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Monday, January 30, 2006

When The Wind Blows

The big disadvantage of living on a hill in WV is the occasional high wind - there's nothing to block it and it seems to get gusty like this right after a heavy rain. We keep an eye on the trees, the one in the picture is "only" about 15 feet but the ones in the background are huge and tower over the house. Since it's just clay tethering the trees to the ground when it gets in the right conditions, over they go.  Today was definately a Monday type of day, just one big problem right after another. I could've cried by noon and seriously considered it by 1. I have quite a few infusions this week and with all the problems, I couldn't get ahold of anyone to save my life - it did straighten itself out eventually, but what a chore! I posted the latest pictures of the puppies - the breeder sends them out each week, they're starting to look like dogs, aren't they? I still go back and forth between being excited by the new dog and overwhelmed by the puppything and still missing Copper. It's funny how you get so used to the way things are and don't even notice until they change. Charger is just more quiet, always where we are when we're home. I worry about how he'll feel when we get the new dog and if it'll hurt his feelings or if he's just a dog and doesn't give a hoot unless it interfers with his meal. I can't believe I miss Copper this much, it is the strangest thing.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Is It Spring Yet??

The weather was wonderful today - in the upper 50's and not a cloud in the sky. As much as I love it, I know that when it turns cold it'll feel twice as brutal. This kind of weather makes you want to start getting ready for spring and the summer that follows. Today it was so hard to imagine it's still winter and we have almost two more months to go. Jackson is staying over a friend's house tonight, he was looking foward to it all week. I think one of the things he misses about leaving LI is having friends that are close enough to stay for the night and come over.Slowly but surely he seems to be acquiring his usual small group, I've heard a few names repeated and he's been making some plans here and there. He's had acquaintances, but that's not the same as having a friend to mess around with on Saturday.Speaking of activities, I haven't been to church myself in weeks, we've been so busy lately I just can't seem to get me there. I had to do a visit today since I'm on call - that makes the weekend seem so short. After we dropped Jackson off today we headed out for Sam's Club to catch up on the shopping and had lunch at Cracker Barrel - we've noticed it's much cheaper when we don't bring The Hoover with us. It was a nice afternoon.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Whine and Roses

My job has gotten a bit more driving intense, it wouldn't be so bad if I could cut back on either the milage or the patients. I figure I average between 80 and 130 miles per day, occasionally more. Yesterday was a bit suck ass, I had to drive, but it was all in one direction in WV so not so bad since they were all on the same route. BUT when I got back to the office to drop off paperwork it turned out one of the per diem's didn't go to one of my PA patients and since it involved critical lab work I said I would do it. So consequently I didn't walk in the door until almost 7:30pm and will be off and running again this morning. I've been kind of at loose ends lately, no attention span at all - I start one project, put it down, start another, frog it, etc.. I guess it's just that time of the year. Jackson is making us crazy lately - big news there I suppose. He just won't do anything on his own and I'm tired of constantly standing at the top of the stairs, outside the bathroom, etc hurrying him along. I've tried everything - threatening, yelling, just letting him sleep and be late - but all that's done is make ME late. I am at a loss.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

King Of The Road

January is turning out to be the most expensive month - I hope!! - of the year. We had David's tires, my tires, my brakes, vet bills for both Copper and Charger, Copper's subsequent demise and creamation, the left over bills of Christmas and today my car got a new water pump, timing belt, hoses and valves - it was running fine but has reached the point of maintenence. The timing belt on a Honda is supposed to be replaced at 65,000 miles - the bad thing about a Honda is if the timing belt goes the engine goes "ka-put" and since I'm in the 90's we felt it prudent to replace it. We dropped it off this morning - David took Jackson to school first and then we drove it over to Mt Morris. I've been not moving around too much when I'm not working because my stinkin' back is out again. I have no idea why and it doesn't matter anyhow - it wouldn't hurt any less. So I've been doing battle with Mr. Lee over the heating pad, she would dearly love one of her own, but in lieu of that is more than happy to hop on mine everytime I get up. When I go to remove her she digs her tiny claws into it which in my opinion might be a problem. I'm not sure what would happen if she clawed anything live and have no intentions of finding out so I have to resort to either glaring at her or pretending it's dinner time. Jackson is over Becky's today and is supposed to be staying at Brandon's this weekend at Cheat Lake. I'm on call this weekend, it's kind of annoying but I get paid for all the calls I go out on so there is that. We've recieved a few pictures from the breeder that we'll be getting the puppy from - if all goes well since I know from previous experience there's always plenty of room for disaster! I think once we get it and it gets a little older it'll be good for Charger - poor thing sits on our bed and howls while we're gone (he can't hear us come in and doesn't stop til he sees us). Since David and I are both working during the day and with Copper gone, I think he's beyond lonely sometimes. I still miss Copper so much, even though I'm very much looking foward to a puppy - I think I would, given the choice, just have my old friend back.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Back From Sunny Pennsylvania, Where All Your Dreams Come True.

