Peace and quiet

Today I am sitting in my easy chair with my feet up, reading . I've sent Tim off to the golf course and I have the house to myself. Ahhh, the quiet! I didn't realize how relaxing quiet could be until I got it back if only for a few hours. I definitely miss my "quiet time" that I have in the mornings when Tim goes off to work. I will definitely appreciate it more when I am back in the retired ranks. It's time to stop and smell the roses (flowers)!


Mistletoe Murder - a touch of the holidays in April

I came across this series of Cozy mysteries when Christmas was already passed for 2008 but decided that I could still read it in April and I enjoyed a touch of the holidays this far from the actual time. That said here is my review of MISTLETOE MURDER by Leslie Meier.

Lucy Stone is a working mother and I mean a working mother. By day she takes care of three children, at 5 she heads to work at the Country Cousins mail order facility were she has a shift until 1AM. One night needing a breath of cold air, Lucy finds the company founder dead in his car with the engine running. Since she is in at the beginning of the crime, Lucy proceeds to dig searching for the solution to this murder. The holidays are used as a backdrop for this cozy mystery and the family interactions and seasonal characteristics only blend the story together so that small parts make the whole entertaining and delightful.


Change vs. no change?

I'm the type of person who understands people who like to remain in their own little comfort zone. After all, I am one of them most of the time. But sometimes, change is good. The question is - when should that change be considered and when should change be avoided?

I'm working in my husband Tim's, office filling in for a worker on maternity leave. She will be out until at least the end of June. I have noticed that a form that is used every day is not designed in an efficient manner. The form is used to gather the info for data entry but the fuelds on the form are not in the same order as the data entry screen. So I suggested that the form be redesigned. (One of the reasons Tim wanted me to work there was a fresh pair of eyes to possibly identify things that could work better.) However, when I presented my suggestion, Tim said it wasn't necessary that the form worked fine. I explained that while keying from this form, gong from the middle to the top then to the bottom - did not make the data entry flow as speedily as it could if the fields were in the same area and order as the screen.

Should I have pushed a little harder in trying to get this change made or learn to live it for the time that I will be there? Apparently, comfort zones win out.

A day of weird events

Today must be one of those days where weird things are just going to happen. What I mean is that things that normally happen one way, happen another.

This morning I woke up before Tim... that never happens.
This morning I didn't have to wait at Physical Therapy... I was in and out in 25 minutes.
This morning Tim packed me a lunch without my asking him to.
Today, Tina found a review that I posted on LT dated 12/31/1969. The book hadn't even been written in 1969 and LT didn't exist in 1969.

When I got to the office I didn't have anything to do except for the special project that I just happened to have brought with me from home.

I'm just hoping that these strange events remain on the good side and that nothing bad happens the rest of the day. KNOCK ON WOOD!


Husband's idea, Wife's work

I would like to know why it is that whenever a husband (mine in particular) comes up with a "great" idea, the wife is the one that ends up doing all the work to make it come to fruition?

About a year ago, Tim said that he wanted to start a bridge group at the Country Club, so he put out the word and mentioned it to a few people and so it was born. Then he comes home and tells me about it. He has given my name and e-mail address as the contact information thus making me the one who has to e-mail and call all the people, set the schedule, work up teaching plans, etc.

So, for the past year I have been doing my best to get our little group to grow into a decent size bridge group and finally, I think that it is coming to pass. In 2008, we averaged about 4 couples for bridge once a month. In March we had 8 couples, and today we are looking at 10-11 couples and we are expanding to twice a month. Finally, all my hard work is paying off, I just wonder who will get the credit?

Posie said "read Harlan Coben"

My friend Posie ,who likes to read, said that she just loves Harlan Coben so I went to the library and got the first in his Simon Bolitar series and read it. Here is my review.

