Thursday, July 20, 2006

Has anyone else noticed.....

I stopped by the grocery store on my way to work this morning, and noticed (not for the first time) that there weren't any plastic baskets by the front door. All I saw were buggies, which now come in two sizes: big and bigger. Guess it's easier to buy more when you're not limited to what you can carry! :-P

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've been reflecting a good bit about image lately, and what all of that means on a personal level as well as a social one. What kind of image do I want to project? What image do people currently have about me--and is it accurate? It that image what I want it to be? There are things about me that I like, and other things I want to change. Some of those changes might happen quickly, others may take years.

I remember in my first job after college, one of the comments made from a co-worker was that some of the teens I worked with thought I was flighty. That came as a big surprise to me, because I was concerned that I was being too serious. Flighty was not an image (or reputation) I wanted. Honestly, I was a little offended for a while, but worked on my skills there, and it paid off.

Later, during my teaching days, a church I used to pass by on a semi-regular basis, had a marquis sign out front. One of the messages I still remember (after 10-15 years) is, "You can measure a person's character by what he does when no one's looking."

I know image and character aren't exactly the same, but they're a bit intertwined, in my book. I think both image and character take behind-the-scenes work, and you can backslide on both by what you do, whether or not anyone's watching.


My air conditioning is on the blink again, and surprisingly enough (or maybe not), so is George's. I called the maintenance dept. again (for the second time this month), and hope it will be the last call for a while.

I continue to be frustrated by this cough of mine, partly because my exercise routine has slowed down, and I miss that a lot. I'm not sleeping as well either, which isn't helping.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Training opportunity

I've gotten the go-ahead from my supervisor to apply for the Master Trainer program sponsored by the State Library. I'm excited about the chance to get the extra training, to be a better trainer. Eventhough I used to be a teacher, it's different teaching adults--and co-workers. All of the training would be in Raleigh, including a 5-day session in November. Wow!

Meanwhile, I have a lingering cough from my cold of a month or two ago. Almost hate going to the doctor for a cough, but it shouldn't be lasting this long. Between it and the heat, I've been wanting to go home and cocoon for the evening lately. I've been missing my exercise, not to mention a better sense of well-being. Blah!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Family History

I was relieved to find a floppy disk this past week that contains my genealogy backups. My home computer has been down since last November, but I made sure to back up my genealogy database before the computer fiddling began. I've saved my data online now, so when my computer getssx fixed (or I get a new one), I'll be good to go!

More than anything, I've missed working on my genealogy since my computer has been down. It's been an interesting hobby, fitting pieces of a puzzle together.

The McLamb reunion I've attended the past several summers was cancelled this year. I missed it, and even George asked about it. It has me wondering about organizing a family reunion on my own. When? Where? How?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Looking for a new favorite book

For several years now, the book The Secret History, by Donna Tart, has been my favorite. I read it because it landed in my mailbox, part of a book club I belonged to at the time. I was immediately enthralled. I'm on my second or third copy, because the others have fallen apart from rereading. It's a book I enjoy returning to, like a familiar friend you can pick right up with, no matter how long it's been since you've talked. When I pick it up to read, sometimes I start fom the beginning, and sometimes I find a certain passage and go from there. Most times, I pick up a tidbit I've missed or forgotten. Rumors have been circulating that the book will be made into a movie, but I almost hope it doesn't happen. Sometimes I try to figure out who would play which character, but I have yet to pick my entire cast of choice.

Now, I'm on a search for a "new best friend" among books. While The Secret History will always hold a special place on my bookshelf, there are just so many books out there. Working in acquisitions in a major research library, I should know! :-) If there's a new favorite book to be found, I'd love to find it. I'm sure the search will be filled with lots of interesting reading.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

100 Things About Me

Over the past couple of days, I've been trying to come up with 100 things about me to share. It was a little hard to come up with 100 things, so I almost gave up. I forged ahead to the end though, and include the list here. It turned out to be a combination of past, present, and future things about me. When I asked George what he thought about my list, his first two comments were that it's long, and that I seem to feel pretty good about myself! I'm hoping I don't come across as conceited or anything. My hope it that it will help visitors to my blog learn a bit more about me.

