Two Thousand Six – April

04/01 I’m thinking I can take the down sleeping bag and other winter survival gear out of my car now.  There are 9 houses on my street, two have “For Sale” signs out front and someone is obviously moving out of a third.  What gives?  It’s the mailboxes!  Had dinner with Tony and Ashley at Mom and Dad’s.

04/02 Such a nice gentle rain, I decided to set my plants outside for a bit rather than water them at the sink.  Still raining.  Perfect!  Hanna and I curled up on the chaise and completed my assignment to watch “Under the Tuscan Sun”.  Thanks, Kristen, I needed that!  Dinner time and it’s still raining.

04/03 The dogs were all sound asleep when the alarm went off this morning.  I neglected to tell them about daylight savings time.  They poop scooped my yard today! 

04/04 It’s beginning feel like spring!

04/05 Dentist this afternoon.  The good news:  No new cavities.  The bad news:  An old filling they’ve been watching for a few years needs to be replaced soon and the first tooth that got a root canal a few years back needs to be crowned.  I ordered a lawn tractor this afternoon!

04/06 I had the nicest seatmate on my flight!  I can’t believe how dismal this place is, all boarded up.  I’m thinking it’s going to get worse long before it gets better.  I’ve moved my return flight up a day.

04/07 I will be done packing tonight or tomorrow.  The truck is scheduled to pick up the boxes on Tuesday morning.  I’ll drop one last box off at FedEx on my way to the airport and that will be that.  Window Contractor stopped by to let me know he’s going on vacation.  No one will be here Monday, but Tuesday looks good.  This morning when I took the first bunch of boxes to the truck a Guy in the parking lot says, “You look like you could use a hand!” and starts to clap.  Nice, huh?  The boxes stacked in the foyer were just too much added depressing stuff, so I decided to lug them to the truck and the UPS Store myself.  I encountered a Plumber doing some work on a unit a few doors down and he let me use his cart!  The bulk of it is gone.  I took my bike to the bike shop.  Vacation, such as it is, starts tomorrow!  There’s a music festival in town, I may have to take a walk tonight and check that out.  Gelato?

04/08 135 minutes, 6.92 miles, 3.1 mph, HR=127.  Heart rate still higher than it should be.  I’m sure the loose sand and wind contributed some, but obviously there’s still some extra adrenaline.  They are pumping sand onto the beach.  I’m not sure if that’s why there’s all the hairy red stuff that’s rotting and smells really bad.  It’s odd there wasn’t a single seagull on the beach nor pelican on the pier.  There were at least a half dozen fish caught the short time I was on the pier, I’ve never seen that before.  There were also a lot of dolphins.  I never did make it up town last night.  I took my dinner and wine out on the dock instead.  I’ve finished the last of the wine.  I won’t be opening another.  At least I don’t think so.  A measly 250 ml of red wine with my dinner pretty much renders me useless for the rest of the evening, but I’m well rested, so it’s not a total loss.  The plywood and the stinky beach are making this all easier for me, for that I’m grateful.

04/09 A dreary day.  I want to go home.

04/10 A friend spent a lot of this morning offering support, encouragement and a different perspective.  I think I’ve used as many cell phone minutes in the last 10 days as I have in the last 10 years and I’m thankful for each and every one.  No food to be had here so I had lunch up town, managed a successful shopping mission on the way home.  Remotely connected to my office and did a bunch of work.  Took stuff to FedEx and UPS.  Got a few groceries.  There’s severe thunderstorm warnings for today and the wind is really picking up.  I sure hope that plywood stays put.  And, speaking of the plywood.  Another Contractor Guy stopped by to measure for the beam that needs to be fabricated.  Something tells me if they are measuring at 2:44 this afternoon it’s not likely they’re going to be working here tomorrow either.

04/11 They showed up and replaced the little window in the entryway.  I’m not sure why that job required a jackhammer.  I’m avoiding the beach.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m afraid of getting rained on or because this is no longer my life and I’m anxious to be home and get on with what is my life.  Received a gentle reminder as to what’s important.

04/12 Happy Birthday to my Brother!  137 minutes, 7.33 miles, 3.2 mph, HR=109.  I’m feeling much better today and my heart rate confirms that.  I won’t be saying good bye, there remains something special about this area and I know I’ll be back.  Home sweet home!

04/13 I was able to do so much of my work remotely that by the end of today you’ll not be able to tell I was gone for a week.  I signed up for golf lessons.  I’m finding Angie’s List to be an invaluable resource.  Today of all days the UPS Man leaves my nine huge boxes at the neighbor’s house.  Drat!  It seems my two little ivy plants died while I was gone.  I’ve replaced the ivy plants.  I noticed the pothos from the dining room does not look as good as the one from my bedroom and I’m wondering if that’s because the plants on the dining room table never get any direct sunlight.  I may want to consider moving those.

04/14 Avery didn’t want anything to do with the jogging stroller today.  Let’s hope she changes her mind.  We celebrated Brother’s birthday at Mom and Dad’s.

04/15 85 minutes, 5.82 miles, 4.1 mph, HR=138.  I’m now the proud owner of a set of golf clubs.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.

04/16 84 minutes, 5.86 miles, 4.1 mph, HR=103.  Easter celebration at Mom and Dad’s.

04/17 I’ve got my ankle bracelet on, that makes it officially “No Socks” season!  Today I created my Christmas Shopping List.  I ran across a great idea for someone on my list and I ordered it.  Next week you’ll read I wrapped my first gift.  I bought another plant today and split it into three, only one of which I could plant as I have no more pots.  Though I’ll take one more look around the house to see if there’s one I missed.  I also put big pots of pansies by my front door.  Tomorrow I’ll pot the other two pieces.  Then I quit with the new plants and it’s back to planting bed cleanup.  I also purchased a rake with a handle, as clearing out those dead leaves with a hand rake is way more work than it needs to be.

04/18 I got one cart full of plant bed debris before it started to rain.  I potted those last two plants.  I’ve also added a “Plants” page with basic care instructions.  This is mostly for my information but you might find it interesting.  Or not.  I’m using “The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual” by Barbara Pleasant as reference.