We left around 3 pm on Friday - I took a few hours of personal time from work, but Jackson can't afford to miss any classes as we might do stuff in the spring so we got there about 7:30. We had to run in the house as there is apparently a feral mole lurking about, eyeballing the Colonial Christmas Fruit Wreath which is still hanging over the door. If they're going by WV ettiquette, that bad boy doesnt' have to come down til August. We got up early to go to the bookstore at Diane's college but it was closed so Janet and Jackson entertained themselves by writing notes for the prayer box. If it goes well, there should be some heavy duty praying going on that the bookstore will be open Saturdays. After that we went to the Exton Mall so Jackson could see the wares at Singular and then headed off to Lancaster so I could harass the amish. They are VERY mean to thier horses I have to say, they should wear black the same color as thier evil little hearts. Of course Jackson wears all black too - but he's very nice to horses, he just wants to look cool. We were there til Sunday - I didn't buy any yarn - not for lack of trying - BUT I did buy Knitting Related stuff which maybe I will take a picture of and you can all be VERY jealous.Jackson got a cool phone that he paid for himself (pretty much) and Aunt Janet contributed a few of the extras, including the Star Wars Theme song for the ring-tone. The ride home was nice, good weather and I finally got a good picture of the Cumberland Water Gap and that bizarre church in WV on I-68 that's in the shape of a light house. It's not as strange as the Safety Church Of Jesus which apparently ran out of funds for the reproduction of Noah's Ark years ago. Now it's nothing but a sad structure of rusty crossbeams. Makes you wonder what they were thinking.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Half A Day To Go!

I've been trying hard not to spend money all week, saving it to blow it on Amish things. Jackson was supposed to have packed his stuff last night but when I went downstairs to wake him up I saw nothing. He very slyly asked me to go back upstairs for a few minutes so he could "think about it". Hmm. I haven't packed either, but I'll be home by noon -ish and have plenty of time to do that, barring Great Incidents. David will be on his own this weekend and I know he talked to Cecil yesterday so I'm sure he'll be spending time down at the range. He's calling the woman with the puppies, he told me she said she would send a contract but I've pointed out we only sent the check on Monday (which was a holiday to boot) so we might want to calm down a bit. It's hard not to get jump the gun when you're on the waiting end of things. The temp is supposed to be in the mid 50's again today, this is the strangest weather. I had one job yesterday that they were working on the road - and I use the term "road" very loosely - so I had to hike a bit to get to the house. There are somedays as I find myself carefully stepping on what looks solid that I find my job a bit strange.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Wish I Wasn't So Computer-Phobic

