Thursday, December 20, 2018

What Kind of Friend Am I?

You Are the Optimistic Friend

You are the friend who always sees the bright side. Your friends turn to you when they need a little cheering up. You give everyone a chance, and your friends feel like they can be themselves around you. You aren't judgmental or critical.

You are an easy person to be around with and rarely complain. You feel like it's almost impossible to have a bad time if you're with your friends. While you are glad that your pals appreciate your positivity, you'd like to see some in return. Life isn't as bad as people make it out to be. 

From Blogthings

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A New Camera in the House!

I'm excited about my new camera purchase, a Nikon D5600! I've been saving for about a year and a half for it, and finally purchased it last weekend. I was going to buy it from Amazon, but had a good recommendation for a local camera store, Southeast Camera.

I first called the Carrboro store to see if they had this camera in stock, and they did not. I called the Raleigh store next, and thank goodness they had it.

Alas, it's still in the box, but I hope to break it out soon. Maybe I'll even have it working for our upcoming trip to Charleston!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


Today's my birthday, and it's the first one without both of my parents. My dad passed away in January, and my mom passed away the day after Thanksgiving. This is the first of many firsts without them. What's normally a day of celebration is a sad one, too. It's nice to be remembered, though. And it'll get easier. One of my Facebook friends posted Happy Birthday wishes, along with the hope that the next year doesn't suck. Me too. There you go.

Meanwhile, here's Mom's obituary, which my sister, brother-in-law, nieces, and I worked on collaboratively.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Big Game Weekend

George and Lesley at Wallace Wade Stadium
George and I went to TWO Duke sporting events over the weekend! On Saturday, we went to the Duke-UNC game, on a pretty, but nippy fall day. Duke won, 42-35, in an exciting game (especially for Duke fans!).  At half time, we got to visit with former Duke classmates Jennifer and Debbie, which was fun.

Yesterday afternoon, we went to the Duke-Army basketball game, which Duke won 94-72. It was an exciting game, too!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Who's Still Blogging?

I've been thinking about blogs and blogging lately, as I jumpstart this blog and hope that it draws
some readers and a community of sorts. When I first started blogging, it seemed like a hip thing to do, and I was riding the wave. I blogged often (between several blogs) and enjoyed following and commenting on others' posts.

Nowadays, I wonder if blogging is a thing of the past, not so hip anymore. Some of my favorite blogs have been officially retired, and some blogs just seem to be dead, their writers busy with other phases of their lives. I know that's happened to me. Some of my blogs (like the one about going to graduate school) are done, because I don't do that topic anymore (like graduate school or running).

So, I'm looking for new blogs and bloggers to follow. Any ideas? What are your favorites?

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Duke Lemur Center Visit

Jacquie and Lesley
Recently, a coworker and I went to the Duke Lemur Center for their annual Lemurpalooza! We got to tour the Lemur Center, which is mostly outside. It was a pretty warm late afternoon, but we still enjoyed seeing the lemurs and walking around. They had some nocturnal lemurs inside a special building, so we checked those out too. Both of us adopted lemurs for a year, and have received information on our adopted lemurs. I adopted a Blue-Eyed Black Lemur, and Jacquie adopted the Grey Mouse Lemur. They're so cute!

If you ever have the chance to visit the Duke Lemur Center, I'd recommend it! Aside from special events, they typically require reservations to take one of several tours (which fill up fast!).

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

What's Your Favorite Sandwich?

BLT with Fried Egg at Foster's Market
Early last week, I visited a local restaurant, Foster's Market. It's a great place that's not on my normal route, so I don't get there often. I noticed a BLT on the menu, and decided to get it with the fried egg option. it was so yummy, I went back late last week for another one!

Over the weekend, George and I went to Carolina Ale House before the Duke-Virginia Tech football game. I noticed a BLT with pimento cheese on the menu, so guess what I got! Bam!

BLTs haven't always been my favorite sandwich, but they are right now. Mmm!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Duke-Virginia Tech Football Game

George and I went to the Duke-Virginia Tech football game Saturday night. It was the third home game of the season, and the second night game this season. (I love a night game under the lights, especially when it's not too cold!)