04/19 The bike shop in Florida accidentally sent my bike to New York.  I came home for lunch and to let the dogs out because I have to be at my office from 1 to 5 this afternoon.  A huge thank you to Carol, I’m going to have fun with this!  It’s too nasty outside for yard work, but there’s more than enough to do inside.  I found some plant food and two pots in a laundry room cabinet!

04/20 Somehow I never find the time to call the Dentist and make an appointment for that new crown and filling replacement.  First golf lesson tonight.  Towards the end the tornado warning sirens were going off.  We just kept hitting balls.  This week’s homework is to practice my swing and if it works to hit tennis balls down the lawn, the dogs are going to be real happy.

04/21 Housebound by the weather.  Bummer!  It’s 8:43 pm and Avery is asleep.  In the crib!  Shortly I’ll tip toe in there to turn off the music and grab the monitor.  04/22 Mother Nature; having trouble making up your mind?  It worked pretty well to hit tennis balls with the golf club.  Though it’s something of a miracle all the dogs still have all their teeth.  While I had a whole basket full of tennis balls, we only used a half dozen.  They’re going to sleep well tonight!  Last week I was counting the days until I could be out of here.  Today, not so much.

04/23 Coco:  85 minutes, 5.43 miles, 3.8 mph, HR=136.  Tony power raked my yard!  Yard work goals having been met, I got in my boat.  No gas.  Gas dock closed.  Most unfortunate.  Hanna ate my dinner.  I went to town for ice cream, ended up with a hamburger.  All in all, a most excellent evening.

04/24 Too nasty out to be doing any yard work and still more than enough to do inside.  The Gardener was here when I got home, I should receive her proposal shortly.  I was asked to quit stirring up the mulch as it’s not nearly as deep as it should be and I’m bringing dirt to the surface which encourages the weeds.  Good to know!

04/25 34° and while I broke out the cashmere and long underwear, I did draw the line at socks.  Worked on my golf swing. 

04/26 95 oh, how I’ve missed you!  But, we better not be seeing too much of each other as I really don’t need another one of those ticket things.  Yeah, I got out the little car today!  Installed Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 on the Precision M70 this morning.  The Stucco Guys are here finishing up the porches!  I told them to keep an eye on their lunch and they obviously didn’t take me seriously as Coco just brought me a bag of sunflower seeds.  The alarm system has been reinstalled, recoded and tested.  You have no idea how it pains me to be wearing socks.

04/27 A bit unnerving to see Tony’s truck at the clinic when I went to the post office.  I haven’t seen him yet, but the receptionist reports he’s got some stitches in his pinkie.  Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 is gone, too many compatibility issues.  I find I’m skipping my snacks and have to absolutely force myself to eat meals.  What’s up with that?  I weigh myself almost every day and am careful to track what I eat so I know I’m consuming enough and not losing any weight, so don’t be worrying.  I’m fine.  Really.  From the Gym Shrink this morning; “There are only two emotions:  Love and Fear.  Absolutely everything boils down to one or the other.” Something to observe and think about.  Golf lesson this evening.  Next week we get to actually “play” outside!  I don’t think much of the golf dome, though I’m sure in January it would be more appealing. 

04/28 I startled a bunch of deer in the pine trees when I rolled my trash can out to the street.  I’ve never heard them snort like that, it was kind of spooky.  Housebound by rain.  Not a total loss as my spring A/C service is done and the filters have been changed in the air exchanger.  Now if only the Gardener would call.  There’s more piece of mind in a working security system than I thought there would be, especially at night.

04/29 It rained all day yesterday and looks like it’s going to do the same today.  96 minutes, 15.28 miles, 9.55 mph, HR=114 and “Nine Months” on the Wave this morning.  Rain, all day long.  Made cookies in an effort to at least warm up the kitchen.  If I’m going to unpack any more boxes from Florida, I’ve got to go to town for hangers.  I really don’t want to go to town, but since I won’t like the idea any more tomorrow, I might as well get it over with.  The Wagon stalled at a stop light.  Weird.  It died, started, sputtered and finally ran.  Seems fine now.  Rain?  Today the security system is a royal PITA.  Operator error, mostly.  Can’t give up in frustration, I’ll get the bugs out eventually.

04/30 It’s still raining!  At this rate I’ll get all the Florida boxes unpacked.  9:32 am and I’ve only got three boxes left!  Time for a break, I’m thinking puff pancake, coffee and Sunday paper.  12:17 pm and all the boxes are empty!  Yay me!  Everything from Florida smells funny and must be washed, there are five laundry loads left.  I may or may not be able to finish that today and it really doesn’t matter.  It feels good to have all the pieces of me in one place.  I went to check my rain gauge, only to find it broken.  Every time I think it’s stopped raining, it starts again.  6:25 pm and I’m done!  DONE!!  Every last thing; unboxed, washed and put away.  I can’t sleep.  Blondie couldn’t make it up the stairs on her own tonight.  Her back left foot was curled up like a club foot, I had to help hold up her hind end.  I didn’t have the heart to make her sleep alone in the dog room.  Though I don’t know why that seems less cruel when I know darn well she’s going to fall down the stairs again tomorrow morning.  It’s time.  Damn! 

Two Thousand Six – March

03/01 Picnic basket to Ellie and Jim.  I got my car back!  It cost $150 more to have the rental car for five days than it would have cost to keep it for a week.  Go figure.

03/02 Avery and I went to the Minnesota Children’s Museum.  Her two favorite things were a pretend fish tank with three switches she could move to turn lights off and on and the pretend ice fishing.  Yes, ice fishing!  The MN Children’s Museum is a place we will visit again.  It was very clean and there is so much to do there.

03/03 Avery stayed overnight last night.  While she slept well, she surely wasn’t herself today.  We had to be out of the house by 7 am when the Cleaning Crew shows up, so we went to the Original Pancake House in Wayzata.  She lay in my arms like a rag doll and I spooned scrambled eggs and blueberry pancakes into her mouth, though her eyes were half closed.  She slept most of the day, though she did perk up a bit around dinner time.  I think she’s cutting some more teeth.

03/04 115 minutes, 5.75 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=132 and “The Butterfly Effect” on the treadmill this morning.  Car wash, finally.  Office.

