Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Car


I'm not sure if Bruce and I will ever become big consumers. We lived so many years frugally that it is second nature to us. That said, we both have nice cars now. Bruce's lease on his BMW ran out and today he got a new one. He is fairly ambivalent about it, and I have not even ridden in it yet. We have both lived long enough to understand that material goods are just that material. I feel bad that we will have to load all the stuff in it in the morning. That should be amended, Bruce will do all the work, bless his dear heart.

It is amazing how much preparation goes into our set up for the market. I like to show a few new pieces and they need price tags, and names, and framing. I had some pictures done at Costco ; I went early to pick them up. Bruce picked up a frame at Sam Flax so I will have one big piece. Hopefully, someone will like it, or at least they should! That sounds pretty arrogant doesn't it? Just thinking positive.

We will celebrate Bill and Dave's birthday when we get home; hopefully I will be up to it!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Little Cokes

You will be happy to know that I am over feeling sorry for myself--no whining today! Last night I thought to myself, God has a reason for this time in my life, and really, it's his to do with as He chooses, so I'm going to try my best to think positive, and be grateful for all of the blessings I have--of which there are too many to count.

You would think I couldn't take a decent picture with some I post on this blog. I have no idea why this downloaded sideways, but you'll see why I left it in a minute.

My mom used to love these little Cokes, so I will always think of her when I have one. She loved to put them in the freezer getting them nice and cold, sometimes even icy. If you are old enough you will remember when the only way to get a Coke out of a machine was in a bottle. You'll also remember how some people liked to put salted peanuts in their bottle and drink and chew at the same time. This was of course before it was a crime to drink Coca-Cola.

When I saw Dr. Everett yesterday, he said he didn't mind telling me now that when he first met me he thought I had a fatal disease; in other words, I have surprised him.Those are sobering words. I guess that is why I am embracing this little business venture, and not feeling embarrassed that there are others who are better than I am-- I'm good enough for some folks. I'm pretty happy with what I have done, and I'm hoping I'll only get better with time.

I know I should not gripe about this, but don't you think lunch is a hard meal to fix when you are home alone? I find it much more difficult than breakfast or dinner. If I make tuna or egg salad, I have to eat it every day for like a week. My default lunch is peanut butter and jelly. I wonder how many other 50 somethings eat pb&j, or at least, how many will admit it. This really sounds pretty silly for a woman who used to fix lunch for six, day in and day out, but as they say, it's all in what you get used to.

Our newspaper is driving me crazy these days. It is getting more tabloidish (is that a word?)every day. Yesterday's front page carried this story on about 1/3 of the cover, HOMELESS MAN: BOYS BEAT ME, it had separate headings--(all caps), The attack, the suspects, the victim. The story began...dabbed a tissue to sop up blood seeping.... Don't get me wrong, I'm not for homeless people getting beat up, I just don't think it deserves front page coverage with all the bigger stories out there. We are treated to this kind of fare daily and I for one wish they would stop. I heard a story on NPR about a big study they did on declining newspaper readership. The best thing a newspaper can do, according to this report, is to have compelling content. I wish our editors thought that way.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

On my way home from school I drove by the house where I took this photo; they are dead and ugly now. Here today and gone tomorrow. That is what I feel about my health these days.

I went to see Dr. Everett today and the good news is the blood work for bad stuff is negative--the bad news is that I still have no diagnosis or treatment. I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself right now. He is referring me to a neurologist for possible peripheral neuropathy; I guess I'll be researching that next, however, I am not holding out much hope. It may be another month until I can get that appointment, so I guess life goes on like it is.

I stopped again on the peacock street and I got to speak with one of the homeowners. She told me that the peacocks had been there before they built the houses which was in 1965! She feeds them dog food every day around 4:30 when they come up on her porch. She said I was welcome to come back anytime and witness it, which of course, I intend to do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Logarithms and Fossils


I've spent the better part of the day on the titled subjects. I confess, neither one interests me in the slightest but it is part of the game. I've decided I much prefer living things to dead ones, thus my lack of appreciation for geology. You already know what I think of algebra so I won't rant as to bore you.

