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Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day here is very big, all the soldier's graves are decorated, even the ones from the 1800's. The local pools are all opened on this weekend -EXCEPT MINE OF COURSE. And I did dump a ton of bleach in the pool, tadpoles aside it was starting to smell and since it's right next to the house that is NOT a good thing. It killed the tadpoles but I don't think there were a lot of them yet and it's now a light green which I can live with for now. The problem is it needs to be both warm and sunny to put the liner in correctly (the warm weather makes it stretch flat) and we haven't had both things at the same time lately. David and I went ahead and cleaned up around the pool, cut the grass, weeded, got rid of the leaves so it looks nice at any rate. I took Jackson driving on Saturday, we went  down rt 7 to the cemetery so Jackson could get in some practice and go have a look-see for himself. He was surprised at some of the ages on the stones, I dont' think he realized how young people died back then - we found a row of a family that all were under the age of 20 and died within weeks of each other. We stopped by the Mason-Dixon park where I thought we might go to the museum but they were having a function there so we left. Pearl is getting big, isn't she? We've run into a problem of our own making - when we first got her we discovered she couldn't get down from our bed so we kept her there to housebreak her at night. She is now housebroken but now considers it the only place to sleep - it was fine when she weighed 9 lbs but now as we close in on 40 and still going - not to mention the recent hot weather - things are getting a bit crowded. Last night it was so hot, so David went to sleep in the guest room. I snuck into the guest room too leaving Pearl the Heating Unit on our bed. David got up to use the bathroom and the Heating Unit snuck into the guest room too. David snuck back into our room so I got ended up sleepng in the guest room with the dog. This has got to stop.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Holiday? What Holiday?

It's not much of a holiday for me I'm afraid - I have to work today and I have a pretty full schedule for Monday. My boss said to move the patients but I pointed out two problems with that - they're Monday labs so we can't move them and even if I could, where would I move them to? My roster is full these days - so I'll be working the holiday and we'll negotiate later. I drive so much I get my oil changed every three weeks it seems. I'm scouting for a new oil change place, the Jiffy Lube around here is good, but they have this horrible manager. Everytime I bring my car in he goes over the entire list of things he thinks I should have done. And yes, I've asked him to stop, have told him REPEATEDLY I only want my oil changed, etc to no avail. The last time was the last straw - I was trying to do paperwork and he just kept at it regardless so I think my business will be going to the place in Waynesburg where my boss goes. She said she doesn't go to the Jiffy Lube either because of that guy. Jackson is counting the days to the end of school, it's crunch time with finals coming up and he claims all the teachers have become slavedrivers. He's trying to figure out how to work the summer and when he's going to be able to go back to Long Island, who knows? I heard from Adam finally - he's back on dry land after all these months and I'm sure very happy about it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

All In A Day's Work.

 I was showing my boss some of the pictures I've taken in my travels and thought maybe it was not a good idea because it looks sort of like I don't work. I do take alot of pictures, don't I? My co-workers are sometimes surprised  because they've lived here thier whole lives and have no idea where half of this stuff is. But I think the big advantage I have is I did NOT grow up here so I find everything interesting, not to mention I'm always on the lookout for something new. On my way home the other day I decided to go to Bobtown which was only a mile out of my way. I found an abandoned coal factory sort of thing, it was very interesting. I blithely passed by the No Tresspassing sign and peeked in the front buildings. I started to wander past the next set of buildings to the ones in the back when I thought of all the graffitti and then had a rather unsettling realization when I got back there - I might not be alone. Since there's nothing in the surrounding area I stayed up in the front, even though I doubt anyone is there you never know. We still have no pool liner, the frogs are growing like weeds, sigh. I consider dumping bleach in it as a stop gap measure then get overwhelmed by the fact I will single handedly be responsible for a Frog Holocust - even though when they do get to the pool the tadpoles will die anyhow, but let it be on thier karma, not mine. Work has been busy, too busy at times. And then to add into the mix is the patient that decides to go out and leaves me high and dry. In a more urban area that's not a big deal - here I can drive 60 miles only to discover no one is home. On the upside it leaves more time for picture taking!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Under Construction

