Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It was a dark and rainy morning

Late yesterday afternoon my sister-in-law called and said she was having car trouble. J. went out to lend a hand. He decided it looked like a dead battery and let SIL borrow his car rather than driving her back to GC himself. He’ll get someone to look at her vehicle, and she’ll return his car today. Meanwhile, J. has my car today so he drove me to work this a.m.

It was a dark, rainy, gloomy morning. J. decided to enter campus from Bradley. Not being familiar with the entrance – which is at least 5 lanes wide with a median – he accidentally turned into the out-going lane. Far in the distance we could see headlights approaching, but they were definitely nowhere near a collision. J. turned left out of the exit and the other vehicle followed …. with flashing red and blue lights. Wouldn’t you know it – it was the PC police. I mean, what is the likelihood you're going to encounter cops at the precise moment you're committing a traffic infraction?

After running his license, the cop gave J. a warning ticket and acknowledged the entrance is very wide and could be confusing in the dark.

Now I hope J. returns to pick me up after work at my quitting time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vacation in Virginia

Saturday, September 19
Travel, 12 hours; supper at Country Cookin’ restaurant in Lexington
Sunday, September 20
Lunch at Sticks Kebob Shop; Lawn tour at the University of Virginia campus
Monday, September 21
Montpelier (home of James Madison); lunch at Wendy’s returning to Charlottesville; supper wiener roast (John and Rod cooked the hot dogs over a campfire)
Tuesday, September 22
Richmond – Museum of the Confederacy, White House of the Confederacy, Virginia state capitol, Monument Avenue; lunch at Meriwether’s café at the state capitol; Nancy fixed supper (kielbasa with green beans and potatoes skillet dinner)
Wednesday, September 23
Ash Lawn (home of James Monroe); Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson); early supper at Wood Grill Buffet
Thursday, September 24
Washington, D.C. – took the Metro (orange line from Vienna to Capitol South); U.S. Capitol tour; Library of Congress tour; Smithsonian Air and Space Museum; Smithsonian Museum of Natural History; Nancy had a late lunch at the Air and Space Museum’s food court (McDonalds), John picked up a Subway sandwich when we returned to Charlottesville; Rod fixed me an Amaretto sour
Friday, September 25
departed; traveled 8 hours; Comfort Inn in Dayton, Ohio; supper at the next-door Cracker Barrel
Saturday, September 26
traveled 4 hours; returned to Champaign before noon

Lovely spending 5 days with Jane and Rod. Maybe fish smell in 3 days, but I'm sure that we didn't! Looking forward to returning and exploring new places when they relocate to Appomattox County.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Clairvoyant Moment

My mind was wandering as I drove home from work yesterday. I started thinking that it would probably be convenient if Julie delivered my Stampin’ Up order when she picks her son up from school since our house is right across the street from his school. John is usually home on Mondays and Tuesdays. But if no one was home she could just leave it between the storm and front doors. Then, my goodness, when I got home, there was my SU order between the doors. Another whoo-whee-ooh moment.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Tuesday night as I was trying to go to sleep between 10 and 11 p.m. I had a random thought about Ted Kennedy not attending his sister Eunice Shriver’s funeral a couple weeks ago. That started me wondering about which of the Kennedy children were still alive. I reviewed them in my mind and reached the conclusion that the two youngest, Jean and Ted, were still alive. When I woke the next morning and heard on the news that Senator Kennedy had died. Felt like a whoo-whee-ooh moment. Later I heard a news report that he’d died around 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, August 25. I don’t know if that is correct, but it’s spooky ‘cause that would have been about the time I was thinking about him. So that’s my one clairvoyant moment.


We had a loud thunderstorm last night around 10:30. We must have lost electricity briefly because I noticed my bedside clock was flashing. That surprised me because I’d think the backup battery would have prevented that. (Note to self: Change the battery.) But anyway, I reset the clock. A few minutes later it was flashing again, and I reset it again. The next thing I knew, it’s midnight and the alarm had gone off. So I reset the alarm, and all was well until I got up at my usual 4:30 a.m.

‘Sposed to be a rainy day, but then will clear off and the weekend should have temps in the 70s. Woo-wee. Ideal for August.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Taco Pie

Monday night, while eating our supper of hamburgers, John said “I found a Taco Pie recipe on the Internet that sounds pretty good.” I replied back, “Good. Why don’t you make it for us.” His response to that was to send me the URL for it. It took me to someone’s blog. (Why John is reading a recipe blog, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a hint.) The blog had the recipe plus step-by-step pictorial instructions for creating the recipe. I emailed back to John: “With those pictures, you shouldn’t have any problems preparing this.”

In the end I made the taco pie for our supper the next night.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Applying for law School

I’ve been meaning to write this before I forget how it all transpired.

Last fall Patrick began his law school application process through LSAC (Law School Admission Council). He began gathering the necessary documents and submitting them. These included grade transcripts, personal recommendations, a resume, and a personal statement.

Expecting to receive two B’s in his fall semester classes, P. made sure to submit his transcript before that semester’s grades were posted. He asked two of his professors to submit recommendations. One professor asked P. for his resume to aid her in writing a recommendation. This was a good impetus in prompting P. to update his resume.