I may not have forgotten my hair appointment but I did forget my checkbook. My British stylist, Peter O'Toole, takes only cash or checks. It had been so long--maybe four months-- since my last visit, it completely escaped me. I realized just as he was blowing my hair out; talk about embarrassed. He was super sweet--probably because he felt sorry for me as the dry heaves were problematic during the appointment. He was very clever acting like it was perfectly normal! He's right, it is perfectly normal for me. I am able to save the day a bit as I have to go back to Winter Park for class tonight so I'll drop it by on my way.

I was thinking on my drive there about the incredible variety of life. I keep wondering, what is it about certain things that interest one person so intently and the other is ambivalent? I was listening to some folk/gospel music on my way there and thinking that it would drive some people mad. It is an age old question and I suppose if we all liked the same stuff, the world might be far less interesting.

I forgot to mention that Bill passed all his licensing exams(three) last week, enabling him to become a financial specialist. He is working for Wachovia, and still in training, but it is way exciting news.

The twins turn 28 on Sunday; I can still remember like yesterday when my friend Connie was doing my ultrasound and said, Gail, I think I see two babies. Ultrasound was brand new and not nearly as sophisticated as today, but she saw enough. I wanted to die as we were shaky on having one baby, let alone two. Naturally, when I got home that day, I called our library and asked about all the books they had on twins. Guess what--four!!! That was long before the days of in-vitro and widespread use of fertility drugs. Identical twins are still rare and special, but you see fraternal twins all the time. Look how wonderfully it all turned out.

Our mouths are funny in this picture taken from my lap.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Photographer

I meant to mention earlier that I realized this morning that I have been a photographer all of my adult life. I just used to take pictures of other things with bigger equipment. Funny, huh? I was pretty good with the big stuff, hopefully, I can become pretty good with my little camera.

Vulnerability

I don't know what has made me blog exactly. I kept seeing it on Picassa and I guess I thought, why not. Having said that, I now realize that I have made myself very vulnerable, not only with the blog, but my flickr account (www.flickr.com/photos/gailpeck). You begin writing, and then you think, wow, am I just contributing to the blogosphere, or does anyone really care what I think? I had a bit of reinforcement lately though because my dear friend Karen, who has remained a bit of a Luddite for years, showed up at the market, having read about it on the blog. Lisa worries about me if I don't post and Matt's friend, Sarah, apparently catches up with me now and again as well. Thanks guys.

I got a bit of a shaky start this morning; I was having dry heaves in Geology, but I'm doing better now. In order to put logarithms behind me, I made a tiny detour off my main drive home. I know there is a neighborhood in Conway that is overrun by wild peacocks--I decided to see for myself. There are scads of them hanging around front yards and in trees, unbelievable. I'll post more on the flickr. They seem unafraid of people, thus I was able to get pretty close. The light today wasn't great as it is a bit overcast, so I'll try again on a sunnier day. Nice.

I've been thinking about Elizabeth Edwards. I feel very sad about her metastases, and almost sadder at the hope she feels. Having worked as a mammographer for twelve years, I know first hand that it is a rare person who survives for long with her condition. As well, bone cancer is extremely painful. Having young children just adds to the pathos. Here's hoping she is an exception to the rule.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Musings


If you are like me, you have plenty of cookbooks. It is amazing how you may not use them all the time, but there can be one great hint, or recipe, that becomes part of your repertoire. Matthew was so wonderful as to give me a personalized cookbook from Nigella. The inscription is "Happy Christmas Gail". It was such a beautiful surprise, but I have come to expect that from our dear Matt. Anyway, the point is that she suggests putting mustard in mashed potatoes and believe me it is good. If you haven't tried it, please do. I made mashed potatoes tonight with a good dollop of Djon mustard and they were delicious.

I have had a good day. It may be because the produce lady told me I was beautiful yesterday for some reason. It is amazing what an unexpected compliment can do for one's outlook. Seriously, I did manage a lot for me today. A few errands and a trip to the mall! Mind you, I didn't buy much and I moved pretty slowly but still...

