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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Is It Almost Monday?

I took Jackson up to McDonald's to hand in his application and he has an interview on Monday. He got the application for Barne's and Noble, but the woman at the checkout told him they only hire 18 and up - he's applying anyhow as it can't hurt. I'm noticing that a lot of the chain stores around here seem to be going by that rule - I'm sure it's a result of the flighty teenager thing but it's getting Jackson a little discouraged. I've told him since the summer is almost over maybe he should wait until after school starts and see if he can get a job in town after school which would make more sense. He was out the other night playing with Pearl as a science experiment trying to see if he could tire her out. That would be no.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lazy Days Of Summer

We're quickly moving into the Dog days of summer, this whole month has shot by. I spend most of my days either working or slaving over the pool - I desperately need a Cabana Boy to call my own yet cannot afford one. I'm in charge of the pool since I'm the one that uses it all of the time.  Pearl took herself for a little swim yesterday while I was vacuuming it out now that she can manage the stairs on her own.. I put her in the house while I swim most of the time because when we're in there together she likes to swim right next to me, occasionally swimming on top of me. She is a pest on all surfaces these days. Jackson continues with the job search - he applied at Target but they're only hiring for the off shifts so got turned down. Until he gets a car and license his hours are somewhat limited - with mine and David's schedule we can't be picking him up at midnight so it limits his job search, not to mention they like you to have your own transportation. He's been working a bit with David and has been helping out around here - it's not perfect but it is money. I'm warring a bit with my boss and considering looking into another job, but will probably see how things go before I make any major decisions. Right now starting a new job is just another pain in the ass I don't need. As you can see from the picture above, the life to have is Vincent's - nothing but blue skies and Friskies for him.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ok, Now Everyone In The Pool!

We've been letting Pearl swim a little in the pool lately. She's usually outside with us and rather than have her trying to get in and damage the liner we're teaching her to use the steps to get in and out. Of course the downside is she can now get in and out on her own and does so quite often. She's a very rambunctious swimmer and seems to enjoy the splashing part a bit too much! In other news Jackson had an interview for a job at Target yesterday, the only problem was so did five other people but I told him it was good practice so the next time he would know what to expect. Target does thier applications on computer and the last thing it says is to pick up the red phone and let them know you're done. What we didn't realize was they like to interview IMMEDIATELY after you get done. So we were there for awhile. Jackson also picked up an application for McDonald's and I was surprised to see they wanted to know his GPA - makes you wonder doesn't it? It's supposed to rain today, but according to the Crack Weather Team there's a chance of that every day, talk about covering your ass.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Everyone Out Of The Pool

I have thrown this little guy a few times, I didn't see him yesterday so I'm thinking perhaps he has realized it is not the place to be. Since we redid the pool we haven't seen one frog but the other day I found this little guy floating around on my blue float. I put him out and he snuck back in. I put him out. He hopped in. Then I shocked the pool and that settled that. Speaking of the pool, I forgot to mention we had a visitor this weekend aside from Ray - Dick Davis!! We were so excited to meet him - he's the guy that owned our house and built the pool - all of this property in the development was his originally. He now lives in Myrtle Beach, but comes up occasionally to visit friends. We took him around the property, he was impressed with the job Mick did on the pool and told us a few things about the property that we didn't know. Our pool, by the way was the first pool he built - because he wanted to know the right way to do it. He told me how to level the cement tiles around the pool and that the huge trees in our front yard came from mail order as saplings. We offered to take him on a tour of the house but he declined. Our house he said was all happy memories for him - it was where he had started his business, raised his children, rode horses and ATV's and he said he wanted to keep those memories as is. But it was really neat to meet him and he told us if we ever needed to know anything about the house, we could ask the neighbor down the road to contact him.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What Fun!

Ray is getting ready to leave, I wish he could stay longer! The sun finally came out yesterday and it was warm, but not too warm. I did the driving since I was taking Ray out to Preston county to take pictures. We went to Bruceton Mills first to the restaurant/hardware (it says that on the side) for breakfast - it's one of those local places that hasn't been decorated since 1950 and everyone knows everyone else. David was laughing because with  breakfast they gave you about 1/2 cup of REAL butter, we could've eaten it with a spoon! Ray and I had the buckwheat pancakes and David had french toast. After that we went to see the Cheat river where the acid mine drainage is pretty bad - there are stretches where it's solid orange and then we went to the Iron Forge. I took them to Kingwood and to the farmer's stand out on route 7 so we had a full morning and Ray got to take lots of pictures. We came home for lunch, we ate out on the deck, the weather was just terrific all day. Then we went to an italian restaurant out off of route 7 - David and I had tried a couple of times to go there but I think they had been closed or something. It turned out to be a wonderful place to eat and we had a nice long dinner and just sat and talked about old times. Mikio and Setsu were missed, sometimes I can't believe they're gone at all. I doubt I'll ever stop missing them. Ray is heading out early this morning - he'll miss Jackson completely - but I think now that  he's made the trip once, he'll be back.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Still The Same