We've discovered yet another oddity about Vincent - if he's outside in the cold weather for any amount of time, the end of his tail poofs up - but just the end. It's goes down after he's been in for a bit and he's warmed up - maybe it's cat goosebumps?? He insisted on going out before I left to go shopping this morning and had to endure hardship on the sidewalk for at least two hours today. He survived, barely in his opinion. I had to order Dell Ink Cartridges today - I'm too paranoid to go on the website and order online so I'm forced to endure giving my order to someone who barely speaks english and is constantly attempting to change my order. I asked to order 2 black cartridges. I was offered 3 black and one color. I declined. I was offered 2 black, 2 color. I declined after telling them I didn't need any color. He then asked where I wanted the 3 black cartridges shipped too. sigh. And to think I'm paying for this. He then announced there was no record of my existance despite my having ordered from Dell for the past 2 years so we had to do that. And NO, I DON'T WANT ANY GLOSSY PHOTO PAPER INCLUDED IN MY ORDER.  All is quiet on the western front this week, I'm down to crying only once (or twice) a day, usually when I see Charger walking solo in the yard. He seems so sad and quiet - I'm not sure if it's me projecting my feelings on him, but I don't think so. He trails behind everyone in the house and lays down in whatever room I'm in. Right now he's quietly sitting by my chair, waiting for David to get home. He seemed a bit more energetic today - he's not exactly Mr. Bouncy as a normal rule anyhow - but he likes me to go out in the yard with him so I try to do that a couple of times a day. We sent off the deposit for the puppy on Monday so I'll be checking on that later in the week. And I took off half a day from work on Friday so me and Jackson can ske-daddle to Pa right after work, whoo hoo! We cannot wait to lay on the beaches of Coatsville, sipping margaritas and letting the sand warm our toes!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fashion Statement

Is the weather driving everyone crazy or is it just me? We went from 75 to 35 in one day, from flipflops to snowboots to sneakers. Today it's supposed to be in the 50', tomorrow in the 30's - and possible snow showers to boot - then back up to the 50's. Jackson is off today for Martin Luther King Day but will be up early anyhow as David and I both have to work and his ride to Becky's leaves at 8:30. I finally finished the samauri  kabuto (a feudal Japan war helmet) for Jackson. We decided to skip the stuffed dragon crest for now. The directions for it don't add up so if I get to I do, if I don't whatever. He's happy with the hat and it took more than long enough even without the dragon part. It was the bottom part that did me in - the stitch work on it is much more complicated than it looks and before it went on the hat, it's almost 2 1/2 feet because it gets folded and sewn on. The very sad part is I no longer have Copper to model the finished project, it was strange finishing something and him not here to wear it for me. He always enjoyed it and worked fairly cheap. I still have bouts of crying and sadness, but it's gotten better. David and I are going to get another one we've decided, so much for the no more dogs policy. We found a breeder about an hour and a half from us and her litter was born Friday so we're sending out a deposit on Monday. At 5 weeks we go to see them and if we still want the puppy we put down half and then the other half when we pick it up in March.  I'm sure it'll drive Charger nuts, but it will be good for him to have a companion. Poor Pooh dog, he seems to have realized yesterday that his friend won't be coming home, he lays in Copper's favorite spot staring into the distance. I take him out with me whenever I go and pet him a lot, but there's not much to do to comfort him. They've been together since they were 7 months old so I'm sure it's rough for him.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Life Goes On.

I'm feeling a little bit better, not much. I'm starting to put away Copper's things, I still have the blanket on the floor by my bed yet. I've tried to put in it the wash several times and just end up bringing it back. We've started looking for a vizsla puppy - after a brief fit of trying to get one here yesterday we realized we were trying to fill the void at any cost and would probably be sorry somewhere down the road. Since we'll have this dog for awhile we're trying to take a deep breath and be rational about it. So we have ourselves out there and have contacted Vizsla clubs and they're looking for us. Jackson has midterms this week (what great timing is that) so he's been studying and test taking. This of course entails more time with Becky to "study". Hmmm. If they were getting a grade in making out, they would get an A. It's her birthday this weekend too so that's all a washout. We're heading to my sister and Diane's next weekend so we can see how the other half lives and maybe get some shopping in. I have to work today since it's my weekend on call -eeww. But on the upside, both jobs are near my favorite yarn shops so whatever extra I make this weekend will be money well spent!! It's raining today, yesterday was in the 70's  and sunny, I had to keep reminding myself it's January and this weather probably won't stay. I can't believe how mild it's been. Yesterday I went for a little adventure and have promised myself I will no longer attempt anymore short cuts off of Snake Hill Rd. My GPS claimed I could take Mayfield Rd to Rt 7 - which techincally you CAN - if you drive 3 miles an hour with frequent stops for fits of hysteria. You would think after last week's episode of almost submerging my car I would know better. Mayfield starts out like a country road, very nice, very nice - cows, barns, etc. But then it takes a sinister twist and becomes a few steps below a path in the woods. The picture I took doesn't do it justice. There were boulders in the road, mud pits, piles of rocks, drop offs - if you're wondering why I didn't turn around it was simply because I couldn't. And this went on for about the longest 3 miles I've ever been on. Some people never learn.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

This Really Sucks.