After starting the season 4-0, we were hopeful for a Duke win on national TV (ESPN2). No such luck, though. With a bye this coming Saturday, I hope the team can rest up, and otherwise do what they do to get ready for the next game.

We're enjoying the location of our new season tickets, the first I've bought on my own, but I sure miss talking with Dad over the phone about the games. Love you, Dad.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Meaning of the Name Lesley (according to Blogthings)

You Are Peaceful and Content

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are lighthearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is coming in! It's been both fascinating and stressful to keep track of Florence's path toward North and South Carolina. In addition to my own news sources and research, my sister has been tweeting me articles and helpful hints from her home in California. (She and her husband have a second home in Emerald Isle, so she's rightfully concerned, as well.)

My work has instituted the Severe Weather Policy for half of today and all of tomorrow. That normally doesn't happen until the thick of winter, when ice is in the forecast. I'm glad we're able to go home and stay home tomorrow. The huricane's path is predicted to go farther south now, so we might just get rain and wind in our area. Still, there's a chance of power outages, so I'll be getting prepared for that. I think we'll have enough food and groceries to get through.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Duke-Army Football Game

View from Our Seats in Wallace Wade Stadium
George and I attended the Duke football season opener last Friday night! The Friday night schedule was unusual for Duke, but sometimes TV scheduling takes precedence. The night game was nice, since it was a hot day.

I was a little sad thinking of Dad, and how this is the first Duke football season without him. I always looked forward to talking with him after each game. He'd ask who played well and how the attendance was. I choked up during the National Anthem too. But once the game started, I felt better and really enjoyed the game!

George and I sat in our new season ticket seats Friday night, and they're pretty good! (They're not the 50-yard line seat that Dad had, but they're good.) We met two nice women in front of us, whose family shares tickets for the two seats in front of us. They have a long family history at Duke, too. I shared this photo on the left of Dad from his Duke football-playing days.

I took the photo above to show my sister the view from our new seats. The Duke Marching Band was playing the National Anthem in their Duke D formation. I didn't realize until after I took the shot that I'd caught the pre-game flyover of some planes from Raleigh on the scoreboard video at the far end of the field.

Duke played a good Army team, and won 34-14, a great start for the Blue Devils!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Labor Day Weekend in Emerald Isle

View from the Deck
George and I had a nice Labor Day weekend with family in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. As usual, it was nice to get away. The weather was hot, but very pretty from the back deck. I'd love to go back and spend more time, but work always awaits!

One night, we ate ate CaribeSea for the first time. It's a fairly new restaurant in Emerald Isle, and we all enjoyed it! I had the shrimp and grits--yum!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Making Progress in the Kitchen

I made some cleaning progress this weekend, but it was mostly in the kitchen pantry and cabinets, where guests don't always look (at least not if I can help it!!). But I know the progress, and that helps a lot! (I was surprised to find as much expired stuff as I did! Ick!)

I'm still unpacking from my recent trip to Alabama, but I did manage to put all my clean laundry away, and that's progress too! (Lately, I've been pulling clothes out of my clean clothes basket to wear each day, I'm trying to be better organized before work in the morning AND take better care of my clothes.)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cleaning Out Closets

Last week, my sister and I met at our parents' house for the better part of a week to work on cleaning out closets, cabinets, drawers, and what not. Our mom is still living, but we decided to start the challenging task of weeding. There's so much stuff, and we processed a lot of emotions while doing this. We left determined to start the decluttering process on our own homes, while we're still able. I'm trying to back some progress most every day, even if it's going through a stack of junk mail and tossing or shredding everything I can.

My Dad in College
One of my favorite discoveries last week was this photo of Dad from his college days. He played football in college, and I guess that was his varsity letter. We think the photo was taken in front of his home. I was delighted to find this picture, but it made me miss him even more. He'd probably forgotten this picture, which we found in the "Christmas closet." Who knew?!