I think when I saw the pilot truck heading in the other direction I knew I was in for a long morning. Pilot trucks are the ones that lead you through the construction areas, around here there are areas that a detour route is impossible - for instance route 7 is the only way to Kingwood and the surrounding towns and that in turn means the road is in full use during construction phases. So you have to wait for the truck to come your way - route 7 is particularly tricky due to the high coal truck traffic and of course this backs them up at the mines so it took me much longer to wend my way through. I got done early though and planned on getting to the office to catch up on paper work - as soon as I got there the hospital called to let me know I needed to redraw a CBC that had clotted ( and of course it was a  patient 37 miles away) and my Thursday guy needed to be  seen NOW since he had rearranged all his doctor's appointment. Today was an equal mess with a clotted off PICC line and the de-clotting thereof so there was no tiptoeing through the graveyard for me today. I'm hoping to get into the Ice's Cemetery tomorrow, cross your fingers or something. The whole week so far has sucked and it's only Tuesday. David has been steady chopping away at the wooded acres which I'm sure has the neighbors intrigued. I think they don't want us to sell it, some have hinted they'd like to buy it though for next to nothing. I don't think so. The only problem with selling it is someone will build on it and what if I don't like them or something? I did also get to take a picture of a bunch of sheep which was fun except when they all got upset and started collectively yelling for thier mother - the whole group started Baa-ing and they're VERY loud. You would be surprised. I'm not sure what they're officially called - a herd? A flock? A fluff? All I know is they are way noisier than I thought they would be.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Is It Monday Already?

We had our friends Susan and Roger over for dinner last night - we decided to BBQ so of course the storm clouds rolled in and took up residence over the deck. They did clear out before they got here but then the wind took over and I moved it in to the dining room since the idea of sitting below the flailing umbrella just didn't seem attractive.The animals behaved as best they could - Pearl only performed the Flying Vizsla once for Roger (boy was he surprised) and Mr. Lee took a stroll across the table a couple of times which didn't bother anyone since they own a few cats themselves. Vincent made a brief appearance, he's leery of strangers so he's sort of a guest star type of cat. Susan brought porter house steaks - from the cows they have that were butchered last fall, I think she said her Dad does the butchering. David and Jackson were quite taken with her I think, anyone who brings steak is ok - they're both a lot of fun so we all had a good time. After they left David took Pearl out and she found something quite Stinky and Dead to roll in so she got her first bath which she didnt seem to enjoy. David called the pool guy last week - the liner came in but now we have to wait for good weather for it to be installed and of course since we had all this rain everyone has been pushed back. So the Frog Saga continues.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Driving Me Crazy

Pearl continues of course to grow and has become a full fledged crazy vizsla. We take her out with us everytime we go trying to burn off some of that boundless energy - David has a lull in work so he's been taking her out all day while he works on the house and yard and she just romps endlessly. All of her toys have been gutted except one, as I'm typing I'm throwing her dead teddy bear for her.This is all compounded by Charger getting to that age where he just wants to be petted occasionally and then left ALONE. David and I have really painted ourselves into a corner since when he passes on I don't think Pearl will take well to being alone all day. David mentioned the other day about possibly getting another dog after Charger and I just groaned, first we were going to have no dogs when they went, then one dog and here we are back to two again. I suppose I could take a stand on the cats  but they aren't going anywhere anytime soon as far as I can see. I took Jackson driving for a couple of hours yesterday which he enjoyed a great deal. I took him up eighth street in town to practice the hills - the rolling back thing freaks him out and here you have to deal with it all the time so we stopped and started all the way up. THEN we did the highway, that's a bit daunting as the speed limit here is 70 so everyone of course goes 80 and 90. And that is way too fast for a beginner so I took him out early while the traffic was light (of course the term "light traffic" is relative, here "heavy traffic" is about 6 cars and a couple tractor trailers) - we stayed in the slow lane and did about 65 and he did well there, we are going out again today.

Friday, May 19, 2006

They Are Really Gone!

I find it somewhat amusing that I spent most of my life in a resort area where the locals spend most of the summer waiting for "them" to go home - the whole place is overwhelmed with drunken lost tourists. Here, we wait for "them" - the drunken lost college students - to go home for the summer so we can move about freely and enjoy the area. Same old, same old, just different seasons and different drunk people. I've never been in town Saturday night when college is in session due to the warnings from the locals - like the Hamptons there's a bar on every corner and plenty of business to keep it hopping. But they all left a week or so ago, you can tell when school is over by the trashbags piled up in front of the houses in town. Now it'll be quiet until the end of August and we'll be back to square one. I still have my gas cap in case anyone is wondering , I've been keeping an eagle eye on it, dammit.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tiptoe Through The Tombstones With Me...