Author : Harlan Coben
Read : April 3 - April 19
Pages: 511

The plot centers around a cunning mystery of sex, murder and blackmail. Simon is a multi-dimensional character having been a sports figure turned FBI agent turned lawyer and ending as a sports agent. All these facets of his background come into play in this story where his prize client is involved in a possible murder. Simon's support staff include a college friend who enjoys playing enforcer while in appearance is MR. Preppie and a secretary/receptionist who used to be a wrestler.The fact the Simon is not a detective or policeman or PI makes this series seem a bit more interesting because you wonder what other aspects of his background have you not been told yet. I will admit that I was surprised by the ending, I was not prepared for the solution even though I had an inkling of what was happening. Definitely entertaining!

Genetic Disorder discovered

I have discovered that I have a genetic disorder - the symptoms are that my eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to reading and books. My sister Tina confirms that she has the disease and I think that my sister Maureen is also afflicted. (I'm also not sure that it can't be spread by contact.)

I swear to myself everytime I go to the library I'm just picking up the books I have on order - 1 or 2 (I even whisper to myself as I walk in - "I'm only picking up books on hold, I'm only picking up books on hold..." like a mantra that will guard me from those books that reach out and grab at me) but the books on hold are in the back and I have to walk through the gauntlet of shelves lined with books reaching out to me, screaming "take me home, take me home!" and end up with 5 or six! My current reading schedule for 2009 has me reading 129 books provided I don't get anymore from the library that aren't on my list already.

One of the main reasons that I love the website Librarything.com is that there is so many wonderful discussions about books that I never would have read but that others have convinced me I should read. That's where the disease EBTS bites me, I can't wait until I can get the book that someone was discussing and read it and then I have to figure out how to read 15 books at once!

Does anyone know a medication that could reduce some of the symptoms?



When a world famous conductor is discovered dead between acts at the La Fenice in Venice, Police Comissario (Chief Inspector) Guido Brunetti is called in to investigate. Discovering that the victim was poisoned by cyanide, Brunetti has several suspects. His interrogations take him throughout the city navigating not only through the canals and picturesque sights of Venice but also the dark side of his victim's past.

Guido Brunetti is a well-developed character with considerable aptitude in his profession shown by wry observations and discerning opinions. His family life should be mundane, but appears delightful and fulfilling as well as humorous (while playing Monopoly the Commissario's wife is shown as a compulsive thief).This charming Italian Policeman unemotionally separates the complex tangles entwined in this squalid tale by using his abilities to read body language, long silences along with other psychological tools, and carefully devises an amazing and fulfilling solution.

Cassette Player held out!

I realize that the continued progression of the technology in our day and age is a good thing, but sometimes it's a terrible pain in the butt. I like to borrow audio books from the library. When I started this practice I had a cassette player at home and one in my car. So no major problem I could listen either place. Then along came CDs. I had a CD player in my car before I ever owned a CD or borrow a CD. So I purchased a boom box with a CD player and cassette player and then what happens - the cassette player stops working. Okay, I can live with that - I'll just borrow CDs - no more cassettes because I don't have a cassette player at home and when I got my new car, I couldn't get a cassette player in it. (Can you believe that?) So now, I find a book that I want to read and the only available copy is in cassette form. I check it out and head home and scrounge around and find my old walkman (remember those?) and pray that it will manage to operate while I listen to this book. I had a hard time - halfway through cassette 5, it just stopped and I panicked. I changed the batteries - wasn't the batteries. I whimpered - the mystery was just starting toward its climax and I was going to have to find some other way to finish this book. Luckily for me, Tim managed to get it back into working order and I finished it today. Yes, progress is good but it sure can be a pain in the butt.
My review of the book follows in the next post.


Now I remember why I like being retired!

What a day!

It seems like every time I tried to get something finished, it turned out that there was something more that needed to be done so I was back at square one. Then I printed checks, and proceeded to lose one. I had to hunt through all the other checks that I printed and then I finally found it in the copies. It thought I was going crazy! Maybe tomorrow will be better!