1. I have twin toes on both feet. The 2nd & 3rd toes only on each foot are webbed about halfway up. I think they're cute.
2. I taught elementary school for 6 years.
3. I worked at Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park one summer. I started out doing dishes and pots, before being promoted to the Employee Dining Room.
4. I've had one broken bone, my nose, which was broken in a JV basketball game, in which I played center.
5. I graduated from Duke University with a double major in history and religion, and a certificate in Judaic Studies.
6. I returned to school for a degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Greensboro.
7. I got a perm with one of my first FT-job paychecks. Huge mistake.
8. I took whitewater canoeing as one of my PE classes in college.
9. I graduated from an all-girls Episcopal boarding high school called St. Mary's.
10. I have one sibling, Lisa, who is married with two daughters. They live in the San Francisco Bay area.
11. I love Halloween, good ghost stories, and houses that are rumored to be haunted.
12. I participated in a 5K road race in April 2006. It was my first in about 20 years, and I finished last.
13. I was on track and tennis teams in high school. In college, I ran on the club cross country team.
14. I want to run a marathon someday.
15. I took piano and violin lessons growing up. I'd like to learn another musical instrument.
16. I took French, German, and Hebrew classes in college.
17. I audited a Portuguese class as an Duke employee.
18. I'd like to learn a foreign language fluently.
19. I was born in Atlanta.
20. I grew up being a Duke football fan, because my dad played football for Duke.
21. I worked as a camp counselor for two summers at Keystone Camp, where I went as a child.
22. Once, I was the only passenger on an airplane, traveling from Asheville to Charlotte.
23. I've been to Europe once, in 1980. I'd love to go back.
24. I helped my sister drive cross-country from Connecticut to California, with our mom and my sister's daughters, plus two cars.
25. While working at Yellowstone, I learned how to crack two eggs simultaneously.
26. The farthest I've run competitively is 6.2 miles (10K).
27. I love to read, and often gravitate toward the mysteries section of bookstore.
28. I have books signed by Reynolds Price, Margaret Maron, and Steven Kellogg. Kellogg's autograph is the most creative.
29. My first year of teaching, I taught 1st and 2nd grades in the same (unairconditioned) classroom.
30. I played in a handbell choir when I lived in Greensboro, NC.
31. I've been a member of the Junior League for 5 years.
32. My family had two different Chinese Pugs (Rachel, then Duchess) when I was growing up.
33. Other childhood pets included cats, fish, a turtle, a rabbit, and a white mouse.
34. I was Little Bo Peep in a kindergarten performance.
35. I taught archery during one summer as a camp counselor.
36. Genealogy is one of my favorite hobbies.
37. One of my hobbies growing up was collecting Beatrix Potter books and figurines.
38. I took a Beatrix Potter laundry bag to college.
39. I went to Hawaii with my family in 2001 to watch Duke in the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament.
40. I've seen one professional sports team in action, the Atlanta Braves.
41. I'm a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.
42. Occupations I wanted to be when I grew up: ambassador, teacher, doctor, lawyer, minister, writer, National Geographic photographer.
43. I sang with the Durham Chorale when I first moved to Durham.
44. George and I love to travel to the mountains.
45. I was on the debate team in high school. When I moved to Durham, I joined Toastmasters.
46. I would like to visit all 100 counties in North Carolina.
47. I love breakfast food. I could have breakfast at any meal.
48. I enjoy playing backgammon.
49. I like exploring old cemeteries.
50. I've tried water skiing once, on the Alabama River.
51. I've been snow skiing several times, and would love to go again.
52. My favorite soft drink is Diet Dr. Pepper.
53. My first snow skiing experience was in Alabama, at a ski resort north of Birmingham.