We've been having so much fun this weekend just shopping and going out. So far so good on the oncall front - I shouldn't say anything though, should I? Yesterday it rained most of the day which limited our options of what to do, so we did end up taking  Ray to AC Moore's and Sam's Club. Ray has always been my craft store buddy, more than happy to sift through any Michaels or AC that we come across. I bought some more baby yarn and the Yarn Hater didn't say anything because A) Ray is here and B) he's completely oblivious to the large amount of previously bought yarn tucked under the dresser. We did all of our food shopping and came back home - I had been thinking of taking Ray into downtown Clarksburg as there are some beautiful old historic buildings but with the rain it wouldn't have been worth it. So we went back to the house and relaxed with Miss Peebody for awhile. We left out for dinner around 5:30 - finding a place to eat out around here on Saturday night is impossible - EVERYONE is out. There was a line already at Olive Garden and Cheddars so we headed over to Applebee's and got there just before the hord arrived (when we left there were about 40 people lined up outside!!). We did some driving around after dinner showing Ray some more of the area and then off to Books A Million - I got a good deal on Christmas cards which I'll put away for now. But they were marked down from $16 a box to $3 so what's not to like?  We haven't heard a peep from Jackson and he's either due home tonight or tomorrow morning.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ray Is Here! Yippee!

Ray has finally made the trip to visit us - he called Thursday night to let us know he would be out Friday afternoon. It took him about 5 or 6 hours, but he said the trip was pretty easy since you don't have to go through any big cities and it's mainly interstate driving. Of course Jackson's not here (he went with his girlfriend's family to a 3 day blues festival), it looks like it might rain most of the weekend and I'm on call - but we don't care! We went out to the Boston Beanery for dinner and then after took Ray around Morgantown. We went to Barnes and Noble to shop afterward and then back to watch tv. We're going to Clarksburg today to do some more shopping since the black clouds are looming and I think tomorrow we'll be heading out to Kingwood to see the historic buildings. Pearl gave him a big Vizsla welcome but has calmed down - although he does get the random enthusiastic greetings throughout the day. Pearl's eye has recovered by the way and she no longer looks like Popeye The Dog. Work has been very busy lately, no more day trips to Bridgeport for awhile - we got a bunch of referrals all at once and we have a quitter looming on the horizon - but I think it will be a quiet one this time. I have to say I do sort of enjoy the Hysterical Quitters, it does truely liven up the workplace with all the Dramatic Declarations Against Tyrants and Calling In Just To Prove A Point.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Perils Of Pearline

Pearl is squinting with one eye again. Yesterday after I had written she was fine, I went upstairs to Popeye The Dog. That would be how we ended up at the vet's yesterday at the last possible appointment. Pearl doesn't like anyone messing with her ears or her eyes so Dr. Kenney  and the vet tech had to dog wrestle. We tried cheese (that's what we do at home) but Pearl can multi-task now, she ate the cheese while misbehaving.  The vet did an eye stain which showed she probably had a very small scratch but it was healing on it's own and the eye itself is swollen but is going down. However, it must be uncomfortable so she's forever rubbing it with her paw and of course Jackson feels bad every time he looks at her. We've told him it was an accident and no one blames him, but he still feels like it's his fault. They will both recover in due time. AC Moore update! I SCORED MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF BABY YARN. In my defense a pound of baby yarn is about 6 skeins for $5 - I don't think even Ghandi himself could resist that kind of bargain. I figured if David spotted it I would just do what we did in high school - claim it's not mine and I'm holding it for a friend. Hiding it was a problem, David has all of his gun equipment stored under the beds, the closets are to conspicuous and the dresser is overflowing - so I ended up temporarily stuffing it UNDER the dresser in the back. Hopefully Pearl The One Eyed Dog won't find it and start trucking it around the house.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blowing In The Wind

