Thursday, April 30, 2009

Insight: Part One

An unfortunate incident yesterday between Lucy and Lily provided me with a glimpse into what it might be like to be a parent faced with children that don't always get along and one who, on occasion, exhibit behavior which is extremely upsetting.
We learned a while back not to allow Lucy to have any food around Pete and Lily, including (and most importantly) rawhide chewies. You might recall how Lucy attacked Pete on Christmas day because he showed some minor interest in her rawhide Gingerbread Man. About a month later, she went after Lily who was merely strolling past Lucy's food bowl as Lucy was preparing to chow down. Not too long ago, Lucy managed to get a piece of a rawhide chewie upstairs unbeknown to me and growled at Pete when he looked at her the wrong way. In all three instances, no one was harmed. The first two were loud, noisy, growly, hissy affairs, but, no damage other than flying fur.
Tuesday evening, I gave Lucy a rawhide chewie (one from Grammy) to chew on while we were outside enjoying the evening air. As it turned out, she didn't chew much of it at all, opting to carry it around with her instead. When it came time to come in, we made her leave it outside.
Yesterday morning she couldn't wait to get outside to get to her chewie. I put her out and she spent an hour or so running around with it in her mouth. In hindsight, I think I should have realized this was in and of itself unusual behavior, bordering on obsessive-possessive.
When I went to let her in (she was standing at the door obviously wanting to come in), she had the thing in her mouth. I made her drop it before she came in.
Now here's the thing I've been beating myself up over. I saw it drop on the patio about 1/2 way between the door to the sunroom and the edge of the patio. I thought to myself, "I should go throw that into the yard where she can't see it from inside", followed closely by, "Nah, it's outside, no one can get to it".
In comes Lucy to join Pete and Lily who were doing their usual morning thing in the sunroom (hanging out swatting at bugs on the screen).
I went to do some work on the computer. Roughly 10 minutes later, I heard this God-awful terribly snarling and growling going on in the sunroom. I immediately jumped out to run out there and found Lucy pinning Lily down to the ground. I shrieked at Lucy and sufficiently distracted her such that Lily was able to scuttle away. She ran upstairs. Pete must have already decided to beat a fast trail out of there as he was nowhere to be seen.
Trembling with fear and rage (I hate to admit), I chased Lucy around the kitchen yelling at her. She, no fool, realized she'd done something wrong and attempted to bow to me (subservience) but I just grabbed her, took her to task for her behavior, and threw her butt out into the yard where she promptly ran around the other side of the house to get away from me as I was still shouting at her at the top of my lungs.
This all took three minutes. I ran upstairs to find Lily. I couldn't find her at first (I found our brave Pete cowering under the bed and pulled him out by the tail to make sure he wasn't Lily; him hissing and yowling at me). I finally found her (under the bed at the foot hunched into the bed clothes (the bed hadn't been made yet)). I coaxed her out and checked her for injuries. As far as I could tell, she seemed okay. Frightened, but okay.
I went back downstairs and called Mr. B because I was still livid and scared. He calmed me down and told me to leave Lucy outside and forget about her; that it would do her some good to be out there (I guess like a doggie time out).
Throughout the day yesterday, I went upstairs to check on Lily. At one point, maybe noon-ish, I thought her face looked odd and that something was wrong with her eye. I got to thinking that perhaps, during the fracas, Lucy had either clawed her or dragged her face across the tile and scraped it.
About 4:00 yesterday, I went to find her again. She was in the same place she'd been in all day; at the foot of the bed in the middle guest bedroom on top of my (recently completed) afghan.
This time, I KNEW something was really wrong. Her eye was swollen shut and the entire right side of her sweet little face was puffed up and swollen. I immediately called the vet, told them briefly what happened, and was told to bring her in right away.
Dr. Scott examined her (Dr. Scott is familiar with Lucy and had also treated Clyde from time to time when Uncle Chuck (Dr. Miller) was unavailable). She discovered that Lucy had actually bitten Lily. Or, rather, one of Lucy's canine teeth had gotten up under the gum line on the upper right of Lily's mouth and torn it (Mr. B and I speculated quite a bit about this last night; we're not 100% sure Lucy INTENDED to bite Lily; since she didn't actually bite through her face but rather inside her mouth, it could be Lily was either hissing or attempting to bite Lucy while Lucy had her head near Lily's face. Of course, it's all a moot point because Lucy shouldn't have attacked Lily in the first place).
Thankfully, there was no damage to Lily's eye and neither Dr. Scott or Uncle Chuck (who came in later to look at Lily) thought there had been any facial/bone damage. They both looked VERY serious, though. I think Chuck looked more serious than I've ever seen him (and this includes the time he told me Clyde had cancer). NO ONE there could believe Lucy had done this. They all know and love her and were, quite frankly aghast. Well, I was pretty damn aghast, too.
So, Lily got a shot of antibiotics (good for two weeks), an anti-inflammatory, and a supply of opiates (oral pain killers). They told me to bring her back Friday if the swelling hadn't gone down and/or if she wouldn't eat. This would mean x-rays and IVs.
Lily is, thankfully, a pretty tough little chickie. She played with me through the bars of the cat carrier and ate a little wet food when we got home. She's been taking her oral opiates like a trooper (I think she sort of likes them) and today she ate some cat treats, some kibble, and is back to her picky ways when it comes to the wet food. This morning, she sat in the bathroom sink and played with the water and then taught a naughty blue mouse who was boss. Her recovery looks promising.