I've passed this graveyard multiple times but couldn't figure out how to get up there, but this time I pulled over across the road and realized there's a small paved road that goes backwards up the hill. When I got to the top the gate was shut, which was disappointing, going over a fence after it's rained can be a bit messy. (NOT THAT I'VE EVER SQUEEZED PAST A FENCE, THAT WOULD BE TRESSPASSING....) but then I realized it was just latched shut and a bit rusty. A bit a jiggling did the trick and I was in!! I have to go back of course, it was the coolest one I've seen yet, All of these big mossy gravestones, the one with the angels was about 4 feet high. I did get startled by a loud "Booooooooo" but the second time it happened I realized it was not a "boo" I was hearing - it was a "Moo" - there's a cow pasture right next to the graveyard. And they were real cows, not ghost cows. Jackson was envious of course. Jackson drove last night when I went and got him from Becky's, we went to Barnes and Nobles. When we were leaving I looked across at my car and noticed the gas cover was open! Some BASTARD stole my gas cap, can you believe it? I was afraid I'd been siphoned too and then when we got to the car I saw it wasn't locked! I almost had a heart attack since I have all that medical equipment, my GPS, etc but on closer inspection saw the thief must've popped the gas cap door with a key or something. I always lock my car but since Jackson was driving when he handed me the keys I didn't even think about it. I bought a new cap on the way home - no, I didn't report it, nothing aside from the cap was missing and I wasn't doing all that work for a $7 cap. But I will be making sure my car is locked before I walk away from it from now on!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's A Crappy Barn, But It's Our Crappy Barn

David's been adding to his To Do roster, since we've added more mowers he's going to use the old barn for storage. It's not a great barn, I think it's very ugly personally and strange. It's perfectly square for some reason and aside from being red, looks more like an oversized shed. What David did was build two big doors on the side so he could get his mowers in and out easily and have somewhere to work on them. The front now looks nice, the sides remain thier crappy selves, he's planning on residing the side you can see from the driveway for now and down the road doing the rest. Pearl was having a great time but didn't like David going up on the ladder. He said she was crying and when she stopped he looked to see where she'd gotten to - there she was halfway up the ladder behind him! Jackson continues driving, we've been having rain though off and on so that's kind of curtailed it. I had a busy day yesterday, sometimes I think I should take him and let him do the driving on my visits, he'd be an expert in no time. Monday for me is lab day, 4 of my 5 patients had labs to be drawn and I was driving from one end to the other so I covered about 130 miles total. The only fun thing is my milage checks are pretty big at the end of the month. Ok, Ok, that's not the only fun thing - I admit it, I LIKE driving and I did (obviously) make time for picture taking. But I didn't have any time for tresspassing so that will have to wait until later in the week.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gluten For Punishment

First of all, Happy Mother's Day and second of all, did you realize it's National Food Allergy Awareness Week? How totally stupid is that, people should not be allowed to have these dopey things every week! I probably shouldn't say anything as I'll be getting teary emails from people who's lives have Dramatically Changed because of National Food Allergy Awareness Week. Maybe next week is National Ingrown Toenail Week. Anyhoo, I've been adventuring in cooking, one of the vegetarian things I love is Seitan, the "wheat meat" - it's one of the coolest things every invented and you can do just about anything with it. BUT it's very expensive, about $4 for 8 oz so I don't buy it alot. My friend Kim had her daughter and future son in law send me the recipe they use - Renzo is apparently the expert. My first attempt I reversed the water and gluten - to correct it I would've ended up with enough seitan to feed the neighborhood so I threw it out. The second attempt I decided to throw caution to the wind and actually READ the directions which is when I discovered I didn't have the rest of the ingredients and had to improvise.What else is new? It came out better than I thought it would, especially for a first (well, second) attempt. In other news, David has decided to change the doors on the barn since he obviously doens't have enough going on (the bathroom, the pool, the fence, the backroom, the new mower). Pearl got a little upset but she's a puppy and lots of things upset her. We're going out to dinner for Mother's Day, I want to go to the Golden Coral Dinner Buffet which no one else ever wants to do so I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A New Toy For David