I also vacuumed my MINI. That is the first time I have done that since I got the car at Thanksgiving. Bruce has done it for me, but I wanted to push myself so he didn't interrupt. He is such a sweetie, he has had to do so much for the last nine months. I was even daydreaming today about how I was going to get all the way better and become the old Gail again. Let's hope.

I, of course, took too many pictures today but what can you expect from a camera crazy girl? I also did algebra homework--the chapter is on logarithms, whatever they are.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Farmer's Market Second Time Around


The sales were hard to come by today, but fortunately my Canadian friend came by and bought two pieces. As well, the floral guy, Pete, bought the citrus grouping as planned. We are starting to learn a few of the other vendors names, Dave, the pet food guy, the aforementioned Pete, and June sells soaps and loofahs. I don't know the produce folks names yet, but they are very nice. I bought some green beans from their farm, and fixed them tonight with white wine and shallots--good stuff. They should have corn next week.

We had visitors again which helps pass the time. Karen brought Ashley, her sweet dog, and my sister, Lisa came. Lisa has the blonde hair pictured at right. She was kind enough to carry my best customers purchases to her condo on the other side of the lake. Customer service baby! My classmate Jennifer brought her mother, and some other friends, and it was all good. Baxter was a pain today though. He barked at every dog that came by, and there are tons of them. It seems to be a dog world these days. I told you he was feeling better.

We are tired tonight but that's to be expected. I feel like a moron because I thought I had an endodontist visit in the morning, duh--it was last Wednesday. I totally missed it! Let's hope I can remember to have my haircut on Wednesday--the first time since maybe Novemeber?

Cheaper than Shoes

Because Bruce can fix, or make just about anything, my illness has been extraordinarily hard for him. He has not been able to fix my body, however, the gift of the camera has done wonders for my mind. He is packing the car with our stuff for the show as I type. I am worthless these days in that department. I will be able to sit and visit with folks as they come by(we hope).

We had gotten our frames thus far from Costco but they told us they were no longer carrying them. This threw a bit of a monkey wrench in our plans, but Bruce suggested we go out to the Altamone store and double check that they didn't have anymore. Indeed, they had six more boxes which alleviates our dilemma for the short term. See how positive I'm thinking?

I must add a rejoinder concerning Friday's post. I would never have made it through the first six weeks of my illness as my dear sister Lisa, not only came and stayed at our home to care for me, but on a day she couldn't come, she arranged to have one of her friends take over. I was pretty pathetic last summer. Her sweet husband, Danny, sent not just once, but twice, the most beautiful rose bouquet that a girl could ever want. She accompanied me to doctor's visits, and in general, has been a GREAT support system. How would we ever manage without our families?

So, my new hobby is much cheaper than a shopping hobby. It seems this season, it's all about polka dots.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Riders Wanted

Here is one of my favorite pictures I've taken lately. I've framed it simply with a white mat and black frame, and I'll be taking it Sunday. We'll see if anyone else likes it.

I started the day very slowly but after a chat with my sister Lisa, I got moving. I was asking her to come and help me with a few cleaning chores as I just haven't been up to them. She isn't that keen on cleaning herself, however, she said she would come on Monday. Maybe by then, I'll have it done and save her the trip.

Our Baxter is BACK. One of my greatest pleasures is our swimming pool open to the sky. If you've been to Florida, you will see that screened pools are all the rage, however, I've never wanted one. I figure if I wanted to be in a room, I'd stay inside. Nonetheless, it is no fun this time of year as our oak trees are losing their leaves, next they put out this fuzzy stuff, and generally make our yard and pool a wreck. Typically when we clean the pool with the big pole and scooper, Baxter barks like crazy, running around the pool and going nuts. Two weeks ago, he came out there but remained silent. Today though, he was at full strength. The funniest thing is he was so incessant that my neighbor from across the street opened the gate to make sure I was alright. Her husband was afraid that I had fallen and Baxter was barking for help! Now, that is a nice neighbor.