03/05 Last night as we were getting ready for bed, Blondie was missing.  We combed the neighborhood, flashlights in hand.  No Blondie.  While Blondie has a microchip for identification, she was without a collar as she lost that some time last week.  We finally resigned ourselves to going to leaving the lights on, door open and going to bed.  As we were checking the lights in the kitchen, in strolls Blondie.  Blondie is now sporting a collar as well as a miniature cow bell.  On my way to the office today I will stop and by her a reflective collar.  While I don’t really believe she ever left the yard, Jim and I combed the entire 2-1/2 acres several times and I don’t know how we could have missed her.  116 minutes, 6 miles, 3.10 mph, HR=120 and “50 First Dates” on the treadmill this morning.  Office, again.  Blondie is now wearing a GlobalPetFinder GPS unit on a reflective/fluorescent green collar.  Of course she hasn’t left the house since I put it on.

03/06 What a messed up morning!  Good thing the afternoon went better.  The plan was to go to the Como Zoo tomorrow, but the weather forecast is rain all day.  I haven’t been to the Mall of America in years, but I just can’t get excited about that.  Just as I’m rounding up dogs for the night, I hear my cell phone tell me I have a text message.  Yup, Blondie has left the yard.  But, I’ve got her mapped!  I’ll bet she makes that same circle every night.  She’s getting a new Invisible Fence battery as soon as she gets back in tonight.  I think I’ll snug that collar up a bit as well.

03/07 Too nasty to be outside anywhere.  We stopped at the Hennepin County Service Center to get the Wagon’s new tabs, brushing up on the 2006 Minnesota boating regulations while we waited our turn.  Picked up the mail at the Post Office.  Stopped to visit my Grandma Lucy, but she wasn’t home and neither were Ellie and Jim.  Got a bit of laundry done.

03/08 Another Old Box died at the office yesterday and my last Spare Box went into service.  I’ve taken the opportunity to order myself a new Desktop machine and my current HP will become the new spare.

03/09 Today we went to the Como Park Zoo.  What a beautiful place!  We spent a lot of time in the flower gardens; it was warm and sunny, no one else was there so I could let Avery crawl around.  While most of the outside exhibits are still closed for the winter, it was nice to be outside.

03/10 Breakfast in Wayzata.  Avery’s other Grandma has been out of town for two weeks and she was in desperate need of a baby fix so Avery and I stopped at her house for a while this morning.  As we left, the sun came out so we headed to the Minnesota Zoo.  The place was a zoo!  Very crowded, inside anyway, so we enjoyed the outside trails.  Not a problem, since being outside on paved trails was the entire point of going there.

03/11 100 minutes, 5.0 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=123 and “Secret Window” on the treadmill this morning.  I met with a Personal Shopper at Marshall Field’s regarding dresses for the upcoming weddings.  The woman’s name is vaguely familiar, I think I know her from somewhere, though I can’t figure out where.

03/12 97 minutes, 5.0 miles, 3.1 mph, HR=122 and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” on the treadmill this morning.  Lindsay Lohan has lost a lot of weight since she made that movie.  Must work this afternoon.

03/13 Wet, sloppy snow.  They must have put the snowplow trucks away already, as they’ve not been out plowing.

03/14 We have a date for completion of our Florida Windows!

03/15 86 minutes, 5.0 miles, 3.49 mph, HR=123 and “Teacher’s Pet” on the treadmill this morning.  Shoveled the front sidewalk.  I’m awaiting delivery of a TechnoGym CardioWave.  This morning’s ad from Neiman Marcus contains the perfect dress for Tony and Ashley’s wedding.  Unfortunately, it only comes in a color I can’t wear – rust.  I’m going to print a copy for my Personal Shopper at Marshall Field’s in hopes she can find the dress, or one very similar, in another color.  Failing that, I’ll hire a dressmaker to copy it.  Picnic basket to Ellie and Jim.

03/16 What is it about used dryer sheets that Coco finds so enticing?

03/19 71 minutes, 8.0 miles, 6.76 mph, HR=146, Level 2 and “13 Going On 30” on the Wave this morning.  I’m a bit befuddled as to the speed thing, no way could I manage 6.76 mph on the treadmill and it didn’t seem to be that much more effort.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.  I don’t very often “get” the Dilbert cartoon, perhaps because I’ve never worked in the corporate environment, but I very much enjoy Scott Adams’ Dilbert Blog.  Click here to read an entry that I found amusing this week.  This afternoon we went to Gale Woods Farm, we were both underdressed for the wind, so we watched the fat (pregnant?) sheep for a bit, met a friendly cat and went to Baker Park where the trail was more protected.  While I’m in a sharing mood, click here to see another site I find intriguing.

03/20 I can’t get used to it being light when I get to work, I keep thinking I’m late.  I’m not one bit sore from my Wave workout yesterday.  I guess I didn’t work hard enough.

03/21 63 minutes, 4.0 miles, 3.81 mph, HR=156 and an iPOD Nano loaded with 60’s Rock and Roll and maybe a little too much Cat Stevens.  It’s no coincidence that exercise and exorcise are different by only one letter.  That heart rate concerns me some.  It’s time to admit all this not eating and not sleeping has not only taken a figurative toll on my heart, but takes a literal toll as well.  The Pot Hole Fixers are out!

03/22 Picnic basket to Ellie and Jim.  Last one.  I’m actually going to miss them.

03/23 Though it wasn’t in the forecast, I had hoped we would be surprised with nice weather today and didn’t plan an indoor activity.  Unfortunately, it’s barely over freezing, there’s no sign of the sun and it’s actually snowing just a little bit.

03/24 Avery stayed the night.  This morning we went to Denny’s for breakfast.  Then we stopped at my office and I was actually able to get a few things done.  We went to visit my Dad and Gladys then came home.  Still not nice enough to be outside, but Avery at least “walked” to the end of the driveway and we brought in the garbage can.  That’s actually quite a ways for her (and me, oh my aching back from the bending over to hold her hands) and I had hoped it would tire her out for a nap, but no such luck.  Why do babies fight sleep?  After much tired eye rubbing, fussing and rocking, we both finally crashed on the lower bunk and were joined by Hanna.  We slept less than an hour, but I really needed that.

03/25 105 minutes, 15.75 miles, 9 mph, HR=137 and “Mean Girls” on the Wave this morning.  I just put some chocolate chip banana bread in the oven and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.  Right now I’m a few cards short of a full deck and I added baking powder instead of baking soda, baking powder being still on my mind from the scones I made earlier this week.  I thought about it for a minute and decided to add baking soda as well.  The banana bread is flat on top, a wee bit rubbery but tasty none-the-less.