David has become quite the cyber shopper and frequent visitor of Ebay. He's been looking for a mower for the past month and found this at a very reasonable price. The guy selling it lives in Beckley so they agreed to meet halfway in Flatwood. David needed a trailer to bring it home and one of the neighbors lent him one - David offered to pay him but he refused saying that's what neighbors are for. David gave him the ATV snowplow we had that was left by the former owners of the house so everyone made out well in the deal.The guy also sold him a parts mower but knowing David he'll just mess around with it til it runs and then sell it.  David's pretending this was all necessary, blahblahblah but he's been busying mowing the lawn since he got it inbetween the rain showers and has already tinkered with it. . And we've been having very frequent rain showers lately. West Virginia is starting to look like a jungle, just when you thought it couldn't get any greener - it always amazes me how beautiful it is around here. Speaking of green - we still don't have the pool liner, I don't even look in that direction anymore. It's supposed to be in sometime next week and then they schedule us for the installation - I can't wait. The frogs are deafening at night but I hate treating water I know is going to be pumped out in a couple of weeks anyhow. Pearl continues to harass Vincent, we can't figure out why he won't give her what for - whether he's too scared to fight or if he enjoys it. He certainly doesn't look like he's enjoying it, but I don't think he's afraid of her, he's never been afraid of our other dogs. By the way, all that nonsense about pet owners being calmer and living longer, lower blood pressure, etc... I don't believe it for a minute. Given all the time I spend lately on keeping Pearl off of Vincent, Charger out of Pearl's bowl, Vincent from attacking Claw in the litter pan, Mr. Lee from attacking Pearl, etc I have to say none of that makes me feel any calmer. Whoever came up with that crap was just probably trying to convince someone to take thier bad cat.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tomb With A View

Yes, we are back at Mt Pleasant Cemetary - but it was such a beautiful day yesterday I had to  stop and take pictures. I hiked all the way to the top again - this time I noticed the turn around - for CARS - but I need the exercise anyhow. Yesterday was my half day which I'm currently fighting to keep it a half day, we are adding more patients and as you know, alot of them are pretty far. Yesterday I had two patients and drove 90 miles. And of course everything can get thrown for a loop when one patient has a problem. I've found I have a population of patients that will not call the doctor and wait for the nurse because they're afraid they'll have to go back to the hospital, the cardiac patients being the worst offenders. The sad part is that if they had called earlier all the trauma and anxiety could've easily been avoided with a simple medication.  But I did make it home by noon and yes, everything is hunky-dory with my patient who hopefully has learned her lesson. David came home early too and we went out shopping - I did buy mother's day presents for pertinent parties but they will all have to wait as I doubt I'll be near a post office soon. I told David just to take me out to lunch - we've had birthdays and there's nothing I need at the moment. We picked Jackson up from Becky's and yes, he drove again, this time through town with other people and everything. David finally bought that big iron tub he saw at Bubba's - $60 and once he cleaned it up, perfect condition. He has to retile the floor in the downstairs bath, the tiles had cracked over the years. He's also buying a bigger mower, our little John Deere just isn't going to cut it this year (no pun intended).

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

I See Dead People

As you can see, I was on the road all day, as I've said before, one of the reasons I like my job is the sightseeing and messing around part. I finally got a chance to stop in at the Mt. Pleasant graveyard, the graves at the base are fairly recent (1970's) but I knew from experience if you head to the back that's where you'll find the interesting stuff. This graveyard is very cool because it literally goes straight up, I can't imagine how they got the coffins up there! After a full day of driving I headed home for David's birthday - I gave him cash as requested, he would like to buy a big lawn tractor and has been on Ebay constantly. We went out to dinner at Bob Evans and then home for cake. Cake with three people is a odd thing, I like to buy one big enough to look like a birthday cake, but then we have way too much leftover. David usually pitches it because he can't stand it and then I yell at him for throwing out the cake. Jackson will have no interest in cake until it's either stale or thrown out, then he'll come looking for it. Birthday cakes have become traumatic. Jackson did all the driving yesterday, he even did a little highway with lanes and stop lights - and did pretty good. I let him drive to halfway to school yesterday - it was a good and bad thing. It was good for the experience but bad because I forgot at that hour of the morning the coal trucks are running - and running fast because they get paid by the load. Jackson did well, but I think was getting a little freaked after the 9th one came barrelling towards us - half the time they're going so fast around the curves they're on your side of the road and there's nowhere to go since the other side of the road is no shoulders and ditches filled with the run off from the mines. But he did well. He's a bit beaned because there a local election day here and he's off but we're both working full days today so he gets to spend the day with Pearl instead of Becky, too bad for him!