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Going to the Dentist

I had a checkup and teeth cleaning at the dentist yesterday. Most folks dread going to the dentist, I think, but I enjoy going to mine. She's very good and so nice, so I always enjoy catching up with her. I had a new-to-me hygienist, but she did a good job, and was chatty (in a good way). I always choose the cinnamon flavored tooth polish. What's your flavor of choice?

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fun at the Museum of Life and Science

George and I had a fun time last week at the Museum of Life and Science! We enjoyed walking around the museum, and then we went out back and walked around the Butterfly House. George tried rock climbing for the first time and really enjoyed it, so he's going to join a local rock climbing place for the exercise.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Adult Summer Camp at the Museum of Life and Science

Tonight, George and I are going to Adult Summer Camp at the Museum of Life and Science. It's a
popular event with tickets that sell out early! It's part of their Museum AfterHours program. This will be our first time to go, and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday the 13th

Do you have  paraskevidekatriaphobia, a fear of Friday the 13th? I'm not a superstitious person by nature, but I find the history interesting.

Most Friday the 13ths, I try to do something fun and/or productive to counteract the Friday the 13th "jinx," even though I don't believe in it. Today, a work colleague brought in blueberry doughnuts from a local bakery--yum! On my lunch break, I took care of some bills, including renewing my AAA (American Automobile Association) and American Library Association memberships.

How do you celebrate Friday the 13th?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

What Are You Reading This Weekend?

On Twitter, Goodreads (the social media website for book readers) likes to ask "What are you reading this weekend?" on Fridays. I always chuckle when I see that question, because I often have several books going at one time. I know some people just have one or two books going at a time, while others (like me) juggle multiple books, based on interest and mood.

Which type of reader are you? Do you keep several books in the mix, or do you stick to one or two at a time?  And what are YOU reading this weekend? (One of the books I'm reading is Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.)

Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 08, 2018

In Cleaning Mode

I've been in "spring cleaning" mode this week, at least some of the time, both at work or at home. Since it's still spring, I'm good! :-) I feel like I'm back in college, when I cleaned more dorm room to
procrastinate doing other things. But getting better organized, cleaning out some of the clutter, is a good thing.

What are your favorite cleaning websites? One website I check periodically for inspiration is A Bowl Full of Lemons. (It's a cheerful title, isn't it?!)

Thursday, June 07, 2018

What Makes Me Well Rounded? (Blogthings Quiz)

"Your Cleverness is Well Rounded"
You are a sharp and witty thinker. You would get bored quickly if you weren't so good at keeping yourself entertained.

You are a natural explorer, and sometimes you even poke your nose where it doesn't belong. You love to investigate.

You are a constantly changing creature, and people have trouble keeping up with your dynamic ways. You're a hard nut to crack.

You may be always in flux, but you also strike a good balance in life. In fact, most of your change is just an effort to rebalance a bit.

You have a deep intuition, and you're good at figuring out what you need. You rarely ask others for advice.

You take a bit of time for solitude and communicating with yourself. You listen carefully to your inner guide.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Camping Advice

The word "camping" brings back memories of summer camp, Girl Scout camp, campfires (a favorite!), and s'mores (yum!). I've been thinking about it again, wondering if it's something G. and I might try as a new thing. There are plenty of campgrounds near our home, so I'm thinking about one of those places nearby for a test run. (Falls Lake looks especially nice!)

So, I've started reading up a bit on camping, looking at websites and scouting out types of equipment. It turns out that my employer rents out some camping equipment as a perk to students and staff. I'm not sure of the cleaning procedures, but if you can get past the potential "ick" factor to try some things out, it sounds promising.

So, I welcome advice from more seasoned campers! We don't have an RV, so I think that tent camping is probably what we'll try first (if I can talk G. into it!).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Old Memories

My sister is visiting our hometown, working on my parents' home. She came across one of my old stuffed animals, Winnie the Pooh, so she texted to see if I want to keep it or give it away. It was a quick decision to keep the bear.

What's your favorite A. A. Milne book/character?