Lily on drugs

Pete wonders where his drugs are

Lucy, in the meantime, is in the proverbial dog house. Mr. B thinks she needs to spend a goodly amount of time outside before we let her back in. This is partly to give Lily sufficient time to heal without worrying abut Lucy being around and partly because he's pissed off at her. It probably will take Lily a while to be comfortable around Lucy again but I think she'll get there (had it been Pete, we might have a different story). We bring Lucy in at night, of course, but we lock her in the sunroom with her bed, water and a few toys. Again, this is mostly to give Lily the freedom to move around and not be scared but it is, obviously, also intended as punishment for Cujo. I mean Lucy.
I jest, but, in truth, it is a bit Cujo-like, this behavior of hers. I can only surmise that, for whatever reason, Lucy got it into her head that Lily was going to go outside and get her rawhide chewie yesterday. Lily must have walked over to the door, and Lucy being a dog, she couldn't reason that Lily couldn't open the door and go out and get the chewie. Her Cujo switch got flipped and that was all it took.
I'm of course hoping for the best. I hope that we'll eventually be able to bring Lucy in and re-build up the trust all around. However, my heart is heavy now, especially since, just Monday, I'd left the three of them alone for the very first time. Now, I doubt I'll feel comfortable doing that in a long, long time, if ever again.
And, sadly (but it's something we have to consider), there is the realization that, if Lucy does this again, we'll probably have to find her a new home.
I've gone on longer than I meant to and I still have not arrived at my A HA moment. So, next time!
Mrs. B

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm Percolating


I sorta go through these stages from time to time (ok, not "sorta", I DO) when I feel like I'm just working on what's next, whatever it might be. Stuff is goin' on in my brain; lots of thoughts jumping all over like Mexican jumping beans or those weird ideas you get when you look at an ink blot and are supposed to say what you think it resembles. Wait, that's not what I meant! Rather, when you're given a prompt; a word, a sentence, a color, a smell; and you are supposed to blurt out whatever comes into your mind first. Ping pong, ping pong.
One thing I wish I had was a small recording device with an input and and output plug (whatever they are called; you'd think I'd know the correct term; you know, something similar to what you connect your TV and DVD player together with). The input plug would go into my brain (painlessly, of course) and the output would connect to my lap top. That way, all of the random stuff floating around in there, whether I am awake or asleep, could get recorded. Then, I'd just have to read it, sort through it, edit it (I'm more than decent at that), and, e voila, a masterpiece.
Ain't gonna happen, though.
So, anyway, rest assured, dear readers, thoughts, ideas, concepts, stories, random inaneness et al is brewing away ready to be poured out.
Just not today!
In the meantime, because I know there those of you who check here daily, below, at least, is something (posted on my FB page this past Sunday).
Mrs. B

50 Things You Haven't Been Asked (Actually 48 Because #24 And #28 Were Missing)
Actually, I HAVE been asked several of these. I wasn't going to do this Note but, Mr. B is asleep, it's a hot, lazy Sunday afternoon and I'm not motivated to do anything but answer silly trivia questions.

1, What color is your toothbrush?Non-descript Oral B electric thingie...who knows? White, I guess!


2, Name one person who made you smile today?Uh, no one yet :-(


3, What were you doing at 8 am today?Sleeping


4, What were you doing 45 minutes ago?Something on the computer + folding laundry


5, What is your favorite candy bar?Dark chocolate so either Hershey’s Special Dark, York Peppermint Pattie or Mounds


6, Have you ever been to a strip club?Yes, some b-day; probably 21st. I think my boss at the time (a woman) was a lot more into it than the rest of us (considerably younger party goers) were!


7, What is the last thing you said aloud?I can’t remember. Mr. B’s been asleep on the couch for almost two hours and all the pets are also sacked out so no one is around to talk to and two hours ago is a long time to remember. Wait, I’m repeating myself!


8, What is your favorite ice cream flavor?Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


9, What was the last thing you had to drink?Diet Coke


10, Do you like your wallet?Yes, I got it in Lucca, Italy. Lovely red Italian leather!


11, What was the last thing you ate?Scrambled eggs (1/2 real, ½ Egg Beaters), veggie sausage and 1 slice whole wheat toast. I can tell ya how many calories, if you care!


12, Have you bought any new clothing items this week?Yes. Don’t you want to know what?


13, The last sporting event you watched?Hurricanes game last Tuesday. They won in the final 0.2 seconds; I won’t soon be forgetting that game!


14, What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?The stuff from the movies that is SO bad for you


15, Who is the last person you sent a text message too?My brother Nathaniel


16, Ever go camping?Yes


17, Do you take vitamins daily?Yes, and, except for allergies (which vitamins cannot assist with), I am hardly ever sick


18, Do you give to church/charity?Yes, a few charities


19, Do you have a tan?I have a glow


20, Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?Probably not


21, Do you drink your soda with a straw?If there is one available


22, What did your last text message say?Uh, the one to my brother mentioned above or the last one I received? In any event, no one’s biz!