When the fall semester grades were posted, P. was delightfully surprised to see he had earned all A’s, and he re-submitted his grade transcript that included these new, “improved” grades. He was now ready to submit his applications to selected schools. His list of schools was chosen from the many law schools which had offered to waive their application fees based on his excellent LSAT score. It was now January, and he admitted to me that he had waited kind of late to get his applications in.

So now the wait began.

The first school to respond was College of William and Mary. It arrived mid-February in a Priority Mail envelope. I was so excited. This had to be an acceptance. Why send a reject via Priority Mail? The envelope sat until I finally emailed P. and asked if I could open it. “Yes! We are delighted to offer ….” I was thrilled, and as I kept reading my excitement increased:

“I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected to receive a William & Mary Graduate Fellowship.” This fellowship included a waiver of the out-of-state tuition supplement, and he would be billed at the in-state rate. Additionally, he received a $4000 stipend with the condition that he work within the Law School administration and Law Library departments. In other words, a guaranteed student assistant job.

Additionally, “your credentials place you among a select group of admits receiving scholarship funds,” and he was awarded a $5000 scholarship. “The value of your total award is $19,200.”

Oh my. This was exciting. A school with a prestigious reputation in a historically-interesting (from my point of view) location approximately 3 hours from Charlottesville where my sister Jane lives. I was so pleased and excited.

A couple weeks later, P. received a letter from Saint Louis University informing him that although he was not a finalist in their 1834 Scholars Program (he had written an essay the night before this scholarship application was due), the committee was “highly impressed by your achievements …. You have been awarded the School of Law’s second highest honor, the prestigious Dean’s Select Scholarship in the amount of $81,000” divided over 3 years.

Oh my, again. I quickly calculated and deduced that most of each year’s tuition would be covered by the scholarship. He’d still be expected to pay around $6000 in tuition each year, but the largest chunk had been covered.

My excitement was diminished when I checked the law school ratings and found that Saint Louis University was ranked 95. It further stated that this school was just fine if you want to practice in Missouri and have no aspirations to work in a large metropolitan area. Nonetheless, it was exciting and rewarding to see that P.’s undergraduate excellence was having a direct impact on financing a law school education.

A few days later the packet from the University of Illinois arrived. I knew what to expect when I opened it and read “Congratulations!” you are offered admission. P. had already told me that he’d received an email notifying him of their acceptance.

The packet from the U of I included a 70-plus-paged book advertising “come to our school, look how wonderful we are.” I quickly turned to the financial aid section and read that “Scholarship offers are made at the time of Admissions offers.” So I looked back through the packet of information that had arrived and thumbed through all the papers, but I didn’t see any offer. I looked back at the financial aid section and saw something about FAFSA. We hadn’t filed a FAFSA so I figured maybe we’d hear something after doing that. I set the whole packet aside.

A couple days later I was reviewing – and admiring – the offers from William & Mary and Saint Louis U. I then began reading the Congratulations letter from the U of I. That’s when I saw it. “In recognition of your exceptional academic and personal accomplishments, you are hereby offered a full tuition scholarship.” Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh. Does this really mean what it sounds like? Shouldn’t there be bells and whistles and confetti?

Guess not.

Confirmation arrived a couple weeks later when P. received an email from the U of I that included his estimated financial obligations, and sure enough, it included a deduction for $33,000 tuition scholarship for next year.

It is still exciting to contemplate. And makes me wonder just how we would have financed law school tuition without it.

By the way, a month later University of Cincinnati informed P. that he was selected for their College of Law Honors Scholarship valued at $10,000 for each of his three years in law school. I’m sorry to say, my reaction was “is that all?” Had he received that letter before the other offers I would have been so excited. But by now, it was clear that he would go with the best offer, and that was U of I with a “full ride” tuition scholarship.

Patrick received other acceptances and a couple of wait-listings from the other schools where he applied. Of those other schools, University of Georgia looked very appealing. Their financial “offer” was to help him gain state residency so he could pay in-state tuition. This seems humorous after P.’s other offers, but all of U of Georgia’s mailings put their school in an enticing light. (Although I couldn’t see him as a “Georgia Bulldog.”)

It’s hard for me to think about the financial packages that P. turned down, but it is such a relief to anticipate that tuition for the next three years will be paid. P. will still owe the University around $3400 in fees each year, and of course, there will be textbooks and “living expenses.” I would guess he’ll continue working in the Law Library. So it looks as though things are pretty well set for next year.

Next week is commencement weekend at University of Illinois. It seems like such a huge accomplishment. And the adventure will continue in the fall.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taco Bell Tax Bamboozle

Last night's supper was Burrito Supremes from Taco Bell. I had a coupon 2/$2 ... a really good price for these burritos. The counter person keyed in the order and the total came to $3.37. I told her that couldn't be correct. She said "It's with tax," and I pointed out that it was way too much tax for $2.00. So she called over a supervisor who gave me the correct total: $2.37. Of course, I wasn't surprised at the mistake, nor with the idiocy that she thought a $2 purchase would have $1.37 tax on it. What was most disappointing is that the employee never bothered offering a "sorry."

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The up-and-down gas prices are disgusting and infuriorating. Yesterday at 6 a.m. the price was $1.69/gallon. By 3 p.m. that afternoon the price was $1.79/gallon. Not expecting the price to come down before Monday, I added gas 'cause I was near empty and I would be driving to G.C. on Sunday. But behold . . . . . Saturday a.m. the price had dropped back to 1.68/gallon. Good grief.