Monday, May 8, 2006

Where there's Smoke....

In case anyone is wondering, the pine trees our neighbor is currently burning were all about 20 feet high and he had four of them. We have a big pile but have not done anything with it as of yet, David goes back and forth trying to decide if he should burn it or rent a wood chipper for the day. And of course, I got my firepit FINALLY yesterday. This would probably be because today is David's birthday and he would like money for his birthday and I've been threatening to buy him a firepit. I've been using the arguement since we got the teak outdoor set for "me" even though I had not asked for it and it appeared to something that someone else who will not be mentioned really liked, that would make it fair for me to buy a firepit for him. So my firepit is currently sitting in the front yard. Jackson has been driving a lot, David had him drive all the way home from Becky's last night and just about everytime we go out, Jackson is driving. He pulls over when he doesn't feel comfortable or it's getting overwhelming and that's ok - we keep telling him he's only been driving for 4 days and it takes time.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Hand Over The Cheese And No One Gets Hurt

Pearl was doing really well training wise -  but now for the past two days she seems to have forgotten herself or simply is interpreting what we say in her own way. For some reason the command "Come"  is heard as "Well, if you have some time today or you're done sniffing the old tarp in the woodpile, do you think you could maybe swing by here". AND she has what appears to be a tooth mark on her back. And more mysteriously it appears to be the same size as CHARGER'S TEETH. Apparently she didn't understand the warning growl at some point during the day yesterday. We have asked the zoo not to attack her as she's a rather expensive pet, but as far as they're concerned it didn't come out of thier wallets, not to mention the fact that if they did have money I doubt they would've spent it on her. Jackson's been driving daily, today we not only did the roads, but braved the intersection near Sheetz. He was alright until we got into the parking lot, then got overwhelmed as Sheetz on Saturday is not for the faint of heart. I can see it's a bit daunting to drive around here, we have to keep reminding him just stay on the road even when the coal trucks are barrelling towards you and to slow down on the curves as you slide on the gravel shoulders - if there is a shoulder at all. We went to Sam's Club today (David drove, Jackson is NO way ready for the highway!) and I spent my birthday money on a couple of knitting books and needles from The Nest. David's busy making plans for the house, he's looking for a used clawfoot tub with a yadayada base, so it could be awhile. He was talking about some project before but I told him he's got enough going on for now - don't start on the fence!! 

Friday, May 5, 2006

Tripping The Light Fantastic

West Virginia has greened up to an amazing degree. It's so green now it doesn't look real and it takes me forever to get from job to job as I'm sightseeing and rubbernecking like crazy all day. There are times when I come up over a hill and it's jawdropping. David on the other hand is a bit less impressed as he was mowing the lawn for the FOURTH TIME and the Wonder of Nature has lost it's luster for him. He's hoping it will all burn up ASAP. Speaking of burning ,our neighbor down the road cut down 4 big pines trees after we thought he was done - he burns every night and since it's fresh pine the smoke clouds are huge. I was all set to call the fire dept when I realized it was him. Again. Pearl continues to be a pest, but I've got to admit we're at fault most of the time - she's very cute and more than a bit spoiled. David took Jackson driving again yesterday, he let Jackson drive to Vance's down the road and back and said he did pretty well. I'll be taking him this weekend, I think he'll have his permit for awhile before we even think about the license. The college students leave this week so that will help alot.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Watch Out

Yes it's true - we finally got our stuff together and Jackson is now an official Person With A Permit. He was quite thrilled as you can guess and is eager to get on the road. I told him I would take him early on Saturday while there's no traffic - most of the roads here have no shoulders and there's no where to pull over if someone is behind you.  David took him once already and has mentioned it's been a long time since we've had a teenage driver in the house and we are probably too old for this.  I'm back to work and already slated for extra jobs on Friday, I guess it's better to have extra work than no work. Pearl is a pest with the going out - yesterday she was busy whining at the door every 10 minutes but most of the time she just wants to play. I bought yarn - on clearance I might add - but since it was bought with Birthday Money it doesn't count as officially buying yarn, it's sort of a freebie sort of thing.  At Barnes and Nobles they were having a sale on craft books so I got three knitting books at a 50% discount to add to my collection. David is busy dismantling the downstairs bathroom, he is desparate for a "real bathtub" so he's removed the one in there and will be replacing it with a clawfoot. That's not that expensive, you can buy them used around here for about $60 and the bathroom needs to be retiled anyhow- the house must've settled and the floor tiles are cracked so he'd planned on replacing them.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The Frog Spa Is Open For Business

