July! Sparklers for Everyone!

When the 4th doesn't fall on a weekend, it's a kind of 'been there, done that' feeling, because we've been celebrating for DAYS already.

But if this is YOUR big day off, enjoy that feeling of Independence today!

We are leaving the house early this morning. We are going to a 4th of July Road Race that my uncle and two of my cousins are running in.

Some of the other family members will be there to cheer as well. After that, we're going to get something to eat, and THEN it will be time to start my trek back to Tennessee.

I'm not quite packed yet, either, so I'm not going to 'blog on' for too long.

Yesterday we enjoyed a family lobster cookout. My uncle cooked all the lobsters in a big washtub over a wood camp fire. He filled it three times to cook fifty lobsters, and stirred the pot and lifted out the lobsters with a small hay rake. Talk about ingenuity!

Everyone brought out their lawn chairs (mostly the fold-and-put-in-a-bag style) and sat around in the shade or in the sun and chatted, as though we hadn't talked nonstop for 8 hours the day before. Do you know how many people have their clothing and chairs color coordinated? I wish I could be that organized... maybe...

All the younger kids were enthralled with the whole process, and sat on the grass watching (after they had had their fill of looking at the LIVE lobsters in their coolers first).

Most of us are starting to get a little sunburned here and there. I wore a different swimsuit yesterday so I have some 'scalding' going on where the other straps used to be. Oops.

I went swimming TWICE yesterday, once in the morning and once before supper. Aaaaah. That reminds me, one of my bathing suits is hanging out on the screen porch. I'd better go get it or it won't find it's way into my suitcase.

I'm going to get going - lots to do this morning and limited time to do it. Wish me luck on my trip home, and have a Happy 4th of July!

Joe - have fun at your cookout!

Heather - have fun at your cookout!


Monday, July 03, 2006


Day 133 - One Week Till Employment!

Greetings! It's Monday!

You have entered the Bloggy Countdown to Employment!

One week from today I will be rising and shining with all of you and going to work. By the way, I am supposed to report for orientation (or disorientation) at 8am next Monday morning.

But enough of all that, I have ONE WEEK left to do 'other than work' type stuff, so I'll talk about other-than-work-type-stuff.

Yesterday's family cookout was superb - food, fun and family.

My uncle passed around a paper plate for everyone to sign (we do that at Thanksgiving too) to get a count of the attendees. He counted 77, and told me the plate actually had 82 names but that some of the kids had listed their DOGS as attendees. That made me laugh - no, I don't have a cousin named 'Curly'. We left for the cookout at 11am and arrived back home at 8:00 last night! Long day!

One of my first cousin's husband's has a broken leg. His little daughter TACKLED him and that's how he broke it. The little ones like to 'knock' on his cast. ;-)

One first cousin, who runs a fish farm, brought in wonderful barramundi fish (a type of sea bass) to grill for us. It was UNBELIEVABLE.

Another first cousin brought smoked salmon - it was also fantastic.

Don't worry - we also had hamburgers and hotdogs and potato salad and chips and dips and desserts and all that good stuff. Hotdogs cooked over a real fire are the best, especially if they start bubbling and split.

My nephew, who is in the army at Ft. Bragg, NC drove all the way up here for the festivities. He has a two week leave and will be driving off again today (after he goes to our lobster bake this afternoon!) to spend the rest of his leave time at my sister's.

Another first cousin's daughter just got married a week ago, so we could check out her new hubby and welcome him to the family. He is very nice.

At family get-togethers, you hear all the news and also check out who has changed spouses or boyfriends, who is expecting, who has gotten gray hair or lost their hair since you last saw them, who has gained weight, and who has lost weight. It's the way of the world.

Ok gang, coffee is ready so I think I'll get going. Later this morning some relatives are coming over to swim in the pool, and this afternoon we're having lobsters 'at the farm'.

You folks have a nice day and TTFN!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Day 132 - Grand State of Maine

Greetings, Blogregation!

It's early Sunday morning, and it's raining lightly. I hope it clears off, because today is our big family cookout at my Aunt and Uncle's camp down at the lake.

We'll cook hot dogs and hamburgers over a wood fire, and my mother made a gigantic potato salad last night and got the fixins for s'mores.