23, What are you doing tomorrow?Nothing much exciting. Typical Monday around here


24, No Number 24


25, Look to your left, what do you see?Pie safe


26, What color is your watch?Don’t wear a watch


27, What do you think of when you hear Australia?Reminds me of when I went there in 2002 for work


28, No #28


29, Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?I don’t go very often but if I do, I’ll usually go inside because I’m probably on a road trip and I probably have to use the bathroom


30, What is your favorite number?I don’t really have one


31, Who's the last person you talked to on the phone?Someone who called for Mr. B but didn’t want to leave a message (likely a telemarketer)


32, Any plans today?We are supposed to make dinner together. We might have a martini and play some cards


33, How many states have you lived in?IN, CA, KY, CO, NC = 5 (although I lived in California three separate times AND lived for summers in MA, OH and NY)


34, Biggest annoyance right now?Allergies


35, Last song listened to?Some song on XM in the car on the way home last night. I think it was 80s rock


36,Can you say the alphabet backwards?Unfortunately, no


37, Do you have a maid service clean your house?I did but I fired them because they couldn’t do the job right. So, now it’s up to me


38, Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?I don’t have one favorite pair of shoes (I have WAY TOO MANY). My absolute favorite is NO SHOES


39, Are you jealous of anyone?No


40, Is anyone jealous of you?Unlikely


41, Do you love anyone?Yes


42, Do any of your friends have children?A few friends do


43, What do you usually do during the day?It really depends on the day but you can rest assured that at least some of it I’ll be on the computer (unless I am on vacation)


44, Do you hate anyone that you know right now?No


45, Do you use the word 'hello' daily?I guess, if someone calls me or says something really dumb that needs to be commented on, like “HELLO?”


46, What color is your car?Grey or Silver (depending on which one I’m driving)


47, Do you like cats?I’d better, since I have two of them!


48, Are you thinking about someone right now?I guess I’m thinking I wish Mr. B would wake up soon. Does that count?


49, Have you ever been to Six Flags?Several different Six Flags


50, How did you get your worst scar?I had a cyst or something on my back (spine) which they (good old Kaiser HMO) did a terrible job of removing. Left an gnarly looking scare and ruined my chances for wearing low back cut dresses

Friday, April 24, 2009

Allergies and Other Random Stuff

Before I moved to Durham, I NEVER had any trouble at all with allergies. And, there certainly was a lot to be allergic to in California flora and fauna-wise; in particular, many people are highly allergic to the eucalyptus trees that are everywhere. I had those trees in surplus surrounding my patio at my condo; never had any trouble.
My friends Debbie and Pam on my patio in California; see all the eucalyptus trees?

The first year that I moved here, I didn't notice anything unusual about the state of my health/how I felt during the Spring. That would have been 2004; maybe I was so distracted by my budding love affair with Mr. B (what a GLORIOUS time April 2004 was!) that I just didn't notice?
The very first picture of us together! April 2004

