Things I owe people

First of all, I want to thank my great friends out there for your supportive comments and e-mails. When it comes to family and friends, I have the best out there. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Second, I owe you pictures. I don't have any yet, but I will. Pictures of my office, lake view, and of course of the fish. The fish - Sammy, Andy and Tony - are quite a hoot these days. While initial they ignored each other, there is definitely some competition in that tank now. Sammy is becoming a big bully, but surprisingly Tony, who is about one-sixth the size, is holding his own. Tony may be small, but he's the fastest and boldest; he takes no guff from anyone. Then there is Andy...who is happy in his own little world, swimming around joyfully, satisfied with his daily ritual and staying out of the never-ending competition between the other two fish. Good times.

This week I have the final accounting reports to finish, a strategic planning session to prep for, and an all-important Homeowners Association meeting. My days in August are filling up fast with meetings and deadlines on a professional level, and because I'm crazy I decided to add one big personal "to-do" in August - planning my mom's 60th birthday party. I threw her a big one for her 50th, and because I took the lead in my dad's I have to take the lead on this one, too. My brilliant idea - at least I think it is - is that I am going to drive over to Iowa, pick up my Grandma G. and bring her back to stay in Ohio for a week or so around Labor Day weekend. My mom hasn't seen her mom since December, and misses her greatly. I think my mom will be completely shocked. I'm expecting a lot of tears, hopefully happy ones. It sounds like a simple surprise, but it's actually a lot to orchestrate. Not only am I spending 17 hours on the road (one way), but then it's timing everything for the big reveal. I'm also in charge of planning some fun events over the weekend, picking a restaurant and making and designing the cake. And since I refuse to make birthday cakes from a box mix, everything is from scratch. I'm trying out a new recipe ahead of time to see if it's better than the one I used for my dad, but it's definitely a lot of work. Lots of time on my feet...which will be unbelievably hard, but completely worth it for my mom. We don't always get along, as we're quite different in many aspects, but she would do anything for any of us and often has.

So that is my life these days. I promise, I'll post some good pics soon.

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