We have clean sheets on the bed, ditto the bathroom sink and laundry--that's enough to make me smile.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gnomes

I've spent today on math, geology, shopping, and taking pictures. I'm spending tonight on Humanities.

I should have bought these gnomes at Ross today when I saw them instead of taking their picture. They so remind me of the wonderful movie, Amelie. I hope you have seen it.

Speaking of movies, I haven't seen enough lately.

I've read several interesting things in the Times lately which you might find interesting as well. First they did a blind tasting of food cooked with both inexpensive, and expensive wines; apparently, often the food cooked with the cheap stuff was deemed better. The other thing is that Ina Garten self-published her first cookbook at age 51 with $200,000 of her own money. She had sold The Barefoot Contessa after having owned it for 20 years. She sold it when she was 50, and didn't know what she was going to do with herself. She's now 59, and has 5 million books in print, not to mention her own show!

Bruce flew to Boston today with six penguins--two were in first class with him. I pictured them sitting in the seats, but apparently they were in cages. Some passengers complained about the squawking!

One last thing--Baxter had to return to the vet yesterday, still puny. The vet removed the stitches (which previously they told us were dis solvable) and more pain meds. I tried to get him to take a little walk this evening but I ended up carrying him most of the way. Yeesh, when will this end?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Random School Thoughts

--The question is WHY are these ridiculous trucks allowed on the road?
--Geology test could have been worse--an 80.
--The professor added 6 points to the previous test bringing me up to a grand total of 60!! The sweet girl across from me got a 42. These are honor students, and not used to these kinds of grades. The tests are all fill in the blank; either you know it, or you don't.
--The math test I thought I failed was returned, I got a 74--the boy who sits next to me got a 56. My mid-term grade is 87. I wonder if I can bring it up?
--The internship office called on my way home and wondered why I put down so many different kinds of internships I was interested in. She said she would determine if I was a good candidate for an internship--ha,ha, I told her I was a model employee in the past. I need help to put together a resume.
--Apparently, only five more weeks to go in the semester, hallelujah!
--I'm still deciding about summer classes; I may just need a break.
--Having dry heaves in class does not look good.
--Candace, one of my geology classmates, donated her kidney to her brother--good deal.
--Bruce read my Humanities paper,; he thought it was just fine, so that is one down, and one to go.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Doctor Visit

My dear Dr. Everett was shocked to see my feet and hands, however, it has given him a new direction to look. He left me in the exam room for about 15 minutes to do research I think. When he returned he ordered four more vials of blood to be drawn, as well as some specialized urine test. He is thinking something with the autonomic nervous system. He also mentioned a possible biopsy of my muscles and nerves. I don't know what that would entail--it does not sound fun, but if a diagnosis could be made, it would be worth it. He also said he was going to discuss my case with another physician who specializes in that area.

I ended up in tears, per usual, as it has been a long road these past nine months. You get so frustrated trying to make them understand that you are not a whiner, and something is wrong. I never even had a physician (aside from a gynecologist) until all this happened as I have been fortunate enough to have been extraordinarily healthy. He has tried to find the problem but when he could actually see the evidence it made it more urgent. I am to return in two weeks.

After a frozen pizza for dinner, Bruce quizzed me on Geology--wish me well, the test is at 8:30 in the morning.

A Party

So, it was like a party, although we didn't have to provide the house, or drinks. We went out to dinner on Saturday night with Bill, David, and Michelle and they coached me on how to behave. Don't tell them you are brand new at this Mom, they begged. They know how chatty I am, and they wanted to make sure I didn't reveal that I know nothing technical! No worries--I managed just fine. When asked if my camera was a SLR, I was vague.