The following year, however, I noticed big time. That was the year I started taking Clarinex.
Each year that's ensued, though, "it" (allergy season/my reaction) appears to be getting worse AND new symptoms arrive.
2005: Stuffed up/cotton filled head, groggy brain function and plugged up ears
2006: 2005 + continual sneezing and itchy eyes (such a delight for contact lens wearers)
2007: 2006 + hacking cough
2008: 2007 + draining sinuses (which actually caused my teeth to hurt) and ear aches
2009: 2008 + extremely sore and swollen throat (I surmise from the drainage), upset stomach (that stuff's gotta go somewhere and it's probably acidic enough to take the paint off our new car), coughing and sneezing at the SAME time (an interesting trick) and symptoms randomly disappearing and then reappearing several hours (or even days) later.
Suffice it to say, although April is certainly a lovely time of the year around here, I can't wait to see the tail end of this month.
I'm a bit worried what April 2010 might bring symptom-wise!
Oh well!
We had a great time at last night's After Busy Season Party. Mr. B's firm does pull out the stops for this event. It was at a new (I think) trendy hip place called Solas in Raleigh. Solas seemed to be a combination of a bar, restaurant, night club, dance place and maybe even a business meeting place. It's three stories (with the top being a roof top bar) and there was also plenty of outdoor seating on the ground level. What a lovely night to be outside; a nice, balmy NC evening (thank God the allergy symptoms had taken a temporary hiatus last night). The 2nd floor had a few tables but mostly it was made up of a long bar, its own outside patio (with tables) and a dance floor. A CLEAR dance floor, I might add. So, the people sitting below (and, yes, there were tables positioned directly below the dance floor on the 1st floor) might get a pretty interesting show. It was sorta creepy (at first) to walk across that floor; it felt wrong, somehow. Almost as if one might crash down through it onto the someones fillet Mignon. I got used to it (a few glasses of wine helped). However, it probably wasn't a great idea to wear a dress. Ronnie (Mr. B's boss) looked at me and said, "Didn't you get the memo about the dance floor?" Mr. B said, "I told you there was a clear dance floor!" Well, I didn't remember it. Not too many other ladies were wearing dresses but I wasn't the only one, thank God.
And, speaking of that dress. It was one I bought three years ago for a DSO Gala. I only wore it that one time; not because I didn't like it; mostly because I never found another occasion to wear just that dress. Well, last night was it! I found some cute black peek-a-boo patent leather pumps on sale at Kohl's yesterday (their name? "Kendal"!) so decided the dress would look good with the shoes.
That dress, though, is tough to get into. The design is awkward (maybe that's why I haven't worn it much). It took me four times to get it on (and I was at first merely going to try it on to see if it looked ok to wear; once I finally got it right, I thought I'd better just leave it on and call it good!)
Ok, here is the funny thing. We got home from the party and went upstairs to go to bed. I went into the bathroom to take off the dress. The zipper was stuck (one of those side zippers that runs from under the arm hole to about waist level). I tried and tried to get it down. Finally (knowing I was getting frustrated, I asked Mr. B to come in and help me. Well, he couldn't get it down, either. We struggled with it for a long time. There was NO WAY I could get that dress off without the zipper down. I'm standing there all tangled up in this dress, starting to get quite upset. Finally, I told Mr. B to go get the scissors and just cut me out of the damn thing. Which is what he did. So much for THAT dress. At least it had one last hoorah at the After Busy Season Party.
It's been a SLOOOOW day today. Mr. B stayed home from work (still catching up on his sleep). We got up late, sat around reading the paper, then, went back to take a nap. Him because he's tired, me because I feel like I'm in allergy hell.
After getting up, he had sufficient energy to go mow the front lawn. I sat inside trying to find out why the City of Durham charged a .52 cent late fee on our water bill when I had it set up to pay on the due date through our bank. This has never happened before. They put me on hold when I said I wanted to have the fee waived. I waited about 20 minutes for someone to come back to me before I gave up; I'll call and discuss this with them Monday when I'm feeling more feisty.
Tomorrow is the 2nd Thorn Beer Fest at my brother Nathaniel and wife Analee's house. He reported on Facebook that he has at least 44 different varieties of beer for us to sample (we all buy beer to bring and share and tell him ahead of time what we're bringing so he can make a beer menu). There will be lots of food, games, a beer quiz with prizes (last time I won a glass stein, some cider and some Guinness to make a Snake Bite), Jarts, and Nathaniel said he'd but his golf range net up so I can whack a few balls with my new clubs. And, we'll drive our new car over there, woo hoo.
Let's hope I'm feeling better, though!
As an aside, I decided to resign from my position on the DSO Board of Directors. I'll finish out my term (through June 30th). After that, maybe I'll volunteer from time to time (they always need volunteers) but I figured one year of this was enough of an experience and it's time to find something else to do.
Ciao.
Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Margot!!!!!

We love you so much! We hope you're having a wonderfully fantastic birthday!
Love,
Mrs. B, Mr. B, Lucy, Pete and Lily

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today is the 500th Anniversary of Henry VIII's Ascension

I continue to find Henry VIII (and all of the Tudors) extremely fascinating. In truth, Henry VIII was not always a fat, bloated, gouty-legged tyrant who liked to chop of the heads of wives (and anyone else) who displeased him.
Although this is how most of us picture him, he was, at one time, young and handsome.
I doubt, though, that he EVER looked as hot as Jonathan Rhys Meyers!
Here is a link to an interesting site about Great King Harry.
And, hey, if he did nothing else, he gave the world his daughter, the magnificent Elizabeth I.
Mrs. B

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sometimes It's Just Easier To Post Stuff I've Already Written!

Actually, I stumbled across this journal entry (as in from one of my actual journals) today quite by accident. For some reason, this particular journal (from age 41-43) was in a basket in the upstairs office (I usually move my completed journals into a big box in the garage; and, yes, they are all labeled with the age(s) I was while writing them. Very, very anal, I know).
Anyway, I liked this, so, here it is. This makes me wonder whatever little nuggests of Amy-wisdom are contained in that box out in the garage? Ha ha. At least I have years upon years of material for when I find myself stymied with coming up with something new to post here.
Mrs. B

10 August 2007
Been awhile, hasn't it? It's summer, it's hot; just not a lot going on worth writing about. Not that I haven't been writing, I have; but mostly on my Blog and a bit on "The Fate Scheduler" but not much. It's going to take me forever to write this book.
So, I am, at long last, coming to the end of this particular journal. Almost two years since I started it. Frankly, it's been a bit of a tough two years, which is amazing to admit given how cushy my life is now. But, there's been a lot of changes, both external to me, within me, etc. And it goes on.
I told Don W yesterday that we should be happy that we've had enough life to spill onto a page 2 or 3 of a resume. Along that train of thought, I feel lucky that I've had so much life experience to fill up over 30 years of diaries and journals. I am thankful I felt the need all those years ago to record my life (silly as some of those earliest entries were; boring as some of the latest ones might be).
I can go to the "Journal Box" in the garage, open it up, pull out a journal at random and instantly be back to that place and time; that Amy. As I read, memories of events I didn't write about come back to me as well. I can feel how I felt, be who I was; and, then, upon closing it, be grateful for who I am today and who I am yet to become.
For, another thing that keeping these journals has taught me is; I won't be the same person, exactly at the end of the next one that I am at the end of this one. The new, blank pages will be filled with experiences and events that I can't really imagine; nor, do I really want to.
One day, these journals will end when I end. They might sit moldering in their box forever, it doesn't really matter. Maybe someone will find them one day and make their way though them all. My life, in a box!
But, for now, it's time to sign off and go find my next blank journal.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Diet's Gone By The Wayside + A Great Cookie Recipe