I think Thomas Jefferson was the one who called grief the "most useless of emotions, what purpose does it serve?" and I have to say, I agree with him wholeheartedly. I had today off as I usually am and David was off at work, so it was me, the cats, Charger and the empty space that used to be our Copper. I cried over his blanket. I cried over his leash. I went to fill the dog bowls and saw only one, so I cried over the one that wasn't there. I'm actually distressed over the fact that I miss him so much already. He was an old dog, but he was such a character of a dog. Who's going to make me berserk by trailing a quarter of an inch behind me all day? Who is going to model my projects? Share bananas? Come flying on the bed because it's morning and he hasn't seen us all night? Who's going to run around the property like a nut with me because no one can see us do it? This just stinks. My eyes are swollen, my chest hurts, tears just come bursting out at a moment's notice or less, like this morning when I let Charger out and called them both in. The problem with vizslas are they're ALWAYS there, if you yell at them to go away they do - for 20 seconds and then they appear on the other side since you didn't tell them how long you wanted them to go away for. This is the first time since David was 11 that he hasn't had one and for me, it's the first time in over 20 years. Charger is here of course, but he's a "real" dog and acts accordingly. I know it's going to get better, but right now I would give anything to look over my side of the bed and see Copper peering back at me to see if it's time to spill my coffee.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

We Are One Less Tonight.

Poor Copper, he had been having problems for the past two weeks but seemed to rally back the other day. We'd been giving him the phenobarbital and that seemed to be helping, but last night was awful. He started failing again, this time there was just no fixing him. No more pills, no more X-rays. We did consider going on - but just looking at him unable to stand and crying so softly under his breath, we just couldn't. He didn't sleep at all last night, he was just so anxious, going from me to David and back again, wobbling and legs collapsing under him. I finally got up around 2:30 am and stayed with him until it was time to go to work. We let Jackson stay home and they took care of him for the day. He wasn't in any real pain yet, David made him hot dogs, I gave him bananas. Today was a very long day - I got through 130 miles, 3 discharges, 1 trip to the lab and pulled a PICC line all before 3 pm and crying between each visit. We took him to Dr. Kenney, we love her a lot and she's been good to all of our pets. David couldn't stay so he hugged Copper goodbye and went to the waiting room. Jackson did stay  but wanted to stay in the back of the room. Copper was such a good boy. Dr. Kenney did the injection on the floor so he could be in my lap, I petted and hugged him while he first went to sleep and then his heart stopped. He passed very peacefully with the people he loved around him, what more could anyone ask?

Monday, January 9, 2006

Crazy Cat

Mr. Lee even at the grand age of 16 still refuses to grow up. She has fits of playing, suddenly darting  and rolling around to beat the band. She can also be very easily agitated, just a few pokes can set her off. She most enjoys the laser light we have for her, she knows we keep it in the basket on the coffee table and will often park her butt right next to it after dinner. The neighbor's dogs were up in the driveway - I told David he's a turncoat for playing with them. He gives them the occasional biscuit so now they come to visit at least once a day, if not more. It give the Two Stupid Dogs something to do though since now they have to "guard" thier territory. This consists of them peeing all over and growling at each other (they don't growl at the interlopers as that would be too dangerous).Jackson is getting ready for midterms, they will be starting on Friday of this week and he also has Becky's birthday coming up on the 15th so he's a busy boy. Yesterday afternoon I got David to agree to set things on fire - we have a big pile of brush in the backyard. It was a big disappointment I must admit. David said it probably isnt' dry enough and wood doesn't burn that well without help anyhow. I think we mainly just burned off all the dried up leaves - even the kerosene didn't help that much and after awhile I just soaked it down with water. Now instead of having a big brush pile, we have a wet, kerosene-stinky half burned pile of brush with a big burn spot in the lawn. Dammit.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Look Who's Feeling Better!