He can still surprise me.

I spent the day in the office with Tim, there was no one else... they had all taken the day off or were gone because of babies entering the world. Needless to say, it was quiet. No matter how loud I spoke, Tim didn't seem to hear me. I got more done today that most normal workers on the second day would have managed , and what did I get? A drink at happy hour.

Go figure, every once in a while he can be sweet!


Back to the workforce!

Okay, I'm back to work!

I went into the office today to fill in for Georgia in Tim's office.
She had a baby Boy, Zachary, last night - and I found out today that she had to have a C-section, so I'm stuck working for at least 3 months!

Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to talk to the boss and get some frequent time off.
It wasn't the most exciting day - I stapled, paper clipped, key punched and stuffed envelopes. I did at least get some reading done on a book on audio while I did all my fun jobs.

I managed to check frequently on the progress of the baseball game, but no luck on the sweep against the Yankees.


I got caught!

Before I got home from my trip to the library (I did pick up 2 books) and the grocery store, Tim called me to say that I was due at the office tomorrow morning! DRAT!

I was going to try to play a few holes of golf, tomorrow, but that's down the tubes now. And I need to get a few other things done so no demo either! I need to get together all the things that I need to take with me to the office so that Tim can't yell at me that I'm holding him up. So I need to track down the batteries for my CD player and charge my cell phone and piddly things like that. DANG!

Busy day ahead

I woke up this morning thinking that I would head to the driving range to hit some balls. no-no. It is only 36° and a wind chill of 31° - too cold for me. Scrap those plans. So instead I'm headed to the library to return 4 books and pick up 1. (I swear I'm only picking up 1!) Then the grocery store for fruit and cheese (Tim can't live with out his mozzarella these days) and then home to start the demo on the village. I figure I better get started before I have to begin working so that I have a reason to keep at it when I get home from work. If I don't start now, I may never get started.

And tonight MAH Jongg!! (Bear's not happy that I won't be home to watch the O's game with him.)


Big sister's are wonderful!

I started this morning off with a computer glitch. ME!
I somehow lost all the toolbars and navigation bars at the top of my screen and couldn't get them to come back permanently until my sister, Tina, told me what to do.
Now I can play with my PC and see everything I need. Thank you, my sister!


Lucky day!

It must be my lucky day, not only do the Orioles beat the hated Yankees 10 -5, but I won a Early Reviewer's book - Misery Loves Cabernet ! Wine related, how cool!

Chèli's personal blog

Well, I'm taking the plunge and striking out on my own. I'm setting up this blog to let my friends and family keep track of what I'm doing and what's keeping me busy. That said, HERE GOES!

It's Opening Day of the baseball season and it was raining this morning, but the sun is trying to poke its way out so that there might be a game. I spent some time last week on the phone with Verizon to make sure that I had the correct availability so that I wouldn't miss a thing. Everything is in place, just waiting for the right time! Bear and I are set, we have our Orioles shirts on and are ready to boo the Yankees! GO O's!!!!

While we wait, I have been making some modifications to the Derry Family Blog to make it easier to read and finishing up the design here. Hope everybody likes my bright colors.
Now for the Chèli update.

1) I'm still on my diet (cheating every once in awhile) but have lost 63 pounds. I went to the Gastroenterologist today and he said that I was a STAR PATIENT.

2) I’ll probably be starting back to work in Tim's office very shortly (Georgia is due to have the baby April 19th but I'm not sure she'll hold out that long. As soon as she has the baby, I'm in the working force again.)

3) I'm still trying to improve my golfing skills, (working won't help) so I will be popping to the Country Club when I get a chance to hit some balls. I am also the coordinator of the lady 9 holers invitationals, so I have to make sure that I get enough ladies to play at the other golf courses on the events day. So even though I'm not playing golf on a regular basis, I'm still getting sucked into the golf environment. (Just teasing - the ladies 9 holers are great!)