At least for the past four days. Seriously, I've been TRYING to stick with it (I was at 119 Wednesday morning) but, since Mr. B is now home (and we've had a busy past few days), well, I'm sure I've put a pound or two back on. I'm afraid to weigh myself. Maybe I will tomorrow morning when, hopefully, it will be easier to stick to a diet when I'm by myself all day. We'll see. I DID allow myself to lose four pounds more than I'd originally planned on for just this very reason (knowing I'd put a few back on).
Ok, enough. I'm NOT obsessing about this!
To prove it it, here is a recipe for some peanut butter cookies I made today (to share at the Pops in the Park concert with whomever ends up going; it's threatening rain, though; so there may very well be no picnic, in which case, the cookies will go to work with Mr. B tomorrow!)
Anyway, the recipe. Click on the link, below.
We each sampled one; yum yum. About 140 calories per cookie but they are relatively large and very rich.
And, pretty easy to make. Try 'em when the refrigerated cookie dough goes on sale!
Mrs. B

Friday, April 17, 2009

And The Winner Is...

The Hyundai Genesis. Man, what a ride. And, an absolutely beautiful car. It's silver with a saddle (brown) interior. It has more bells and whistles than any car I've ever had and its warranty is fantastic.
I'll take pix and post more about it later!
It was sorta sad to say ciao to E5150 after almost 8 years. We got a more than fair trade in on her.
Mrs. B

New Car Shopping

Now that we're over the shock that we are in fact going to have to buy a new car (frankly, I got over that a long time ago; talking to my Father about potential new cars got me all jazzed up), it's time to go out and actually do some test driving!
The first thing we're going to do, though, is head over to Car Max to get an idea of what they'd give us for the BMW. That way, we'll be better armed when we go to the dealers and hear what they might give us as a trade-in for it. Poor thing; it's not in terrible shape by a long shot but she's getting a little tattered around her (still very elegant) edges. Small things like a few chips in the paint (from rocks flying up from the road) and the interior console (where you put travel mugs and such) is peeling a bit. But, hey, she's almost 10 years old and has been through quite a bit. We're hoping to get something fair. She's a BMW, has less than 150,000 miles (I think closer to 110,000; I'm not sure since I haven't driven her in almost four years) and still looks nice when she's cleaned up.
Anyway, after Car Max, we plan on looking at three cars (I weeded the list my Father gave me as potentials down to these three):
After doing extensive research on-line on all three (and reading reviews Father pulled for me from his myriad of car magazines), any of these three would be a fine automobile to own. Suffice it to say, we'd lux up the Mazda 6 to its utmost capacity. Both the Hyundai Genesis and the Cadillac are already fairly luxed as a standard but we might add a bit to them, depending on what is on the lot. At least on-line, the Mazda and the Hyundai are coming in price-wise within a few thousand of one another (the Mazda being the cheaper of the two). The Cadillac, understandably, is more than the Hyundai, but, with my dad's GM discount and all of the incentives GM is offering now in general, we might be able to get its price closer to the Hyundai's than you'd expect.
The most important thing, though, even over the price, is how they drive and ride. Going into this upcoming experience, I am trying to be very objective and not bias myself towards one car over the other two.
Anyone care to take a stab at what you think we'll end up with? Take the poll!
I'll be back later on today with an update :-)
Mrs. B

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mr. B on 4.16.09

See? Mr. B DOES exist!

PS

I can't figure out how to rotate the pix!

Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Testing 1 2 3!

So...technology advances for me slowly but surely. I am posting this entry via the text messaging feature on my cell phone! Now I can Blog while, say, waiting in line at the DMV or while sitting in a boring meeting. Oh, wait! I no longer have to do that! I am limited to 1,000 characters and spaces, though. I can also post pictures. Hey, this could prove to be fun! I wonder if any comments I receive on postings sent via cell phone will be forwarded back to my cell phone? Guess I will find out.

You all can probably tell that I am reaching the limit of self-entertainment. Thank God Busy season ends at midnight tonight!

To test the picture thing, here is a picture I just took of Lucy.

Mrs. B

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Here are a select few pictures from yesterday. What a wonderful, warm, family-filled sunny Easter Sunday! And, even Mr. B made it home for an hour or so to eat with us!
I also posted a few new videos on You Tube.
Mrs. B

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter From Lucy, Pete and Lily!

Pictures taken today, 4.11.09. They sure are photogenic!
Happy Easter, all!
Mrs. B


Friday, April 10, 2009

Ho Hum...Not MUCH Going On...