03/26 Yellow Post-It notes are blooming around the house, he’s marking what he’s taking.  Coco convinced me to take her for a walk.  I’m missing the first bit on my GPS, but I’ve got 71 minutes, 4.56 miles, 3.8 mph, HR=135.  I feel better now.  Let the spring cleaning begin!  Elephant be gone:  My Husband has left me.  I think I’m done crying.  Past denial.  Can see anger peeking around the corner.  Anyway.  Today I bought two plants.  In the picture you’ll see four.  That’s because I split each one as the pots I had seemed too small.  Right now I’m all about conserving resources, so I had to make do with what I have and I hope I haven’t done any damage in the splitting.  I tried to be gentle.  If there’s one thing I don’t have, it’s a green thumb.  If there’s one thing I really need right now, it’s a green thumb.  I am now solely responsible for hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees, not to mention almost two acres of grass.  And there’s a wedding here in July, so the pressure is on!  I was chatting with my Dear Brother today and he feels since his Wife and Girls do a fine job of maintaining their lawn, surely I can maintain mine.  OK.  Heck, the plantings part may be therapeutic.  Though I’ve never mowed a blade of grass in my life, surely I can learn!  Truth be told, I can actually get a wee bit excited at the thought of my very own lawn tractor.  There is so much more at stake in the life of these plants than the $7.98 I have invested .  Keeping these plants alive will go a long way towards giving me the confidence that I can maintain my own lawn.  And if I can maintain my own lawn, I can afford to keep my gym membership.  And this evening, that makes me just a little bit happy.

03/27 My plants weren’t wilted this morning!  My summer wheels/tires are on my car.  I actually completed the work I brought home from the office.

03/28 Someone had the nerve to use “my” shower at the gym this morning and I darned near scalded myself trying to use the faucet in one I was unfamiliar with.  Perhaps my little plants are his Post-It notes, I must respect that.  I think I’m going to come away from this experience having learned some profound things.

03/29 Blondie is missing.  Again.  She’s not wearing the GPS device, I took it off when I realized her Invisible Fence battery was dead and replaced it.  She is wearing her ID tags this time.  Surely I’ve reached my trauma quota.  I checked the battery in Hanna and Coco’s collars and they’re good.  I wouldn’t put it past Blondie to be smart enough to stand on the line and let the warning tone wear the battery down so she can leave.  She’s always come home.  I put her rug and a water dish out on the porch.  Surely she’ll be home for chow at 4:00 if not sooner.  Blondie is home!  She’ll be wearing that GPS device (which is only good as long as the batteries) or cabled.  The Invisible Fence people are going to change some settings on Blondie’s collar, let’s hope that works.

03/30 I have three Labrador Retrievers and if I don’t find this absolutely necessary, I can’t imagine anybody would.  There’s nothing like a little bit of thunder to keep the dogs in the house.  The Community Ed class I signed up for many months ago has been cancelled for lack of participation.  Darn it anyway. 

03/31 Anger.  A normal part of the process.  Avery has a cold and fever, so we’ll be staying home today.  The Invisible Fence Technician put longer prongs on Blondie’s collar and changed the settings.  He’s not hopeful it will work as Blondie’s behavior is not uncommon in old dogs.  Avery lost her lunch twice today.  Once when the Invisible Fence Technician arrived and again when a group from the DNR showed up.  Seems I’ve got some rock/boulders on the beach that are going to have to be moved.  They are going to check for a permit (they won’t find one).  They wouldn’t share their recommendation verbally, I’ll get a certified letter.  Great, just great.  Lucky for me, Brother has use for those rocks.

Two Thousand Six – February

02/01 The doorbell rings.  Odd, because typically I unlock the door in the morning and the Window Guys just let themselves in.  The guy standing on my doorstep knows the English word “Painter”.  I let him in.  He stands there and looks at me.  I walk around the house and point out the windows.  He knows the English words “window”, “sand” and “paint”.  He says the word “paint” and looks at me expectantly.  I show him the closet upstairs where there are paint cans.  I mutter and go back to my knitting.  I won’t be leaving the house again today.  Motion Based was down yesterday and it’s still down today.  132 minutes, 6.69 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=102. 

02/02 149 minutes, 7.59 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=105.  I’ve got nasty shin splints with my right leg being much worse then my left.  All the window work that can be done this round has been.  Tonight I’ll get out the vacuum and dust rag and start cleaning up.  For as tidy as it seemed they were, there’s a layer of grit on everything.  I switched to new running shoes this trip after I discovered I had about 186 miles on each pair of the old ones.  No wonder I’m going to lose another toenail!  A pair of running shoes only last a little over 100 miles for me.  I wear them out from the inside, they really don’t look too bad on the outside and I get quite emotionally attached.  Really weird since the new shoes often are exactly like the old shoes, only new.

02/03 Happy 1st Birthday, Avery!!!  My right leg was still sore this morning.  I gave thought to taking a day off, but hate to waste light and sunshine.  I decided to cut it a bit short and take it a bit easier, not that the pain would allow otherwise, dammit.  When I put lotion on my legs this morning, I noticed there is a horizontal ridge of swelling on my right shin.  Weird.  I though it was feeling better at about 3.5 miles, but I think that was just the softer beach sand as it was as bad as ever once I left the beach and hit the concrete sidewalk.  I stopped at the Drug Store and bought an ice bag and as I write, I’ve got my leg propped up on an over turned laundry basket.  I’ll keep the ice on it for 20 or 30 minutes and see what happens.  There’s no bruising.  Odd.  130 minutes, 6.39 miles, 2.9 mph, HR=97.  I have not had, nor will I have, opportunity to lay out in the sun and work on my tan this trip.  That is so very wrong and insult to the injury that I’ve also had to set an alarm every stinking morning.  I went to the Condo Association’s board meeting today and I’m not even going to start on that fiasco (in my humble opinion, of course).  I was going to go to town and see about window coverings, but there’s a truck parked behind my car.  Good thing I don’t need the car much as that’s been the case most every day.  Monday through Thursday, it was my own fault, sort of, since my Window Contractors’ trucks were using all the guest spots.  The guest spots are empty and I think I know where to find the driver of the truck so I could ask them to move it, but I think I’ll do a bit more cleaning while there’s still day light.  I need a third hand.  I guess my Mom, Ashley and Nicole will have to earn their keep by helping me put on the window film.  I suspect they won’t mind as there’s no perception of privacy without it.  I bet we do it the very first night.  I’m not even going to attempt another one as I hate to waste the film.  The patterned stuff was thicker and thus easier to hang but I like the white/frosted stuff much better.