Pearl continues to morph into a Psycho Vizsla, she's extended her war with the vacuum cleaner to a war also with my leaf blower. The other day I was really watching her for once and I don't think I've ever seen anything so funny - I made David come out and hold it so I could take pictures. As with the vacuum, it took forever to get anything done. I think "Pearl" may have been a misnomer as she appears to be anything but! She had a swollen eye last night, Jackson was horsing around with her and accidently snapped her in the eye with a towel - he felt awful about it, but it's fine this morning and hopefully Jackson will leave the towels alone from now on. The weather has been blasting lately, it's supposed to be the high 90's again today. David had a roof repair to do - he and Jackson started it early in the morning and stopped around 11 am - David said it had gotten so hot the shingles started to melt and stick together. David came home and then went back after dinner to finish up - he said it was still hot but at least the sun was going down. I can't imagine - I walked across the parking lot and was breaking a good sweat. I'm off to Bridgeport for part of the day today which I'm gloating about - I'm plotting on seizing the yarn bin around 1 - if I can get past the Yarn Hater in the driveway that is! I guess I'll just have to do some Nascar driving ......

An Update - I did take Pearl to the vet this afternoon - I got an hour of personal time and a late appointment. Pearl was awful at the vet's - Dr. Kenney actually stopped the exam in the other room to come into our room to stuff a dog cookie in Miss Bark-A-Lot's fat mouth. The diagnosis was good -  there probably was a small scratch but it should heal on it's own and we have yet another tube of ointment. Oh hurrah.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

End Of The Week

Not on call this weekend! We took Jackson out to the movies last night to see the Pirates Of The Carribian, we ended up going to the 6:30 show as we got done doing other stuff sooner than expected. It was a good thing though as the theater was almost full and they were showing it in two theaters. It was very good with the only distraction being someone getting up to use the bathroom multiple times and sitting where she would have to walk in front everyone. You would think that person would've sat on the other side but who knows. David came with us (for once) and Jackson drove. We haven't been able to get in as much driving time as we had been previously so we let him drive whenever possible. David has a busy week next week, he put an ad in the paper and has 3 jobs so far so that should keep him out of trouble for awhile. He and Jackson brought the iron tub into Jackson's bathroom just to get it out of the garage - it'll be a little while before all the fixtures get hooked up as he has to finish but Jackson doesn't seem to mind. David also finished pulling the old slider frame out of the breezeway - have to give it to the previous owners - they appear to have had a never ending supply of Incredibly Stupid Improvements. I suppose I should clean something other than the pool this weekend, I have to say that's quite a bit more involved than I would've suspected. I probably spend about 1/2 an hour a day cleaning it, sometimes more. Pearl hasn't jumped in yet, but we can see she's thinking about it. A lot.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Skein In The Neck

It rained AGAIN today, and no, the Crack Weather Team did not predict it. I did another day in Bridgeport, I could get used to this. David, however sensing danger, stopped me in the driveway and made me PROMISE not to buy even one tiny weeny skein of yarn and I like a fool agreed to it before viewing the contents of the Yarn Bin at AC Moores which was stuffed with what looked like Paton Baby yarn at FIVE DOLLARS A POUND. Do you have any idea how many skeins of baby yarn you can have in a pound?? Now, I was very tempted to skirt the edge of the lying (I'm not sure why exactly I was skirting since we all know that I am a rather excellent liar when need be), but I did have to take into account the double pointed needles from Tuesday and the knitting books at 60% off at Barnes and Nobles I bought yesterday (especially since I'm plotting to overtake the discount cart tomorrow)so I had to satisfy myself by a) calling the nurse manager at the Bridgeport office to let her know about the yarn bin (her daughter is expecting a girl) and b) making David feel very guilty by parading Amy's unborn baby about since I will be unable to knit anything due to lack of yarn. I did of course leave out the fact I already have about 20 skeins of baby yarn socked away in the dresser upstairs but some things are better left unsaid.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How The Other Half Lives

I got sent up to Bridgeport the other day - my census is down because I did a mass dismissal last week and Bridgeport is cranking. I don't mind - it's always nice to have a change of scenery and the fun thing about the Bridgeport thing is even though it's a 45 mile hike to get there, all the jobs are about 10 miles apart so you can pretty much whip through it. There's also The Nest (knitting store) and the discount book store, the mall, etc.. I am now the proud owner of Latern Moon double point needles and a set of Britney double points because I would have to do some fancy financial footwork to explain two pairs of Latern Moon anything - they're very pricey. Jackson is still not employed so he's doing chores around the place which makes him a Gloomy Boy. But it's gotten him on the stick with hunting and I think when I get home today I'll take him out to try to apply other places. He did apply to Best Buy but that's a very popular job and they tend to like thier employees older. David has been pricing jobs, he ran an ad in the paper for a day and has looked at two so far (and got them both). He also finished the foyer - now all that he needs is a surround and to bring the tub into Jackson's bathroom which should be fun. The tub is iron and I dread having to see them carry it over all the new tile floors. And I'm a little late with the week update - this week it's National Farrier's Week, National Archeology Week, National Nude Recreation Week AND the entire month of July will be devoted to Cell Phone Courtesy. I suppose the other 11 months you can say what you want.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Hang Me Out To Dry