I feel like I should write SOMETHING just so my last entry isn't from TUESDAY!
Frankly, though; there ain't a lot going on. Or, rather, nothing terribly exciting. Same old same old. I'm sure gonna be happy come next Wednesday/Thursday when BS is over!
My Father sent me a brand new set of golf clubs for an early Xmas present. Ok, that was sorta exciting :-) Of course, I can't use them until the pollen goes away, but, they are here, waiting for me.
I went to the opening home game of the season for the Durham Bulls last night. Actually, I was there to hand out postcards advertising the upcoming free concert series for the DSO. For about 45 minutes or so, I stood at the top of the stairs with a stack of these postcards giving them to anyone who would take one. I learned very quickly to say "FREE concerts!" I think a lot of folks ended up with the notion they had to have the postcard to get into the concert (not true, but, hey, they were taking 'em off my hands!) Only a few people were rude butts. Note to self: From now on, just TAKE whatever someone is trying to hand you as you walk by. No big deal to just toss it away if you don't want it. Hopefully, though, we'll get some folks to come to the Pops concerts as a result of our efforts (there were five other Board of Directors there with me).
So, the night was relatively pleasant weather-wise; the Bulls were winning when I left (sixth inning). And, I was pleased to discover that the ball park is now carrying Fat Tire beer on draft. Yey! It WAS a lot better on draft than in the bottle so I am back in love with it.
I've lost nine pounds in 3 weeks. As I said, it's easier to lose weight/watch what I eat when Mr. B isn't around. Or, maybe I'm just pining away for him? Who knows. In any case, I know some of it's gonna go back on (after the Fat Tire last night maybe it already has!)
I had lunch with my mom today; we did our part to stimulate the economy somewhat. Mostly books and stink-pretty stuff from Bath and Body Works. Oh, and some wine for Easter dinner.
We always have a great time together! However, I apparently didn't learn much from the book I just read ("Animal, Vegetable, Miracle") as I ordered something completely ridiculously out of season for lunch; a Caprese salad. Well, it just sounded good: Tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted red peppers, fresh slices of mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil.
Well, it WOULD have been wonderful, probably, had it been, say, July or August!
As it was, the tomatoes were awful; hard, not a bit of flavor, sorta pale pink in color and the peppers were out of a jar. The basil tasted ok; what there was of it (just a few tiny slivers). I complained about the tomatoes and asked for some lettuce which I mixed up with the peppers and cheese to make the entree passable and the restaurant knocked 50% off the price. Still, my bad.
I made it home just as it started to pour down rain. Poor Lucy was outside (and, as most of you know, she refuses to go into her dog house) so she was wet.
Due to Mr. B having to work on Easter (which sucks), my family (those who are in town) are coming over to our house for brunch. Mr. B feels he can make it home around 1:30 or so and stay for "a bit". So, we'll make sure food is ready to go. Have I mentioned I'll be REALLY happy when BS is over?!
Finally (for now), I am seriously considering fostering some kittens this summer. The outfit we got Pete and Lily from are DESPERATE to find foster homes as they have kittens coming out of their ears. Pete and Lily's foster mom asked me to think about it. We have enough space (to keep them secluded) and everything is paid for. So, we'll see. I'm going to talk to her more about it when we get back from our trip to Charleston at the end of May. I know, I know; maybe I'm-a nutso, but, well, you never know why certain things call to you. Mr. B just sorta rolled his eyes at me but said he wouldn't mind. I assured him we would NOT end up with 15 cats :-)
Ok, time to go watch another old smaltzy movie that I know Mr. B would hate. Tonight's feature presentation: Elmer Gantry.
Mrs. B