54. My driver's license indicates that I'm an organ donor.
55. I failed my first test for my driver's license.
56. I took a photography class in the Physics Dept. at UNC-Chapel Hill one summer during college. It was both challenging and fascinating.
57. My first library job was during that summer session at UNC. I worked in the library science school's library.
58. My first full-time library job was at the Professional Center Library at Wake Forest University.
59. My favorite book is The Secret History, by Donna Tartt.
60. I lost my voice for 6 weeks straight is 2005.
61. When eating out, my beverage of choice is Diet Coke with a lemon wedge.
62. My most recent concert was the Rolling Stones. They played in Wallace Wade Stadium, the football stadium at Duke. It's the only time I've seen the Duke football stadium full.
63. I wore braces on my teeth twice as a child.
64. I still have my wisdom teeth.
65. I used to be really good at playing Pong.
66. I'm a neat freak wannabe.
67. My first rock concert was Huey Lewis and the News, in Columbia, SC.
68. I love getting pedicures, though it always tickles me (uncomfortably so) when the nail tech scrubs my feet with the pumice or brush.
69. I attended the Presidential Debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush in October 2000, when they came to Wake Forest University. I happened to be working there at the time, and got in through a staff lottery.
70. I want to learn how to knit. I've had one lesson so far.
71. I talk to myself a lot.
72. I won a certificate for best advertising slogan at tennis camp the summer I was 14.
73. I used to love to drive. After commuting to work for most of the 1990s, I don't care for it as much, though I often appreciate the downtime I get in the car.
74. I was excited to get an invitation for a gmail email account, but now I hardly ever use that email address.
75. I've been in the wedding party of five weddings.
76. In college, I tried out to be the preacher on Student Preacher Sunday at Duke Chapel. I didn't win, but it was neat to stand in the pulpit during my audition.
77. George is going to teach me how to play chess.
78. I worked as a waitress while attending UNC-Greensboro.
79. My maternal grandmother created a nickname for me that combined her name and my parternal grandmother's name. It's on my Christmas stocking.
80. I like pineapple on pizza. (Thanks to my sister for introducing me to this.)
81. I've never liked okra, in any of its forms.
82. Wendy's in my favorite of the major fast food chains.
83. Twilight is my favorite time of day, especially after an amazing sunset.
84. Fall is my favorite season of the year.
85. M*A*S*H is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.
86. In choirs, I sing alto, as do my mom and my sister.
87. In addition to Huey Lewis and the News and the Rolling Stones, other concerts I've been to are Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and James Taylor.
88. I'm a big "I Love Lucy" fan.
89. If I could have dinner with someone famous, three of my top choices would be Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, and Barbara Walters.
90. I would love to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show for doing something interesting or inspirational.
91. As much as I like to sing, I'm no soloist. I have a fantasy of singing the National Anthem courtside at a Duke basketball game.
92. My favorite color is usually blue, though I love to wear the color purple the most.
93. I've kept some form of diary or journal for over 30 years. I still have most of them.
94. I've visited 33 states and Washington, DC.
95. I've thought about joining the Peace Corps.
96. I would like to ride in a colorful hot air balloon someday.
97. On my drive to Yellowstone to work, Mom and I drove through the town of Lesley, Texas. It was a little out of the way, but fun to see.
98. I used to enjoy crosstiching, and would like to take it up again eventually.
99. My first college acceptance letter was from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.
100. I've been whitewater rafting down the Snake, Eno, and French Broad Rivers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