Everything is still drying out, we leave the garage open and that's almost completely dry. The ground still squelches when you walk in some areas and we stay far from the mud. Mud from clay is the absolute worst, I know I complain about it from time to time (actually everytime it rains) but the way it spreads is unreal. All you have to do is get a little on the bottom of your shoes and you can do the whole house and your clothes. And because the ground can only absorb so much, it hangs around forever. David has finished the tiling pretty much and has gone onto sheetrocking and spackling the walls. He was being funny by pondering what color he would paint it - we still have tons of that light grey paint he got on clearance eons ago so I'm thinking we are leaning towards that. But I don't mind - it's the last of the dark brown paneling on the lower floor and I'm more than happy to see it go. I took Jackson out driving a little yesterday - I'm on call all weekend and have been doing visits so it's hard to squeeze that in - but we did go out and someone needs to SLOW DOWN. He's gotten a little over confident and argues with me continously so someone may end up an Eternal Bus Rider. Here is how it usually goes:

Me: The speed limit is 45,you're going 60, slow down

Hooligan: I am not

Me: I can see the speedometer, Slow Down!

Hooligan: I'm going 56 miles an hour, not 60, you drive that fast

Me: The speed limit is 45 and you have a permit SLOW DOWN

Hooligan: OK. FINE (sound of pouting)

Repeat as needed

Friday, July 7, 2006

How Much Would You Pay For This Dog?

I was once again perusing the Personal Property Tax dohicky and came across an odd charge for $6. I asked David what that was for  - THEY CHARGED US FOR OWNING DOGS.  Is that not the stupidest thing you've ever heard - I personally feel that if they're going to charge for that, you should at least be required to bring the afore mentioned dog down and it should be pro-rated. Actually, it would be worth the money to bring the crew down just to watch Charger eat everyone's lunch while Pearl single handedly tears the whole place apart in under 30 seconds. They'll probably OWE me money! And just in case you ever move here - cats are free. You can have a whole bagful of them and they won't charge you a dime. So the cars and the dogs are paid for - at least until next year when I'll probably hand Pearl The Destroyer over the counter and get my $3 back. In other news - David and Jackson finished the tiling, in an effort to get Jackson moving on the job market David made him get up and grout. He did a rather spectacular job, David was impressed. Jackson was not. When I got home Jackson was in the foyer grouting and David was in the livingroom gloating about how much fun it was to be the watcher as opposed to being the watch-ee. I told David perhaps he should tone it down as I thought maybe Jackson did not love him anymore judging from the icy cold death stare that followed me up the stairs. Jackson did get paid which made it worth it for him and we should be able to walk about the house freely tomorrow - and I will of course be taking pictures!!

Rain Rain Go Away

It's been raining quite a bit for the past week or so, but Wednesday took the cake. The clouds moved in and it rained all morning but on my way home it intesified to the point my windshield wipers couldn't compete. The roads flooded immediately, ditches overflowed, the water was coming down our road like a waterfall. And we got water in the house! I didn't like that I have to tell you. The previous owners had put in a sliding glass door at the end of the breezeway and David had taken the door out, but not the frame. When the rain got really heavy it ran down the hill, down the steps of the breezeway and the old frame acted like a dam so it came into the laundry room and the garage. It wasn't a huge amount but enough to make a mess. David pried up the frame and that helped (no one was home when the rain started). The fact that the ground is clay and it's been raining off and on for a week added to the problem - the ground is way past saturation point so everything just sluices off. THEN we had to pump the pool as there was so much extra water it was threatening to come over the side which would flood the basement. The sun came out yesterday but around it here it takes forever to dry out - one of my jobs was next door to a flooded cow pasture, I don't EVER want to talk about that - suffice it to say "eww" and I will never be the same again. Anyhoo, David has become the tiling fiend, so far this week he has tiled Jackson's room, his bathroom and the foyer - he found a nice tile on clearance so we are being to tiled to pieces. He had to rip up the vinyl flooring in the foyer - all three layers of so we are off to the dump again today. I'm on call this weekend so I'm not doing too much other than hanging around the phone.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Happy Soggy Fourth Of July!