It was beautiful weather, albeit chilly when we got there. This picture is first thing when Ha came by with her boyfriend Danny to see things. They were so sweet, even brought me back a warm sandwich from where they got breakfast. Coincidentally, people we hadn't seen in years happened by, as did one of my former patients from the hospital. We managed no sales until around 1; I was fine with that because we got much positive feedback. I was thinking that we would just set the whole thing up the following Sunday and I could try and make a comeback with school. Then the friends and family arrived, and a lovely Canadian woman visiting her son bought my sister's favorite--the citrus grouping.
We also have an order for the same from one of the other vendors! Jeff, Connie, and his sister Linda came, and purchased, as did David, Michelle, Tres, Leanne, and Vannie. It was pretty exciting. Of course, none of this would have happened without Bruce, my favorite project manager. He made sure of every detail, and his display worked like a charm. He is the absolute BEST husband a girl could ask for.

I'm going to study my geology now, and I have yet another probably fruitless doctor's appointment this afternoon. We shall see what the good Dr. Everett has to say about my purple feet.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Aftermath of a Crime

As you can see I would not make much of a crime scene photographer. When we went out this morning we found this in what we call the jungle. It turns out that a neighbor, two doors down, had his truck broken into. He is somewhat of an odd bird, so he barely talked after Bruce went down and told him what we found. There were credit cards strewn on the grass, and the pictured underwear in the bush. I'm afraid they may have stolen his camera. We are happy because my MINI doors were not shut properly--fortunately nothing was amiss. I am terrible about locking my car doors in the driveway.

Wouldn't you just know it? I finally decided to get a haircut after about four months but when I called my stylist he said he was in Big Sky, Montana; call him back on Monday.

The book ending was a little messy but still a good read. That guy is just great with internal thoughts. Oh, to be so creative.

It is a stormy day but the forecast is for sunny skies on Sunday. I put stuff together but I'm waiting on Bruce's opinions later tonight.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tiny Dancer

My mother used to say that a watched pot never boils; she was right. Conversely, an unwatched pot boils over in my house. If you are like me, and have a glass-topped stove, you know what I mean. I'm here to share a great tip I read somewhere that has done wonders for my stove top after pasta water has boiled all over and left it's starchy mess. While the stove is sill quite warm, pour straight vinegar--white or apple cider--directly onto the gooey stuff and wipe away. You will be thrilled with how well it works.

Today I'm picturing a minuscule spider that has a web outside our bathroom window. I've seen it for a few days while getting the mail and this morning I thought--why not? I've never photographed a spider before. I ended up taking pics in the morning as well as the afternoon, just checking on his progress. They are oddly captivating.

My plan to clean out the fridge didn't happen. I opted for clearing out Picassa; I've gotten my folders down to 85 from 126! More work to do.

I started reading a novel last night when I got in bed and it was so satisfying I couldn't put it down. It is called A Spot of Bother, and is written by the man who wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It is the best book I've read since Suite Francais by Irene Nimerowsky. Unfortunately my novel reading has taken a back seat to geology and algebra, not a fair trade off in my estimation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Story of You

Our local newspaper has a silly slogan, The Story of You. I have to disagree with them--our paper is not the story of me, this blog fills that spot in my life. I've realized why blogging is so popular; almost everyone loves stories, and a blog is just that. Sure, there are some dull spots, but really, everyone is interesting in their own way.

My geology teacher thinks I am lazy because I'm doing poorly in that class, however he is wrong. I am not lazy, and I can appreciate science up to a point, but really, I don't care how it works. Just like I don't care how my microwave works--it just does.

Another thing--wayward teens will most of the time become productive adults if they don't go too far. I don't know what the secret is, although I know it is true. Our son Bill was a challenge during the crucial 13-15 year old phase, but he has turned out beautifully. He passed his Series 6 licensing test yesterday enabling him to become a stock broker. His identical twin brother has that job, and it is working for him.

Not everyone has a M&M store in their town, so here's a look at ours. I never knew they made M&Ms in so many colors; it's really quite fascinating.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dylan and Lauren

Today I was lucky enough to get to photograph some darling children! I went to our CPA, and friend Olga's house, and she let me take some pictures of her two precious children. Lauren is only three months old, and I tried a new setting on my camera with little luck. I had to ditch most of them but I like this one. Dylan is 2 and a half, and quite a charmer. I took lots of him, beautiful face shots, however, I like this one as he looks like the little imp that he is. He already knows his alphabet and colors--I was amazed. I had done my own taxes this year, but I made a small error that she fixed, and I'm thrilled to report we only owe a pittance compared to last year. No income from me--no taxes!