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

My head feels like it's a gonna explode, so, nothing coherent today, folks.
Why? ALLERGIES. It's the freakin' wind that causes them to get out of control. And, it's been windy, very, very windy, for the past two days. It blows all that nasty pollen all about and right up into my nose and head; after which, I am reduced to a stuffed-up, unmotivated, tired, bleary-eyed and otherwise non-useful person.
Thank God I don't have to go anywhere today or do much of anything (except gradually get the kitchen cleaned up from hosting last night's book club meeting).
ALL of the food I'd prepared was eaten, as was the four bottles of wine I'd purchased from the farmers market Saturday. I think folks were in fine form and having a grand time sitting around our big kitchen table (although three of us had to use "midget" chairs from the dining room), eating, drinking wine and talking (sometimes about the book!) There were 9 of us in total, plus, Pete and Lily romping around upstairs and Lucy in our bedroom dropping her Kong on the floor trying to get the cookies out of it which resulted in loud "thump thump" noises heard from all of us below in the kitchen. I eventually let her out (most of the ladies being dog lovers) whereby Lucy was in her element getting lots of hugs and giving lots of kisses. At one point I looked over to see her SITTING in one guest's lap (who had encouraged her up). Auntie Shannon, sitting next to said guest, was doing her best to keep Lucy minding her Ps and Qs.
So, what did I end up serving?
The farmhouse cheese was a big hit. It went FAST (there was still a lot of Italian bread and crackers left so I scrambled to put out some boring slices of cheddar and jack cheese after the good stuff was gone). I also had out dipping bowls full of olive oil and spices and black olive tapenade.
I used the lettuce and radishes from the farmers marker to make a big tossed green salad to which I added toasted walnuts.
I used the kale from the farmers market in a soup (that turned into more of a stew) that I sorta made up (using a recipe from one of my cookbooks as a guide) which I called "White Bean, Prosciutto and Kale Soup". THIS was a huge hit and I wished I'd made a double batch of it because it went down well sitting in the cozy kitchen with the wind shrieking outside bringing with it a chilly evening.
However, one of the reasons I DID NOT make a larger batch was that I'd originally planned on another course; "Green Garlic Gnocchi", which would have been a nice way to use the green garlic from the farmer market AND a few of the fresh eggs.
Alas, it was not meant to be. Although I followed the recipe to the letter, the gnocchi tasted only so-so and looked absolutely disgusting. No way was I gonna put that in front of guests! So, about 5 minutes before the first group arrived, I put the baking dish out in the garage.
Thankfully, there was enough of everything else; plus, a yummy cranberry nut bread (from the farmers market) and my stashes of mixed nuts and York Peppermint Patties to make everyone happy.
On to other topics (more random than the first, I suppose!)
A few days ago, I saw two of the most ridiculous things. First, a lady (who I'd seen before walking her two rat terrier looking yapping undisciplined dogs) coming up the street towards me and Lucy pushing a stroller and walking just one of the yappy dogs. As she neared, I realized she had the OTHER yappy rat dog in the stroller (which wasn't really a stroller per se but a closed dog carrier on wheels). As she passed, she waved and said, "I just can't walk them at the same time!" Hello! So, why don't you go out on two separate walks (she could use the exercise).
This caused me to remember how I used to run into a lady at the nail salon in Hermosa Beach who would routinely bring her FIVE poodles (all groomed with different colored hair bows) to the salon in a regular baby stroller. Lorian, the gal who used to do my nails, would paint their nails. For a price, of course.
The other dumb thing I saw was involving the guy across the street. Mr. Cadillac Man. I swear to God, that man washes his car at least three times a week, if not more. It had poured down rain during the night and was, in fact, still drizzling when I happened to look out the upstairs bedroom window to see Mr. Cadillac Man outside. Washing his car. In the rain. You'd think someone who is that concerned about how their car looks would park said car in their damn driveway and not leave it on the street (whereby making it difficult for yours truly to back out of HER driveway).
8 1/2 more days of busy season to go. Mr. B showed up last night after 10 (a few of the book club gals were still here) looking extremely tired. I feel for him, I really, really do.
I've been keeping myself occupied and relatively busy. I'm happy to report that I've lost 8 pounds! Yey! Actually, it's not too hard to do when Mr. B is not around, we'll see if I can manage to keep it off when he's home again.
All of the pets are doing fine. Pete and Lily are not exactly social (with people they don't know). So, along with attempting to get them used to being groomed, I am going to start bringing them downstairs when people are around and let other people hold and pet them (for a little bit) so they'll hopefully adapt. They really ARE perfectly happy to play together, though. I told my Father this morning that they will accept me into their playing session if I insert myself, but, if I didn't, they could care less. Pete is now playing with Lucy from time to time as well; however, just when Lucy figures out he's playing with her and gets into it, he loses interest and walks away, leaving her with a "what happened?" look on her face.
Billy, the guy from Clegg's Pest Control, was by yesterday to do his quarterly spraying. It's always Billy; they never send anyone else. He's a nice older man but, God, I can barely understand a word he says, his NC accent is SO strong. He said something about it getting cold for Easter and I thought to myself, "What is he talking about?", then, went inside to find an email warning about a hard freeze tonight. He obviously knew what he was talking about.
Our new tenants move into the townhouse this Thursday (I know, a weird day to move in). We're happy, they're happy; hopefully after their 18 month lease is up, they'll either renew or want to buy the place. I stopped by Sunday to check the townhouse out; it looked really good. Our former tenant took much better care of it than those yahoo idiots that broke their lease.
Okie dokie, time to sign off because I am TIRED.
Mrs. B

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quickie Post: Video Update and More Pictures

Wow, I had a lot of pictures and a few videos to post! Three new videos are on my You Tube Page as of today.
And, here are a few more pictures from the past few days.

Holly 4.1.09

Analee and Holly at Brixx 4.1.09

Holly and Auntie Mrs. B 4.2.09; check out Holly smiling!