Copper is feeling better at the moment, but yesterday morning was right back where he started. David started giving him the phenobarbital the vet recommended - it's not that expensive and at his age we no longer worry about long term liver damage, if it keeps him comfortable it's worth a try. If it helps, fine if not I think we'll have to put him to sleep, as much as we love and will miss him, I can't stand to see him suffer. But, so far this morning he's been back to his old self, so we'll leave it at that. They were certainly a wakeful bunch last night. Copper was up and whining about 1 am to go out, I wonder if it was a side effect of the medication as he was back at the door around 4:30am. In between Copper's trips to the powder room  Vincent decided that would be a good time to bounce all over our bed, purring and leaping about the blankets and pillows until David rather rudely asked him to leave and go play elsewhere. I still have no goats, David has not relented as of yet, I am goat-less. I suppose I should be realistic, the barn still needs plenty of repair and isn't ready for any animals yet and the fence would have to be repaired and reinforced. Someone told me you have to stake the goats out anyhow, that a fence won't work. Maybe that's why our neighbor down the road has his goat tied to the back door. I've been taking pictures as usual of the old buildings around here, I find them fascinating - the old stonework foundation, the detailing, etc. Around here nothing is ever razed, it just sort of melts slowly back into the ground, eventuallly collapsing and turning to dust. On one hand it makes me sad, all I can think of how much these old antique houses would be worth on Long Island - can you imagine?? But on the other hand I love looking at these old falling down buildings, with vines growing out the windows and the old woodwork pulling away. Although I've discovered you have to be careful - some of these dilapidated houses are NOT abandoned and the occupants don't appreciate a new yawker standing in their yard taking pictures.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Mud Slide

We had Copper's X-ray done yesterday and were relieved on one hand to find that his spleen remains intact. But that also means we don't know what's wrong with him, so we'll continue to keep an eye on him. Yesterday I discovered my GPS is not infallible. There's a covered bridge out in Graysville I wanted to take a picture of and I had some extra time so when I got to the road I went down it. It was the wrong road (there's an old barn that looks similar) but my GPS said I could continue and pick up rt 21. The tar ran out and became gravel, then cinders, then cinders and dirt and then..... two muddy ruts in the grass. I looked at my GPS and saw route 21 was only a tenth of a mile and when I looked up  I saw a house so went for it. Bad decison - the road curved up and then right into the stream. There must've been a small bridge there at one time that got washed away. I actually thought it would be a very cool picture, but my car was pointed down towards the water, since it's been raining and all the snow melted the mud was deep and slick and I was indeed sliding towards the stream and more importantly, when I stopped, my CRV started sinking. This was not good. I hit reverse and gently pushed on the gas as not to spin my wheels and managed to back all the way back to the cinder part of the road. I was very glad to get out of there - even if I had been able to tell anyone where I was there was no way to get a tow truck down there. In other news one of my patients offered me TWO goats yesterday so I'm busy trying to convince David we should take them. I already cleared it with my boss and she said goats are ok to accept, jewelry is not. If they're not payment or a gift I can take them and since they are indeed Freebie Goats they could be mine. I could have my very own goats!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

I think I Have A Mental Problem....

The other day when I was home and David (The Yarn Hater) was not AND before everything else hit the fan, I decided to go through my stash and sort it. Not to mention after you buy a lot of yarn sometimes you forget what you have. So Mr. Lee and I went into the spare bedroom and pulled every skein out, from in and under the dresser. Wow. I have a lot of yarn, don't I? In my defense, most of the yarn pictured here was on sale and clearance so in my world, it doesn't count. And anyone who knits knows that if the yarn is on clearance you have to buy it all because it's usually going out of production and you have to make sure you have enough to finish a project. What project I have that could possibly use 32 skeins of Tutu yarn in Raspberry and Winter White is up for debate, but if it ever comes to pass, I am prepared. And I got a massively good deal on it - marked down from $6.99 to $2.09 - I actually SAVED $166.80. The fact that I spent almost $70 on yarn that has no use (as of yet) is just so much water under the bridge. So Mr. Lee and I sorted out it all and put in back in the dresser. And I was quite delighted to find I have a space in the top drawer. Unfortunately I have to bring my car into the shop today so will be without wheels. I am going to the store but since Eagle Eyes will have to drive me I will be coming home yarn-less. Copper continues to be feeling better, I'll be making the appointment for him today. Charger has an appointment on Thursday because he's licking his toe again. I am so tired of him and that disgusting licking he does - he'll keep it up until it's completely infected which is how he ended up getting the other toe amputated. I told the receptionist maybe we should have his tongue amputated....