02/04 I iced my leg again last night and decided I would give it a rest today if it was still sore.  Mother Nature gave me a little help in keeping that resolution as we had a nasty thunderstorm and quite a bit of rain.  I looked at four condos in the building across the street.  The one I was originally most interested in already sold.  Of the next three I looked at, I was only barely interested in one of them.  The Realtor brought me home and before I could even get back to my knitting he called and asked if I was interested in seeing one more.  He’s got a client who can’t decide if they do or don’t want to sell.  I’ll entertain the notion (depending on price) if they decide they do want to sell.

02/05 159 minutes, 8.52 miles, 3.2 mph, HR=114.  Surfer Video.  Since it rained all day yesterday, I got all my housekeeping done and have very little left to do before I leave today.  I’ve never seen so many dead Jellyfish on the beach as I did today.

02/06 The girls are home!  Coco bit Blondie’s ear again.

02/07 My refrigerator is all scrubbed clean and no groceries.  By the time I got around to completing my order last night there was no more room on the delivery trucks and I’ll have to wait until Wednesday.  This evening I couldn’t face either the thought of fast food or a quick trip to the grocery store so I ended up eating frozen mixed vegetables sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Yes, I cooked the vegetables.  I took Blondie’s bandages off tonight.  I think Coco tore open the previous wound.  Finally!  My Caribou Coffee Card Travel Bug is traveling.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Click Here.

02/08 My Dell Precision M70 is doing so much screen splitting and flickering I’ll be lucky to finish this entry.  I can’t help but wonder if it’s related to the row of dead pixels.  Now that I’m absolutely surrounded by, and committed to, Dell hardware I would hate to see this machine go belly up on me.  About all I could make out of Dell’s Technical Support email was a phone number.  I called.  I just can’t say enough about their Technicians.  Long story short is installing a new LCD and Video Card tomorrow.  In the meantime, so long as I plug in a monitor, it works well enough to use.  The resolution is a bit wonky, but I’ll manage.  I was worried about arriving home late, but the dogs were fine.  Only one problem; no groceries.  I was just getting ready to go online and see if I might have messed up the alternate delivery day when I saw the Simon Delivers truck pull in to the neighbor’s driveway.  Dinner!  I feel better, Coco’s not the only one.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been sore from lifting weights and oh, it hurts so good.

02/09 This morning the bottom 2/3 of my M70’s desktop wallpaper is black.  It flickers when I go to the Journal2006 page, but not here on the main page.  LifeForm, Outlook and IE6 all seem fine.  Very strange.  The Technician is due here with the parts between 1:30 and 2:30, thereby forcing me to reschedule today’s 2:00 Eye Doctor appointment to Monday morning.  The Precision M70 is fixed.  This writing comes from the Latitude D410.  I give up a lot of screen real estate for portability and it’s going to take some getting used to.  I’m trying to set them up so I can easily take either machine.  The M70 is definitely easier to work with, yet the D410 is easier to handle.  I’m thinking the D410 is going to end up being a toy

02/10 I picked up Avery, we came home to play for a while and had lunch.  After lunch we went to my office to check on the server/workstation migration – what a mess, glad I missed it.  Then we visited with my Dad for a while, just before we left Mom and Gladys arrived home so they got to visit with Avery for a bit as well.  We came home, played a bit and had dinner.  I didn’t take a single picture!

02/11 95 minutes, 5.25 miles, 3.2 mph, HR=112 and “Gothika” on the treadmill this morning.  Yet again I find myself wondering how that ended up on my Netflix queue.  A “For Sale” sign appeared in the neighbor’s yard today.  I’ve been expecting that.  I got two major projects done at my office this afternoon, but after that I had a hard time staying focused, so I gave it up and came home.

02/12 105 minutes, 5.50 miles, 3.14 mph, HR=103 and “Sick” on the treadmill this morning.  Bizarre movie, I haven’t a clue how I ended up with it.  I’m starting to think my Netflix queue is haunted.  I don’t understand why I was so resistant to using Outlook for all my email.

02/13 Rent-A-Geek got my Cingular 2125 WM5 Smartphone to sync to the exchange server.  Sorta.  I now have my email on my phone.  If there’s one thing I don’t want, it’s my mail on my phone.  I want my Contacts and my Calendar.  That’s all.  Why is it so difficult?  Precision M70 this evening:  BSOD and this message:  “Hardware malfunction.  Call hardware vendor for support.  NMI:  Parity check/memory parity error.  System has halted” I forced a power down, waited a minute, powered up, all seems well.  Great.  I’m thinking I just received motivation to get the Latitude D410 up and running.  Backup is under control, the Precision M70 could die tomorrow and it wouldn’t be so very painful, except on my psyche, having just converted my shop to Dell hardware.

02/14 Happy Valentine’s Day!  I got my Cingular 2125 Smartphone to sync with the exchange server via my Desktop machine today!  I’m not clear on what I did differently.  Hopefully, tomorrow I can sync the iPAQ 2795 via my Precision M70.  I had a hard time deciding on a dessert for Avery’s birthday party this Friday, so I ordered the ingredients for both.  Turns out one significant ingredient was unavailable for today’s grocery shipment.  Funny how fate makes decisions for us.  That’s when I realized a significant ingredient in the other dessert was also missing, though on my bill.  Off to the grocery store.

02/15 When I did this morning’s manual backup of my application software server I noticed all sorts of DLL errors.  Rent-A-Geek is here, she’s going to reboot that server.  One of two things is going to happen; a) The errors will go away.  b) The server will “blow up”.  The suspense is killing me.  I’m happy to report that server seems to have rebooted just fine.  Though Rent-A-Geek has been on the phone with Microsoft for most of an hour now trying to resolve our FAX issue.  I don’t leave until she does.  So much for getting home in time to make that dessert tonight.  I didn’t leave my office until 7:50, a whole four hours later than I had hoped.  At least the time wasn’t wasted as I kept at the fiddling with my settings to get the iPAQ 2790 and Cingular 2125 to sync.  Mission accomplished!  It came down to four measly characters; “.com” at the end of the domain name. 