I also finally got around to properly loading my Shuffle with tunes that I love. Jonathan has taught me how to empty my recycle bin on the computer so now all those pictures I delete will really be gone and free up some space on my hard drive for more pictures.

I got an email from Winkflash yesterday that my photos have been shipped; I can't wait till they arrive. I was trying to put some groupings together to frame and I discovered that I wasn't happy with some of the photos I had ordered before. I want to be ready for anything.

My dear friend Judy called and left a message that she had actually read the blog and liked it. As well, her live in ex-husband liked my photos. I was so happy to receive the encouragement. I returned her call and we discussed me taking the summer off from school--I've registered for three classes but I still will need four hours so I'm mulling it over.

As you know, my name for the photo business is "Out & About" so on my way home I stopped at a bird store I have passed scads of times. I chatted with an Indian woman and her son who were there visiting the birds and naturally I took some photos of the birds. The workers were very sweet and did not give me any grief regarding picture taking. I also stopped at the bakery next to my produce market and asked if I could photograph the cakes etc. They were nice as well.

Time to take little Baxter for a walk; he seems tired today--I hope he is not having a relapse! My sister Maureen sent me a email with a new Ralph Lauren ad--it includes Baxter's clone.

We ate dinner last night by the pool--the first time for the season. Bruce has gone to Detroit today so tonight, it's just me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Display

Here is the first half of the display! Bruce is hanging things so that we can get an idea how it works; it works just great. He used a hardware cloth that he attached to a frame he made; he then covered that with the cloth you see, and attached it using screen spline so the edges are very neat. There is a hinge in the middle so we can fold it and put it on top of the car. That will be the next challenge; Bruce has roof racks for his BMW, however there will be a bunch of stuff.

As you can see, Baxter is up and running once again, thank goodness.

This is my first week day of Spring break and we took a little walk around the neighborhood this morning--naturally, I found flowers to photograph. I ran a very few errands but I'm worn out, so back at home in front of the computer again.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be perkier, and able to take advantage of this nice weather. In the mean-time, I am clearing out photos from Picassa as I have probably taken at least 1,000 photos in the last two months--not all of them good! I'm sure I will need the space for the next 1,000.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

I promised this yesterday--here it is today! I have an amazing husband. He only printed about twenty five, and we can change the picture as we like. I suppose I should say, he can change the picture--he is the project manager!

The night out last night extended much later than we anticipated. It turns out the impetus for going to Universal was a performance by The Doobie Brothers. They were better than we expected, and it was a fun show. We were able to progressively move closer to the stage as the concert went on. My pics from that are at www.flickr.com/photos/gailpeck
We never really had any dinner, so we stopped at a bar after the show around 11. I abhor eating so late, but I'm too puny to go without meals. We waited forever, and I mean forever, for the food. We arrived home at 1:30, and of course with the time change it was 2:30--way to late for us!

Baxter is back to his charming self and his mother, is, well....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Oh Happy Day!


Baxter is finally showing some of his old spunk, and his mom is up and about again today as well. I took a rare pain pill last night before bed ; I think it allowed me to sleep more soundly. I try and avoid them if possible, but on occasion they help.

Bruce is hard at work making the display for next Sunday. If this doesn't succeed, it will not be for lack of trying! He is such a wizard building things, I wish he had more opportunity to do so. As the project manager, he has thought of every detail--we are even going to have a candy dish to lure people in. The canopy is set up in the back yard as I type.

Good thing I'm feeling some better today as we are meeting Jeff and Connie at Universal Studios for Mardi Gras. You can imagine it was their idea!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Out & About Photography


Well, I had big intentions when I went to sleep last night but they didn't pan out on awakening. I am feeling very poorly today. It is hard to describe but my feet get purple if I sit for very long and I'm just very tired. My plan was to go to the beach and take photographs but I had to settle on downtown, a two mile drive, rather than 60. I was out for about two hours and stopped at the library on my way back to the car. I hope to read a novel or two on my break.