4) Tim and I have been working diligently to get the Montgomery Country Club Bridge Group started and growing. We had been playing on a monthly basis but now we have a bunch of new members (my recruiting is finally paying off) and we are expanding to twice a month. We play on Sunday evenings at the Club and we have new group members that Tim and I have been teaching bridge. It’s been lots of fun and great meeting and getting to know such nice people.

5) On the home front, I will be starting the demolition of Derry town in the next few weeks. I need to get the pieces inventoried and photographed so that I can get a listing sent off to the insurance man. (Hear that, Dave!) Once that part of the inventory is done, I will be working room to room to update the info on the rest of the house so that I eventually, can burn a CD and give it to State Farm for safekeeping. While I’m working on the home inventory, I will also be working on making my will current (the last one was 15 years ago) so if anyone has something they would like to be heir to, let me know. If that’s not enough I also have the 5000+ photographs from the Bill Derry’s that I agreed to scan into my computer and burn CDs for everyone. (I haven’t forgotten.)

6) I would also like to get some work done on the two books that I am writing. The first is a novel that I started in 1993 and would like to eventually finish. The second is a children’s book that I am writing for my “grandson” Jackson. (Those that know me, also know that having had no children, it would be hard for me to have a grandson. However, when our nephew Christopher and his beautiful bride, Melanie, were expecting, Ellen (Christopher’s Mom – my sister-in-law) and Melanie’s Mom, Gloria, said that I could be Nonna – the Italian grandmother – they are sharing their grandson with me and I feel so blessed by their generosity. ) Hopefully, I will make some progress on both of these projects soon.

7) For my relaxation time, I have been reading and stitching. As of this day, I have read 54 books in 2009 and my goal is 109 books for the entire year. I have joined LIBRARYTHING (LT for short) and I have met so many nice people who share my love of reading. I have joined into a number of challenges/groups which drive the need to read those 109 books.

a) the Main Challenge is the 999 Challenge. Here each person chooses 9 categories and 9 books in each category = 81 books.

b) Terp Challenge was to read 2 books for each loss that the Men’s Basketball team suffered in this past season. Since they had 14 losses that’s another 28 books.

c) Supplement to the 999 Challenge and Terp Challenge are the 75 and 100 Challenges which are basically the same books.

d) The last challenge is the one that Tina (my sister) and I devised together. The US Presidents’ Challenge is to read the Biographies of all 43 Presidents before the end of the term of our current President. That gives us at least 4 years and possibly 8 to get this reading done. So far, (I’m reading in order) I’m done, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. I’ve been reading background books as well – drafting of the constitution, War of 1812, those kind of things so that I can get a feel for the time in history that these men occupied.

Thanks to all my new friends at LT I have found so many new interests in books. I have been stretching my normal areas of reading to include history, biographies, (these are what led to the Presidents Challenge), Award Winning books/Authors (these are probably books I never would have read), non-fiction, and Classics. That doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on the old standards because I am still reading oodles of mysteries (I currently have 45 series that I follow) but I haven’t read a romance so far this year. I have some on my list but haven’t gotten to them yet.

Also in my relaxation time, I am back to working on my Cross Stitch projects. I finished a Cross Stitch Birth Announcement for Jackson and have a few others in the works but since I want them to be a surprise, I won’t tell what they are.

Lastly, I am still spending time travelling to Baltimore to visit with my Mom (she’s doing great) and working with my sister, Mary-Ruth, trying to finish up the cataloging of my Dad’s stamp collection.

So, Chèli’s Cozy Corner is very busy, but never too busy for the love of her life, TIM. This year we will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without this man who treats me like a princess and always, always, makes me feel loved beyond belief.

So, come in and sit down, anytime you’d like in my cozy little corner of the world. I may not be posting everyday, but hopefully, my postings will be fun!
Love to you all! Chèli