02/17 Avery and I are housebound by the cold weather.  The Furnace Maintenance/Repair Man woke her up from her nap, but we forgave him since it turns out one of our furnaces was broken and he fixed it.  We had a little party in celebration of Avery’s first birthday. 

02/18 It’s so nice to be able to work at home!  107 minutes, 5.75 miles, 3.2 mph, HR=127 and “Monster” on the treadmill this afternoon.

02/19 110 minutes, 5.50 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=122 and “Psycho” the 1960 black and white on the treadmill this after noon.  A hugely productive day:  Laundry, taxes, knitting, exercise.

02/20 I had a hard time getting my car started this morning.  My theory:  When I moved it in the bitter cold Friday night, I didn’t let it run long enough and the electronic fuel delivery system got messed up.  Seems fine now.

02/21 My Insurance Man stopped by the office today and had much to say about my driving.  Seems he passed me on the road this morning and I was so focused on my driving he was unable to draw my attention to his wave, my hands precisely at “10” and “2” and I was going 69 in a 70 mph zone.  Yay me!  A month ago, he wouldn’t have been able to catch me, much less pass.  He assured me I won’t lose insurance coverage over a few speeding tickets.  I’m really not worried about that, it’s just the principle of the thing.  And besides, it won’t last.  Tonight I made roasted red pepper soup and I must admit I’m ashamed of myself.  Years ago, my Mother gave me an Immersion Blender for my Birthday or Christmas.  I’ve never used it.  A few weeks back I made such a mess of my kitchen while pureeing Ginger Carrot Soup that I figured I had nothing to lose by trying the Immersion Blender.  WOW!!!  Thanks Mom!!!  Now, perhaps I ought to drag out that Ice Cream Machine . . .

02/22 It was light when I got to work this morning!

02/23 I visited with my Dad at lunch time today.  I am now 100% converted to Windows Mobile 5.  The only device I can’t get to sync is the Treo 700w, but I haven’t tried real hard because for some reason I just don’t like the device and will be selling it on eBay just as soon as I can stop at a Verizon store or call Customer Service and have my account disassociated from it.  The next PayPal?

02/24 Just as I finished telling Jim how tired I was of all the dump trucks . . . I hit a BIG rock.  Most likely dropped by one of those #_)(%(*$&%(*&@$@$)*(#$&%(*@(#&*$ dump trucks.  My car is now pouring it’s oil all over the garage floor.  A flatbed is on it’s way to haul it to the Dealer and I’ve arranged to pick up a rental car at the airport later tonight.  Avery and I had a good day today.  She discovered the walker, scrambled eggs and toast.

02/25 99 minutes, 4.5 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=107 and “Along Came Polly” on the treadmill this morning.

02/26 150 minutes, 7.5 miles, 3.0 mph, HR=125 and “Cold Mountain” on the treadmill this morning.  Migraine.

02/27 That wasn’t oil on the garage floor, it was transmission fluid.  The transmission pan on my car is broken.  The onboard computer is telling them a few other strange things that must be checked out as well.  I’ll be lucky to get it back this week.  I realize I have stood up the BugMan twice, but I think he’s punished me enough already and I would like to leave for work.  Turns out I’m not on the BugMan’s schedule for today.  Great.

02/28 Avery and I went to an indoor park this morning.  She really wasn’t quite old enough to enjoy it enough that I felt it was worth exposing her to all those drooling and snot nosed kids.  Germs.  Ugh!  After a thorough hand washing we did find a park bench in the sun next to a “river” where we had a picnic lunch.

Two Thousand Six – January

20060101:  Happy 2006!  115 minutes, 6.25 miles, 3.27 mph, HR=116 and “Calendar Girls” on the treadmill this morning.  No, I wasn’t awake at midnight.  Last night’s show (“West Side Story” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater) was great.  Our tablemates overheard my plea for extra water from the other family table and made darn sure I was never without several glasses of water.  When our Waitress introduced herself I asked for a carafe of water, explaining it would save her much bother in keeping my water glass full.  She wouldn’t do it, something about actors’ unions and ice clinking.  I didn’t need the ice, but still she refused.  I don’t understand why a carafe of water was not allowed when a bottle of wine and a pot of coffee were.  Just weird.  It’s not just the dinner theater, I often ask for a carafe of water and am often refused for one reason or another.  I had thought about bringing my own water bottle, but figured that was tacky.  I should go to work but I really don’t feel like it.  Jeff, Suzette and Amber joined us for dinner and DVD’s. 

20060102:  I got so much done at my office today that it’s OK I didn’t work yesterday.  Mom and Dad’s for dinner.  No internet connection = no groceries tomorrow.  Damn!  I’m regretting not ever taking the time to install one of my connection cards on this Dell Precision M70.

01/03 Good thing I got a lot done yesterday as today if off to a bad start.  The shipping computer isn’t printing shipping labels like it used to.  But, no one changed anything.

01/04 Picnic basket to Ellie and Jim.

01/05 Yesterday someone visited my site via the Google search; “I need a benefactor”.  From this morning’s “Hungry Girl”:  “The Ultimate Mood Lifter – A little chocolate can fix anything, right? It’s sweet, delicious, creamy, and seems to make us feel a lot better once we’ve eaten it. Well, it turns out chocolate’s mood-boosting ability is not all in our heads–eating the sweet stuff really does make us feel happy, content and soothed. Why? Well, the fat and sugar, as well as an endorphin-releasing substance called phenyl ethylamine, that is found in chocolate, raises both serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. The result? Your mouth will be happy–and so will the rest of you.  Stabilize Mood Swings – Do you go from laughing to crying in a matter of seconds? Curbing mood swings may be as easy as drinking water. That’s because dehydration can play a big part in our emotional stability. Don’t get those recommended 8-10 cups of water a day, and you might just find yourself sweating the small stuff…” So there you go, the secret to my even temper; CocoaVia and Water.  Garmin has announced, and I’ve preordered, their new devices:  Forerunner 305, eTrexVistaCx and GPSmap60CSx with SD card slots!  I just realized I’m going to be in Florida on Avery’s first birthday.  That sucks!  I know to have the window installers be done early is too much to hope for and I figure I’ll be lucky if they’re done on time.