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Restaurant Review: Venable Rotisserie Bistro

One of my goals for this year is to visit at least one new-to-me restaurant each month. On April 1, Easter Sunday, we visited Venable Rotisserie Bistro for brunch. Venable is located in Carr Mill Mall, at 200 N. Greensboro Street in Carrboro. I made reservations on OpenTable, and we were seated promptly.

Even though I'm nuts about breakfast food, I was in the mood for vegetables, so I ordered the Cobb Salad, plus a side of cheese grits for my breakfast good fix. The salad was well portioned with goodies to mix together, including bacon, egg, grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, and blue cheese. It's just what I was craving! G. ordered the English Breakfast, and was able to get fruit in place of the baked beans. He enjoyed his breakfast.

We finished our meal with a pot of French press, just right!

I'm glad we made Venable our Easter Brunch restaurant this year. I'd love to return for another meal sometime.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Snow

Springtime Snow Behind Our Apartment
Yesterday was the first FULL day of spring, and we had SNOW yesterday morning! Big, fluffy flakes stuck to the grass and trees in my area, but didn't cause a problem for me getting to work. I've come to love snow (especially when I can stay safe and the power's on!), so I enjoyed yesterday's snow fling.

It's a clear day today, but still a little chilly.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

In Case I Ever Visit Italy...

 I would love to visit Italy one day, and BlogThings tells me I am the history! Ha! That makes sense, since I was a history major in college.

"You Are the History"

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

10 On Tuesday: Things I've Learned Since My Dad Passed Away

So, this post may be grim, but it's part of life. I've learned many  things about life and death since Dad died. Here are ten of them:

1. Grief isn't linear. Some days are better, and some days are harder than others.

2. Dad's favorite flower was the pink azalea. My sister knew that, but I didn't.

3. Losing a parent is different in so many ways from losing a grandparent or more distant relative.

4. Even though Dad was sick when he died, I do not feel like he's "in a better place" now. I miss him, and I wish he were still here.

5. Having a sibling helps when planning things related to his death, but we don't always agree. That can be hard at times.

6. Reading books Dad would've enjoyed helps sometimes, but other times they make me sadder. It's part of the grieving process.

7. It helps to hear others' memories of Dad, especially the funny ones.

8. It's hard to explain this grief to someone who hasn't lost a parent.

9. Paper notes and cards received in the mail have been surprisingly meaningful and appreciated. It's inspired me to order some cards to send via mail on my own.

10. My relationship with food is a strange one during the grieving period, especially since I'd like to lose weight. Sometimes I don't feel like eating, sometimes I'm all into the comfort food.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Favorite YouTube Videos: 12-year-old Singing Ventriloquist

I love a good YouTube video! So I've decided to start sharing some of my favorites on this blog. Here's a video from last year's "America's Got Talent," a 12-year-old singing ventriloquist! She ended up winning the contest! This was her initial audition. It makes me smile every time I watch it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Taking On Shakespeare

I've decided to read all of Shakespeare's plays. That's 37 in all. Actually, I already read Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet some time ago, so that's 35 left. I finished Macbeth a few days ago, and now I'm reading The Tempest.

Why, you ask? Well, my dad passed away last month. He was an English major in college, and he and my mom met in a Shakespeare class. I wish I'd read more Shakespeare while Dad was still living so we could discuss them, but better late than never, is what I figure. I think he'd like this project.

Would you like to join me in my Shakespearean journey? If so, comment below! Better yet, join me on Goodreads:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Writing a Family History

I've been involved in genealogy research since the early 1990s. Lately I've been thinking about picking one of my lines to concentrate on putting together a book. So, I decided to pick one line from my dad's side (Burdine) and one line from my mom's side (McCauley) to focus on. I've discovered that, especially with my AncestryDNA and 23andMe test results in, it's easy to get distracted with other family lines, but it's all good, really.Sometimes it's good to "go with the flow," especially when it includes getting in contact with a "new" cousin!

Friday, February 16, 2018

In Memory of My Dad

My dad made Duke Alumni Twitter feed today, and it made me smile. I sure do miss him.