I put an old picture of Jackson and Pearl-ine (that's her redneck name) because I will NOT put up a picture of the pool which is majory greeny and disgusting. I called the pool guy Mike who informed me the liner would be MADE in two weeks, not here and then it would be a few more days before they put it in. I informed him about the Frog Situation, which while not an Emergency yet, is a bit Distressing and So Forth. Rather than joining me in having vapors he found the whole thing amusing and informed me all those frog legs would be coming cheap to me. So, I'm stuck with Tadpoles R Us for a couple more weeks at any rate. Pearl is being a pest today, she's been out around 406 times today and the one time I refused her she did her Business in the Foyer in a rather unlady like manner. I've got to get moving, I have a half day today but it's the later half which is nice as I can potter around all morning. The not so nice part is if you potter round all morning you think you have way more time than you really do and end up sprinting and being late. Since I have to be out the door in 25 minutes and am not dressed, have no makeup on, no paperwork done and I'm writing in my journal chances are very good I will be sprinting shortly.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

End Of The Visit

Janet and Diane headed back to SissybabyPennsylvania Sunday afternoon, muttering about having to go back to work or hang out at the bar or whatnot on Monday. We were going to BBQ again but with time constraints we went out to the Chinese Buffet where the food is better anyhow. They took off around 1pm after we did a little shopping and then we went back to the house. We did a little BBQ for dinner, no one was especially hungry after the buffet. Monday I was taking everyone to Prickett's Fort in Fairmont -  I had checked the times but forgot that WV closes on Monday despite what the website and newspaper says. And not just for holidays, in general most stores and stuff are closed, I have no clue why and it's very annoying. So we walked around the park a bit and the graveyard, then went to Gabriel's Brother's. Gabe's is one of the best discount store I've ever been in, David and I are forever surfing the racks. Amy got a bunch of maternity stuff and I got a Liz Clairborne polo shirt for $5, Albert Dunner pants for $9 (marked down from $40) so that was fun. We also did AC Moore in Clarksburg and tried to go to my favorite knitting store which was closed due to the above mentioned Monday Thing. We drove into Morgantown for lunch, Mom and Amy found Maxwell's down a back alley which I've never been in. It's a college place, the food was much better than the decor (cheapy Grateful Dead) and they had tons of vegetarian stuff. We headed back home after that - everyone was getting kind of pooped. They left early this morning to avoid traffic, it was fun to see them. Pearl probably misses them more than they miss her - she was being Bad as her new thing is to launch her Not So Tiny Vizsla body at whoever is sitting on the couch and if you happen to be trying to drink your coffee that is worse. Like bad news you never see it coming and we are trying to break her of this new activity

Monday, May 1, 2006

Happy Birthday

My birthday was this weekend, I am turned Very Old. The plan was my Mom and Amy were coming to visit for a few days and would be leaving Tuesday. They made very good time - they left LI around 9 am and got here around 6pm - I always think it takes longer but David has pointed out that because we usually have the truck and have to take a different route. On Saturday David suggested we go to Bob Evans for brunch - it was actually to surprise me with Janet and Di! I was so shocked I dont' think I've ever been so surprised in my whole life. We had a great weekend, we went out to the Boston Beanery for my dinner and had beanwiches. When we got back we had cake but when I leaned over to blow the candles out I caught my hair on fire. I usually have it up and didnt' even think about it. Mom put me out which I have to say was quite kind of her. Yestereday we did a little shopping and Janet and Di headed back to Pa - they'll be back this summer to do the tour of the Moundsville Prison but not until July. As much as fun as we had, I wish we had gone when it was warmer - touring a steel and stone structure in November with no heat is never a good idea. Today we're going to Pricketts Fort out in Fairmont and then shopping in Bridgeport - Amy is over 6 months pregnant right now so Big Hikes are sort of out for the moment. I'm off until Wednesday morning and then no more vacation days for awhile I'm sad to say.