01/06 Avery spent most of last night in the E.R.  They didn’t find anything but a new tooth.  So today we hung out at home.  Played toys, read books, napped a little.

01/07 62 minutes, 4.0 miles, 3.88 mph, HR=158 on the treadmill this morning.  I took all three dogs to the Vet this morning.  You should have been there, I’m sure you’d be laughing still.  Good grief, another iPOD just died.  Apple won’t be getting any more of my technology dollars.  I’ll start burning my iTunes to CD in order to transfer them into Windows Media Player and start using more generic MP3 devices.  I’ve fixed the broken link to the December photo journal, a big thanks to whoever brought that to my attention!

01/08 123 minutes, 6.33 miles, 3.08 mph, HR=112 and “House of Sand and Fog” on the treadmill this morning.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more depressing movie.  I’ve spent the afternoon at my office clearing my desk for a fresh start Monday.  The Accountant will be here bright and early on Thursday and I must have everything ready for him.  I also must install and test a cellular connection card on my Dell Precision M70 notebook, just in case they didn’t really fix the cable.  I’ve installed a Cingular branded Sony Ericsson GC83 Edge PC Card.  OE6 errors out when sending/receiving mail.  I suspect it’s got something to do with the Cingular Communications Manager software I installed with the PC Card earlier today, because I don’t think it’s worked since then.  Interesting that it won’t work with that connected either.  I’ve sent a message to my hosting company’s Tech Support, I’m hoping they can help me out.  I’ve checked everything I can think of and compared settings to my Sony U70 and still no go. 

01/09 Rent-A-Geek stopped by this morning to make sure all our hardware was here.  While she was here I got the pesky Outlook/Exchange sync error, so I showed it to her.  She fixed it.  Maybe.  I am confused between “My Documents” on the server and “My Documents” on my Dell Precision M70.  I’ve created a folder off my root directory to keep my personal stuff that I don’t want/need on the server.  Once our new hardware is installed, the space issues shouldn’t be a problem and I can keep everything there.  I got a reply from my hosting company’s technical support that warns of a recent Norton Antivirus update that has caused some issues with OE6.  I’ve disabled Norton Antivirus for Web Mail and that cured my problem.  I don’t see this as a safe permanent fix, so I’ve made a note to go back and enable it again in a couple of weeks.

01/10 I had hoped to avoid, or at least put off until next week, the “Plague” that’s going around.  No such luck.  Advil Cold and Sinus is some wonderful stuff.  I called the Contractor this morning to confirm my window installation for Monday.  Receptionist was discouragingly clueless, but promised to have someone in the know call me.  Not too much later I received a call from the Project Manager.  Monday is not going to happen.  I’m not surprised.  Perhaps Tuesday.

01/11 One day of medicine head was all I could take.  I feel worse than I did yesterday.  Today it’s soup and hot tea with honey.  My Treo 700w arrived this afternoon.  I tried syncing it to my Sony Vaio U70 as that Windows XP device has never been made a member of my domain.  Didn’t work.  Now I’m really confused.  I’ve got three WM5 devices and none of them sync to anything.  I have an older version of Microsoft’s Exchange Server, but surely I’m not the only one.  A new server will be installed shortly and that should solve everything.  I can’t wait to find out.  I don’t really have the time to research this and even if I did there really isn’t any point since I’ll have a whole new system in a couple of weeks.  Picnic basket to Ellie and Jim.  I can transfer printing from my office Desktop to my Laptop using “GoToMyPC”.  I first tried to make it work with Windows XP Remote Desktop but failed.  Perhaps another day.  I’ll test it on Payroll Saturday.  Staples will deliver free, so perhaps I’ll leave this one here and get another one for Florida. 

01/12 The Accountant has been and gone.  That’s it.  2005 is over and done.  Most of my new hardware was unboxed today.

01/13 My Window Project Manager called me Friday with the good news they are going to start my job Monday after all.  Later in the day I received a voicemail informing me some of my windows aren’t in and we’re back to Tuesday, with completion sometime in March.  Great.  Just great.  Avery has a cold, but that’s OK, so do I.  Misery loves company, right?

01/14 Avery and I did better last night that I thought we would.  She only woke up once where I had to rock her back to sleep.  Since I sleep in the room with Avery when she’s here, I wasn’t sure what to do with the dogs.  I ended up just putting them in our room and I don’t think they missed me until 4:40 this morning when Hanna started to whine at the door.  I’ve had a sinus headache since Monday and I figure tomorrow’s flight is going to be painful.  I’ll take a double dose of Advil Cold/Sinus medicine and hope for the best.  I did payroll from home this afternoon!

01/15 Flying didn’t hurt a bit.  Go figure.  I did take two Advil Cold & Sinus about an hour into the flight.  It’s the same temperature in the house here (68) as it is back home in Minnesota.  That’s just not right.

01/16 This morning I reinstalled WeatherBug.  I really miss having the temperature showing on my taskbar.  It’s 43 here this morning and I’m heading out for my walk in shorts?!?!?  It’s barely dawn, I need to get out and back in time to check in with my Window Project Manager.  If I don’t go now, I’ll never get around to it later, I’m funny that way.  I’m counting on the temperature rising with the sun.  And it did!  I took off my hoody when I got to the beach.  118 minutes, 6.51 miles, 3.7 mph, HR=150.  My printer arrived and I picked up my FedEx box so all my chores are done.  There’s a short shopping list that can wait until sundown.  Time for sunscreen and a medicinal lounge in the sunshine poolside.  If I don’t end this week with some windows installed, I sure as hell better at least have some tan lines to show for the trip!  During the night last night I thought I heard someone moving around the house, or I dreamed I did, I’m not sure which.  I realize that was my subconscious having fits about our key having been (actually still is) out of my control.  Today I switched the plastic flashlight on my nightstand for the sturdy aluminum one I had on my desk.  My Window Project Manager has not returned my phone call or replied to my voicemail verifying tomorrow’s start.  What’s that tell you?  I’m knitting a sweater for Avery.  It’s a rather complicated sweater with several techniques I’ve not done before.  I thought it might help occupy my mind and give me a sense of accomplishment and control over a project and help me not to stress over a project I can’t control.  It’s working.  I’ve got almost 6 inches finished.  I really should start up the webcam, but that will only add to my disappointment and frustration if there is no work to watch tomorrow.  I will do that tomorrow morning instead of pacing the floors waiting for the doorbell to ring.