Having even more fun 4.2.09

Shannon and Lucy 4.4.09

Lucy anxiously awaits her olive from dad 4.4.09

Gotta run go get with the Sunday program!
Mrs. B

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Full Day of Family

Meant, of course, in a POSITIVE way!
This morning, I went to the Farmers Market with Nathaniel, Analee, Kendal and Holly. They picked me up around 10 and off we went.
Despite it being a tad chilly at first, it was a lovely morning. And, the market was PACKED (turns out it was the first day of it being open from 8-12).
My primary reason for going was to pick up a few items so that I can try my hand at cooking something for Monday's book discussion group from fresh and local produce. I figured I should since it's the books theme, after all. And, I've got some time on my hands to be creative.
So, we wandered around; tons of people, dogs, strollers and an Easter egg hunt going on to boot.
I ended up buying:
1. Butter leaf lettuce
2. Radishes
3. Kale
4. Green Garlic (I THOUGHT this was a huge bunch of scallions....not)
5. Eggs
6. Farmer's Cheese
7. Cranberry Nut Loaf
8. Wine
Obviously what I concoct won't be made 100% from local ingredients, but, it'll be over 50%. I'll keep y'all posted on what I end up doing.
Anyway, here is a nice picture of Kendal (although I cut off a bit of his head; hard to take pictures with a cell phone into the direct sun):
When I got home, my other SIL contacted me and asked if I wanted to stop by later that afternoon for a cocktail on their sunny front porch. Sure!
So, after checking on the townhouse (new tenants move in Thursday), off I went, Lucy in tow.
We ended up sitting outside for several hours sipping our drinks, chatting, and watching the girls play. Lucy did really well with them; they LOVED getting Lucy kisses!
Here are pictures of the girls with their mom and dad (Jon with Sophie and Shannon with Jacqueline):
All in all (and, in fact, the past few days), I've felt blessed to have my wonderful family nearby to hang out with and keep me from being a lonely CPA "Widow".
BTW, Mr. B IS alive and kicking. Tomorrow begins the final 10 day shove. His life is pretty much the same from day to day and night to night. His big excitement was a deer ran into his car the other night while he was on his way home from work. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, the deer walked away, and the BMW wasn't overly impacted (thank GOD it wasn't our TBD new car!)
Mrs. B

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mrs. B and Holly

Here's something ya don't see every day; me and a baby! Well, we had fun yesterday! Holly is an amazingly easy/low-key baby. Other than looking a bit perplexed when she woke up from her nap and found me standing over her and not her mom or dad or someone else she knows, we did great together.
We had fun looking in the mirror. Yes, like her Auntie Mrs. B and her daddy, Holly's got "the mirror gene". This is one picture I managed to snap with my cell phone.
After mom and dad and big brother Kendal got home, we had a nice dinner (thanks again, Analee) and good conversation. Nathaniel amused me by pulling out a few of his old photo albums; Facebook's gonna get some tagging action shortly, I do believe!
Oh, and I saw Kendal take several steps on his own last night. Very exciting!
As an aside, I might not be blogging for a bit; the a/c adapter on my lap top went out and I'm running on borrowed battery time. I ordered the new adapter and paid to have it expressed so hopefully it will show up before the battery drains!
Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Old Photo Album

I have A LOT of photo albums (just check the box in the garage and the a few of the bookshelves upstairs) however there is one in particular that has always been very special to me. Why? Because it is the very first one that I went through and labeled all of the pictures (something I continue to do to this day with all those that have followed in its footsteps).
I even remember the point in time that I did this. It was 1986.
The pictures themselves are a somewhat rag-tag collection. I have a few from my early childhood, some of my brothers and sisters, my parents; even one or two of my maternal great-grandmother and HER parents (courtesy of my mom). The majority of the pictures in this album, though, are from (roughly) 1983-1986; my college years (with pictures of my brothers living their parallel lives thrown in for good measure, as well as recordings of certain family events like b-days or Christmases).
Well, this album finally bit the dust. I mean, it's been falling apart for years (hell, it IS over 20 years old) and it's had a lot of face time. It's the ONE album, despite how old it is, that isn't in the box of albums in the garage (this is where the ones of my life with my first husband reside).
So, I went to Target and bought a brandy-new album with the intention of transferring the pictures into it. Just now (well, about an hour ago), I started the process of removing the pictures from the old album. This was difficult at times since a few had been glued in (and, I'm sorry to say, a few bit the dust as they tore in half as I attempted to get them out of the album). Also, there were several that I just left in the album where they, along with the album, will meet their ultimate destiny in the garbage can (let's just say there were a few certain guys that I'd just assume NOT remember plus a few of some old friends engaged in what others might view as questionable activities (no Michael Phelps drama here, please)).
I thought, frankly, that this would be a fun way to spend a few hours this evening, but, in all truth, after I'd finished getting the pictures out, I was feeling slightly sad so I've decided to shelve the project for now (the pictures all went into several large envelopes where I'll sort through them and reorganize them for their new home at some point in time).
I guess it's normal to feel sad and/or depressed after looking at what amounted to 23 years of my life; people who are no longer with us, friends I no longer see, cherished pets (at times forgotten now) come back to life, memories of fun time long since past as well as some memories that I'd just assume not remembered. Sigh.
However, I suppose I should be thankful (and I am) that there are more people in those pictures than not who are still in my life. My parents, my siblings and several dear friends. Some of the pictures are out and out hysterical; like the one of me and my friend Patrick in a hotel room in Las Vegas all dressed up to go out on the town; I don't know who had bigger, fuzzier hair, him or me! And, the one of my friend Peri, fresh home from her first trip to NYC, wearing sunglasses that resembled the Statue of Liberty. And, the one of my friend Kathleen holding up a magazine picture of a (then very young) Ricky Schroeder and pretending to be fawning all over him. And, the one of Kathleen and me on the day we graduated from college; I have to admit, these made me smile a bit.
Still, and maybe it's because I miss Mr. B, they mostly made me melancholy. So, no more visits to the past for me, at least for now.
Mrs. B