LInville Caverns visit during Memorial Day Weekend 2006

George and I went visited Linville Caverns during our Memorial Day Weekend visit to the North Carolina mountains back in May. The drips on our shirts (water dripping from the cave ceiling) are called "cave kisses," and are supposed to bring good luck. :-)

In case you're wondering about the sudden addition of pictures to my blog, I've recently discovered Picasa, another Google feature. It's fun to be able to add pictures. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sense of Community

This picture was taken in February of this year at one of our favorite restaurants, the Stonewood Grill in Cary. It was an outing of Triangle Friends, a group I moderate on Yahoo. The moderator title fell into my lap nearly 4 years ago, about the time I met George. The outing had a pretty good turnout--about 10 of us were there and we had a fun time! Interestingly enough, everyone who came knew someone there, so there weren't any totally new people there. One of the reasons most join Triangle Friends is because they want to make new friends, but I think there is a certain amount of need for a comfort zone.

Since becoming moderator of the group, life has gotten busier on several fronts, so my efforts in building and maintaining the group have been up and down. Still, I'd love to see the group become a way for people in the Triangle to connect and feel a sense of community.

There was a study published recently that a Duke professor participated in that said that Americans have fewer friends than we used to. It's been on my mind a lot lately, as I try to juggle everything and work on building relationships. It's definitely more challenging to build good friendships than it used to be, but it's worth the time. Posted by Picasa

Books I Finished and Started Over the Weekend

Yesterday morning I finished Predator, by Patricia Cornwell. I started reading her books about 10 years ago, through a recommendation made by someone I met on a temp assignment. It's one of the best reading recommendations I've ever received! I haven't read any Cornwell for a while, so I was eager to see what this book had to offer. I was a little sad to see the book come to an end, mostly because I wanted a little more character development. I enjoy the main characters in Cornwell's books, and she left several things unresolved. Perhaps that's a way for me to pick up the next book in the series (when it comes out), but still, I finished the book wanting a little more information now! Too many loose ends for me!

After that, I started reading the book Privilege, by Ross Gregory Douthay. He's a Harvard grad, and it's about his time there. The book came across my desk recently at work, and thought it might be an insightful read in light of the recent Duke lacrosse party incident here in Durham. I've been thinking a good bit about the relationship between Duke and Durham. Many think Duke is full of elite and privileged kids. Durham is thought of as poor and crime-ridden. It makes me sad, and it makes me want to build bridges.

Dinner and "Superman Returns"

I had a good dinner with George and his brothers, Henry and Phil, Phil's wife Heather and Baby Talia, and cousin Jacob, who was down from Boston. I especially enjoyed catching up with Heather, and hope to talk more with her by phone soon.

We went to see "Superman Returns" afterward. It as predictable and a little long, but good summer entertainment. I was especially fascinated by the shots of the sky and of the ocean, which weren't the point of the movie, but they are what drew me in and enveloped me.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Old and New friends

I think I made a new friend today. :-) I had a Mary Kay appointment with a lady named Mary today. We have a lot in common, including genealogy and a wish to take better care of ourselves. We talked of walking and setting goals, too. I hope to see her again.

This evening, I'm meeting George and some of his family for dinner and a movie, probably "Superman Returns." Will post my review next week.

Friday, July 07, 2006


George and I have been missing our Thursday night dose of the show, "ER." While we like the drama, some of our favorite characters have come and gone. (Part of it, though, is having the tradition of watching it together, talking and cuddling during the commercials, and winding down together.) Not sure when it's coming back on for the next season. Meanwhile, I've recently become intrigued by the show, "The 4400," a show George has liked but I wasn't interested in until recently. We taped it last Sunday night, and were hoping to watch it last night during our normal ER-viewing time of 10:00-11:00, but I was too sleepy. We're going to try again tonight.

George and I also have a tradition of going to the mountains for our weekend vacations. I would love to build some other traditions together. Easier said than done, with our busy schedules. I've been contemplating building more routines into my own life, more for efficiency than tradition. Having personal traditions could be a good thing, though.....something to think about.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A restful night in

Whew, it felt good to stay in last night! I feel much more rested this morning.

George and I had a fun, but busy July 4th. We had lunch at the new house of our new friend, Steph. I actually met Steph a year or two ago, when she was leading a group for Duke's Run/Walk Club. Then we ran into each other at Eno River Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, where Steph has been a member for a number of years, and George and I joined last fall.

After lunch, we went to Cary and watched the fireworks at Regency Park. The fireworks were pretty, and we had good seats on the grass by the lake. The fireworks were set off right across the lake from us, so it was a great view.

As predicted, the traffic afterward was heavy, so it took us a while to get on our way. It was a busy day and a late night for having work the next day, so I was dragging a little at work yesterday. I needed to go to the gym last night, but it felt great to stay home and cocoon. The introvert in me enjoyed the time to recharge.

One of the things I'm working on is how to balance getting out and being active and social versus taking time for myself. I'm glad we did what we did on the 4th, but I wonder how could I have done it all and still felt refreshed, or at least not so worn out, at work yesterday.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Home by Another Way

This blog was inspired by my desire to step out of my comfort zone and to be adventurous, but to remember where home is. "Home by Another Way" is one of my favorite songs by James Taylor, hence, the name of my new blog. Here, I will continue where I left off with my 2006 blog. I decided that keeping a blog for each year might get a little tedious, since I already have a couple other blogs for specific goals in my life.