01/17 The camera is working.  Since that window is the one that won’t be here until March, you won’t see much until they start working on the one above it or I decide to move the camera.  They’re here!  My kitchen office window is first on the list.  I’ve moved the camera in there so you can watch.  Turns out the waterside windows aren’t the only ones that didn’t come in, but some more are due to arrive on Wednesday and it will take at least that long to install what they’ve got, probably longer.  I heard; “God Damn, it ain’t going to fit!” and went to the kitchen, wrote my cell number on a piece of paper, showed the Guy where I stuck it on the refrigerator, told him to call me if there was anything I could do and went for a walk.  When I got back, I had a new window in my “office”.  One down.  110 minutes, 6.61 miles 3.6 mph, HR=159.  23 mph winds made the going hard and my heart rate shows it.  There’s a Naples Knitting Group that meets tonight at the Calistoga Bakery Cafe.  It looks like a really nice place and I’m looking forward to going.  Only one other person showed up for knitting, but I had a great dinner, we had a nice visit, it was all good.

01/18 The Window Crew showed up bright and early this morning.  Yay!  I hit the snooze button three times this morning.  I need to set the alarm for later or put away the knitting and go to bed earlier or both.  It’s raining.  Too hard for me to go for my walk.  The Window Crew is working under a roof, so I’m pretty sure they’ll at least finish the big guest room window.  My Google stock hit my bottom limit and sold yesterday.  Now I’ve got to decide if I want back in.  They finished the guest room and master bedroom today.  I went for a walk as soon as they left.  122 minutes, 7.20 miles, 3.5 mph, HR=105.  I am befuddled at the HUGE drop in heart rate.  I’ve never seen so many surfers as there were this afternoon, probably because it was afternoon and not morning.  They weren’t having much luck with it.  I’ve got a little pizza in the oven and a bottle of red wine open as my reward for getting myself out this afternoon.

01/19 When I went to bed last night I noticed the trim wasn’t finished on the master bedroom window.  Turns out that window is just setting there, not really installed.  They are waiting on an inspector to approve the installation before they can finish.  What seemed like it would be the easiest two windows, have become the most complicated.  All the living/dining room furniture has been pushed to one side and they’ve put up a temporary wall.  They expect those side windows to remain open for a period of time as they need to be approved by the inspector as well.  I guess it’s good.  I’m grateful they are keeping themselves busy and productive rather than sitting on their thumbs waiting for the inspector.  They didn’t get as much done today as I had hoped.  I guess there’s an Inspector to blame.  141 minutes, 8.02 miles, 3.4 mph, HR=127.

01/21 149 minutes, 7.89 miles, 3.2 mph, HR=110. Home!

01/22 I really should put this sweater away.  I’ve got a lot of work to do around the house and I’ll have plenty of time to finish it next week.

01/23 The mail.  Ugh.

01/24 On the way home from work today I got a much deserved and long overdue speeding ticket.

01/25 I’ve been informed; “your web site is currently being transitioned to a server containing newer hardware and software”.

01/26 I just prepared another box for FedEx to pickup tomorrow morning.  Yarn for another sweater.  I think I’m going to need it.

01/27 We haven’t seen a sunny Friday since I can’t remember when, so I sure wasn’t going to waste today’s sunshine.  The Luce Line is still awful muddy and I’m not going to make myself the extra work of having to bathe a dog.  I parked my car at the little mall in Mound and Avery and I walked the mile and a half or so to Jim and Ellie’s place.  They weren’t home so we walked back to the little mall and had a treat at Caribou Coffee.  Avery is crawling and giving much thought to pulling herself up on things.  Coco made a huge mess and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

01/28 It is so nice to be able to do so much of my work from home!  I still need to go to my office, but I won’t have to be there very long.  Earlier this week my laptop’s display developed a line about 1.5 inches from the top.  It has come in handy, but mostly it’s annoying.  On one of my rare actually shopping trips this past holiday season, I saw a kid’s ski helmet.  It’s like a bike helmet, but insulated for cold and I never knew such a thing exists.  I figured that would be great for Avery and allow us an earlier start of biking season this coming spring, it also helped that it’s pink and the bike helmet she won’t wear is yellow.  I ordered one from REI and hung it on the door knob next to my biking gloves, awaiting a trip downstairs.  I put the helmet on her head today and she left it there, in fact every time we walked past, we put it on for a bit.  I guess we’ve solved the bike helmet issue, though I did have to order the next size smaller as this one is huge on her.

01/29 Seems like I just left here.  Glass of wine and going to bed early.

01/30 I went to bed at 7:30 last night, no doubt asleep before 8 and was still asleep when the alarm went off at 6 this morning.  I guess I was tired.  144 minutes, 7.82 miles, 3.3 mph, HR=108.  They found the missing window, but it’s the wrong size.  Some progress was made today.  The clear window was replaced with the tinted one in the master bedroom.  There are screws in the sides of the living room windows, though they are somewhat crooked.  My “Girls” have had me twisted around their paw for their entire lifetime and in the end, I will twist them around my finger like this.  Seriously.

01/31 The Crew Boss stopped by this morning and asked if I was going to be around all day today, to which I replied, “Yes!”.  I won’t be leaving the house today.  I finished Avery’s sweater!  I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  It’s a little big, but she’ll grow!  There’s a Guy walking around patching holes, that’s a good sign.  Maybe.  The Boss Man and his painter have been and gone.  I’ll be right behind the rest of these guys and going for my walk.  This housebound-all-day business sucks.  173 minutes, 8.82 miles, 3.1 mph, HR=104.  Garmin’s Trainer software tells me I burned 1190 calories and LifeForm tells me I burned 623.  I always use LifeForm’s calculations, but I wish I really knew.  I went to bed at 8:00 again last night but didn’t fall asleep so easily and was awake and waiting for the alarm to go off this morning.  I guess I’ve caught up on my sleep, so I’ll start the second sleeve of Avery’s next sweater this evening and go to bed a bit later.  My hosting company ( has installed spam software.  Perhaps now I’ll stop missing Norton’s AntiSpam.