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Give Me A C. Give Me An A. Give Me another C!

What's that spell? Certified Professional Coder. Ok, you have to give me an "A" too as I am a lowly apprentice since I don't work in a billing dept. But - I PASSED. Hmm. I shall say that again. I passed!! I'm so very surprised I have to say, I honestly didn't expect to pass it and had already made plans to retake it. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO, NOW DO I? As you can also see, Copper is feeling much better today, he's very excited because we went and got the trash bin at the end of the driveway! He lives in West Virginia, humor him. And I was able to drive my car, David went out and looked at it and determined my brakes were worn so they were a bit noisy but got better as the day progressed. I still have to get new ones and Copper Copper Teeny Bopper still needs an X Ray, but he's feeling better - AND I PASSED!!

I'd Like The Old Year Back Please.

Arrgh, where do I start? First of all, this new year sucks so far and it's not even Wednesday. New Year Day started off with terrible weather, I did finally make it to church which was rather disorganized. Someone had forgotten to turn on the heat and then they forgot the programs...The speaker was very sweet, but ran over since she got a late start,... When I got home I noticed Copper wasn't acting like himself, he was quiet which never happens unless he's sleeping. By night he had gotten progressively worse, refusing to eat and could only take a few steps before collapsing. Of course this would be Sunday night too on top of everything. He didn't appear to be in pain so we put him next to our bed on a blanket. In the morning he was better but I got an appointment for the vet. MEANWHILE, my car that is now the proud owner of $500 worth of tires started making a funky noise around 5-ish when we headed off to the vet's. This does not bode well as I have about 120 miles of driving to do today. Copper of course perked up for the vet but they did bloodwork and then we went to pick up Jackson. They called when I got home and it seems Copper is anemic, the vet said it might be just his age OR he could have a leaky spleen so he has to go back for X-rays and then we'll work from there. David has been referring to him as The Dog With A Price On His Head. This morning Jackson goes back to school, David is going to find a car rental place, I'm doing my first job, meeting David at the garage so they can look at my car, renting a car and getting on the road and then David is heading off to work.  And at some point the x-ray has to be scheduled. Sigh, it's going to be a long year.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Happy New Year!

I'm glad I got the resolution nonsense out of the way - made em, broke em, done with em. I didn't stay up, I usually don't and when I woke up this morning it was 2006.  I remember being a kid and calculating with our friends the Palominos how old we would be in the year 2000, when we entered a new century. I was fascinated by the fact that  not only would I be almost 40,  BUT I WOULD STILL BE ALIVE AT THAT ADVANCED AGE. I am a bit disappointed at the way this century is shaping up - there's still no spaceship parked in the driveway, I cannot teleport or be beamed anywhere and those little packets of freeze dried ice cream like the astronauts eat (and they sell at the Smithsonian) are not readily available at my local grocers. The only thing I'm grateful for is not having to run about in a silver lam`ee spacesuit with a big saucer shaped collar. I look silly enough on a daily basis without any help. David has been valiantly attempting to keep our vehicles clean - and he's losing badly. Remember I said we live near the coal mines? Since they're all in full swing the sides of the road are solid black, not to mention they fling cinders all over when it snows or gets icy so our cars are constantly coated. Copper has been acting strange today and we're a little worried. He's just laying around and moving slowly when he gets up. He doesn't look like he's in pain or anything and his legs are all in the right place, so we'll just have to keep an eye on him and if he doesn't improve take him to Dr. Kenney. He gets like this sometime after a seizure but Jackson said he was doing this last night. I guess we'll have to wait and see.