I was hoping to get some photos that would be interesting to guys, thus this one. It's really kinda funny as I'm in the picture, taking the picture, and I think there is a guy coming out of the building across the street as well. Everyone who knows us, knows that Bruce is a "Bass" guy; he calls himself a beer elitist.

Bruce has designed and made the business cards--I'll post a photo tomorrow. I think they turned out really great--he is our project manager, a role he knows well.

I'm going to have to lay down now--just too tired. One last thing, Bruce took Baxter back to vet, they gave him an anti-inflammatory shot and a second antibiotic. He is still puny, like me.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

At Least They Are Doing the Lawn Today

This is not a good way to start Spring Break; I had to fight back tears as I left school this afternoon. I failed my Geology test with a 54, and when I began my math test, I seemed to have forgotten everything I knew. Re the Geology exam, I changed like four answers from right to wrong! People are always so jazzed about me going to school--they say they wish they could etc. Well, they would not like tests in the slightest. At my age, I am lucky to remember what I need at the grocery store, let alone how to graph the vertex of a parabola, or the different epochs, eras, blah, blah, blah! In good news : I did manage a 100 on the Humanities exam last week; a small consolation. I will have to put it out of my mind for a few days and start afresh when I go back. I have another Geology test and a paper due the first week back, so I can't entirely forget that I am a student; however much I wish I could!

Baxter is still doing very poorly. Bruce gets home from Boston in a few hours--he'll be so sad to see him this way. I could hardly get his pills into him this morning as he is quickly on to my trick of wrapping them in cheese. He is no worse, but he also is no better.

Yesterday I ran up to Publix for some chicken and such; I decided to photograph some of the flowers in the floral department. Well...I got in trouble again--a manager came up and said they didn't allow photography in the store. I did not see that posted on the sign at the door stating all the no-nos., however, this picture was taken before my chastisement.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Good Stuff



First the not so good stuff: I did not do math homework last evening because Baxter was so bad off that I had to take him to the vet around 5. I waited patiently with him in a blanket on my lap and was called back at 7. The vet was shocked when he saw his poor abdomen. It seems as if during surgery they must have put some clamps on his belly and broke some arteries as he is so terribly bruised. He said his constant shivering has been from pain; although we had been giving him the prescribed dose, it apparently wasn't enough for him. We got home at nearly 8 and I had lost my enthusiasm for studying. It was my first time giving him pills but I succeeded! Consequently, I have spent the morning studying and will do so most of the afternoon.

Now for good stuff: Don't you just love it when a product performs as advertised or as you anticipate? My mother used to rave about Cascade dishwasher detergent. Three years after her death, I have finally tried it, and she was right as mothers tend to be. The glasses are losing their dullness, and the dishes are wonderfully clean. As well, a new robe I got from Bruce for my birthday from Nordstrom is fantastic. I hated the price tag, but it is worth every dollar! And last, but surely not least, the Ipod Shuffle--now that is a winner. Thanks to Jonathan and Alissa, that Christmas present has been a god-send. Often, when I'm in pain at night trying to sleep, I put my little ear buds in and it drowns out my discomfort. Last night I woke up about 3:30 to turn it off.

So, there you go, class tonight, two tests tomorrow and then Spring break; I can hardly wait.

Today, a celebratory drink for good stuff.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes


If you have never tried them, I urge you to do so. Because my parents were from the Midwest, we ate very little Southern food at our house. That was both good and bad; they had it at our elementary school cafeteria and it smelled, and looked horrible! It was bad enough having to eat peas at home without adding collards and cabbage cooked all day to mush. That said, I wish we had eaten fgts. There probably isn't enough time left in my life to eat as many as I would like.

Baxter is still sad and in pain--it's breaking our hearts; if he doesn't improve by tomorrow, I'm going to take him back to the vets and make sure he is healing properly. We don't need two sickies in this house!