There'll probably be 60 people there, and it will be a lot more comfortable if we're not dodging raindrops. It has rained at some point each day that I've been here - even 'bluebird clear' sunny days will have a period of showers pass through.

That is unusual, but who can guess why weather does what it does. It's a mystery.

I've been meaning to mention that the newspaper here has stories that I just don't GET in Nashville.

For example, motorist accidents with MOOSE. Yes, it happens regularly here.

How about multiple ads for ice skates for sale? Nope, never seen it in a Nashville paper.

A local ice cream shop, proudly advertising PUMPKIN ice cream. Uh, not in July, thank you very much. Maybe I'd be willing to try it in October.

Speaking of ice cream products - have you wanted to try a 'fat free' type and thought they were all terrible? Try Edy's Black Cherry Vanilla Swirl Frozen Yogurt. It is fat free, it's GREAT and I'm going to buy some when I get home. It is light and fluffy and delicious.

Hey! It's time for a Quote of the Day! Let's do Ice Cream:
Do you know how many calories are in butter and cheese and ice cream? Would you get your dog up in the morning for a cup of coffee and a donut? Jack LaLanne

I think ol' Jack would have loved Edy's Fat Free Frozen Yogurt. ;-)

Reading the 'cup of coffee and a donut' quote reminds me to mention Dunkin Donuts, my favorite coffee shop chain in New England. I have only been there once this trip, buying my usual - a medium iced coffee with three sweet n lows. I need to go back there before Tuesday and pick up some ground coffee to bring back to Tennessee with me.

Well, I might as well finish this entry up by mentioning Italian Sandwiches. Do you know what those are?

Kudos to iStockPhoto for this perfect photo of a 'Ham Italian'.

In Maine, an Italian sandwich is kind of like a submarine sandwich, but made on a roll that is reminiscent of a footlong hot dog roll.

It contains a small amount of whichever meat you choose (I always get ham), and 'dressed' with cheese, long pickle slices (not round), green pepper, onions and tomatoes.

No lettuce, ever. A little oil and vinegar goes on the top, and there you have it - an Italian sandwich. YUM-O.

Heather - I know you're jealous that we went to have Sam's Italians yesterday while you were working! xxx

Well, I think this blog entry is fattening enough. Everyone will be wanting Sunday brunch after reading it. Think sunny thoughts and TTFN!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Day 131 - Happy July!

Greetings, Bloggers and Blogresses!

It's July the Oneth, and it's Saturday! Are you enjoying your summer?

What does summer mean to YOU?

Nice weather? Vacations? Ice cream and fireworks?

Charlie won't believe it, but it is 5:51am here and FORTY-FIVE degrees. Maine can sure be cold at night in the summer!

Remember what I said about my grandmother letting me sleep on the porch even when it was cold? Did you realize it could be THIS cold on a summer night in Maine?

The photo you see here is of Cape Elizabeth Cove here in Maine. We went to Cape Elizabeth yesterday, but I didn't take this picture! You'll have to wait till my return to see some of the photos I took.

We visited 'Two Lights State Park' yesterday, and the fog horn was going and the waves were crashing against the shore. I do love the ocean and the Maine coast!

We had our lobster luncheon at Captain Newicks restaurant, and steamed clams to boot. Our waitress said they had been out of clams for several days, so we were lucky!

We had a get together at my Aunt and Uncles house 'on the farm' late yesterday, and stayed for dinner. We caught up on the family news and sat outside on their deck. As dinner was ending there was a popup shower on one side of the house, and no rain on the other side of the house!

I got a couple pictures of a small rainbow! I always think it's a special day if there was a rainbow.

Charlie sent me this photo of the blackberries he picked yesterday. Thanks, Charlie! XXX

A lot of our berries and vines dried up this year when we had our mini-drought.

July is blackberry and blueberry picking month in Tennessee, and I need to get out there and pick some once I return.

And yes, I'll have to do my berrying on the weekends, as I'll be WORKING again.

I don't know what the plans are for today, but I know they will involve more visiting and more eating! That's what people DO on vacation!

Well, I guess I've blogged enough for now. I'm going to go back to bed and read for a while so I don't wake up the whole house. TTFN and Happy July!

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