I went to an internship q & a today; I had no idea you had to pay for the privilege of being an unpaid employee! It is the cost per credit hour, as well as a $65 fee. I'd really like to try something entirely different than my past life, something that uses different skills. The people thing though--I'm good at that; it needs to have lots of interaction with people. I've got to do a resume, something I haven't done in 12 years; I got a packet from school telling me how to do it. First thing though is I have to finish math homework and prepare for two tests on Thursday. You know what I'll be doing tonight.

Monday, March 5, 2007

It's A New Dawn, It's a New Day, and I'm Feeling Good


I am up early this morning preparing to write my paper for Humanities on The Book of the Courtier. It is a lengthy discourse on what today we would call a Renaissance man, although, it is completely contemporary, aside from the fact that we no longer consider it important for a man to be a great warrior. It isn't due yet, but I decided to try and get it out of the way if I can. I have two tests this Thursday; today seems like a good day to use for the paper.

Our poor little Baxter is still under the weather, however, he is eating, and drinking, so that's a good sign. We took him with us when we went to the farmer's market yesterday after church and he walked a bit. The big news is that Bruce talked to the manager again and we are going to display March 18! We bought the canopy yesterday at Costco, as well as more frames. This is a very scary business but time will tell whether it was a good idea or not!

Our darling Matthew called yesterday morning from his office in London--acquiring internet in his apartment is proving to be a challenge. He sounded spectacular--already out on Saturday night with friends, moved into his apartment, and been to a concert. Work is going great for him as well. Jonathan's softball team won their first game, so he was excited, and David continues to make money hand over fist even when the market is down. Bill is doing well studying for his licensing exams--in other words, the Peck boys (men) are grand.

One thing I have noticed since we have been going out a bunch on the weekends is that there are all sorts of people, who like all sorts of things. At the market yesterday, there were a contingent of bird people. Who knew?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Recovery Takes Time



Poor little Baxter, he is kinda pathetic right now. Bruce picked him up around 5 last night and he has just now had a little water, and some of my grilled cheese sandwich. Naturally, Bruce is worried sick about his recovery, but I think he is doing pretty well for 24 hours post-op. He is starting to move around a little bit, however, his throat is still sore from the intubation. He is not the little barker he usually is right now!

The antibiotics are not making any dent in my tooth problem. I have an appointment in three weeks for a root canal consultation. The sad truth is that if I can't eat any easier pretty soon, I will waste away!

I got myself up, went to school, and took my additional math test. I'm hoping I got at least the 13 points I need to bring my grade up to a B--we'll see. On the way home I stopped at my produce market and, of course, photographed the fruits and veggies while there. As well, I took a different street home and photographed the sheriff departments horses. They were all there, and quite willing to be photo stars. I experimented with some vegetable and fruit still lives when I got home.

No shorts today as the front that is beating up the rest of the country has brought cooler temps.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The New Yellow MINI


When I woke up this morning I was feeling pretty terrible. Our plan was for me to take Baxter to be neutered, and then on to school for the mini math test. This did not work as I was in rough shape; I'm trying to rally as I type. Bruce was able to take him, and I'm afraid he agreed to pre-op testing because he is a cautious sort--no telling how much extra this will cost!

The mid-term on Weds. night was a challenge; it took me nine hand-written pages to answer the essay questions! I finished that around 9PM, and then I had a geology quiz at 8:30 the next morning with a math quiz to follow that! Too much for my old brain in less than 24 hours.

Because Bruce's flight arrived so late on Wednesday night, he took yesterday off, and did some things around the house. When I returned from school, we did a few errands, one of which was looking at the new BMWs. Our local dealer also owns the MINI dealership as well. They store some of the cars there, so, I was able to see the 2007 MINIs; in particular, I wanted to see the new yellow. Yikes, I did not like it nearly as well as mine--it looks like French's mustard!

We went to PF Changs for dinner; I was looking for something soft to eat as my tooth is still a problem. Lots of miscues from the staff getting my dinner to me with the last one being when the server spilled the liquid from the steamer all in my lap! Fortunately, my camera was spared.

You Just Never Know