I managed to get the holiday off and was out cleaning my pool when the first rain drop hit. So aside from a trip to Sam's Club there's not much on the calendar. We got our car registration forms in the mail on Friday - I was perusing them when I saw we had to send in the recipts for our personal property taxes. Hmm. I showed it to David and he had no idea either. There was a little blurb saying you could ask the sheriff for your recipt which led to another conversation - since we didn't know what it was, there was a rather good chance it was not paid and therefore I had a sneaking suspicion the sheriff might be not wanting to give us a recipt. David was elected to visit and for those of you who don't know - Personal Property Tax is what they charge you for toodling around in a car. When we moved here we had to pay a very hefty amount to register the car - it did indeed make you want a horse (although, there might be a Personal Horse Tax so you might want to check into that before saddling up). Anywhoo, apparently every year they again whack you with a personal property tax which goes down a lot (but not enough) AND when you buy a new car you have to start at Square One which means there will be no new cars in this house for quite awhile. We know this because the fellow next to David at the sheriff's office had indeed not only bought a new truck but was also from out of state and David said he was NOT a happy camper, nor was he being a good sport about the whole deal. So, in the end we will be staying home for the 4th of July while our personal property just sits in the driveway. Oh well, at least we have personal property....

Monday, July 3, 2006

Jackson Above The Ground

Jackson very happily (and quickly!) moved into his new room last night, we have the basics up there, now he just has to get his flotsom from downstairs. We gave him one of the full beds from the guest room, eventually we'll get another mattress set, but right now it's on the "list".(we have a continous running list that objects and tasks slide up and down in order of thier current importance). He had been sleeping on the futon, but like a basement bedroom, that loses it's novelty quickly. We can't put him in the single bed that we have, he's just too long and too big and hangs off the end so he got the bed he wanted. David started pulling the bolts out of the ceiling and then gave up - they DO go across the hall upstairs and probably into our bedroom and it was just making too much of a mess. So they will have to stay for now - Jackson doesn't really care - and when we get to carpeting(that is way down on the list) we'll deal with them then. They're huge by the way, I couldn't believe the size of them!  David's been rearranging the basement, as you can see in the pictures the color of the walls leaves a lot to be desired. David couldn't figure it out - he thought it was an institutional green, but those of us from the 70's should know it right away. Avacado Green. That went with the ever pervasive Harvest Gold in most homes. Repainting is of course on the list, but it's such a huge area and the paint itself (since it's an ugly color) wears like iron - no fading no staining and someone did an exceptionally good job while they were at it to boot. Without the pool table the area is really big and David wants to put windows in eventually (on the list) to brighten it up.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

News From Japan

I got an email from Adam  this morning - today was the last day of his enlistment. So, where is he??? That stinkpot is still in Japan and will continue to wake up there every morning for the next 4 years. Yes, he not only re-enlisted but they asked him to do his next term in Japan with offers of this and that, not to mention his fiancee Reiko so his butt will be staying put. I would like him to come home of course, but he's an adult so there's not much I can - or would want to do about it. I just wish he was stationed a little closer to home. On the other hand I don't think we have much call for a navy ship in WV. The weather has turned hot and muggy since yesterday, sigh the Crack Weather Team has been right on the ball as usual (heavy rain throughout the week....) - I was at a patient's house doing an infusion the other week and we were in hysterics laughing over the safest prediction I've ever heard - "a slight risk of severe weather". That totally covers all the bases, doesn't it? In other news, Jackson will finally be moving above ground into his new abode and is quite excited about it I think. His only reservation was he wouldn't have as much room but I pointed out as big as the basement is, he only utilizes a corner of it. And how sad is that, living in the corner of a basement in Maidsville, WV?

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Am I really off??

Not oncall this weekend, with the agency growing it seems like every weekend I'm on call  I'm out in the field at least one day. They asked if I wanted to work the 4th of July but I said no, since I'd already done my stint on Memorial Day. Jackson came home the other day, David and Janet did the halfway thing at Mcconnellsburg - Jackson informed me Aunt Janet had been under the impression she was doing the whole thing. Oops, my bad. I thought we had discussed it but maybe not.  I took Jackson out driving yesterday in a Quest For Sneakers. While he was away Pearl decided to add her own personal touch to his Vans by yanking out the entire insides. He did need a new pair but I had wanted to wait until school started, BUT PEARL FIXED THAT DIDN'T SHE.  So off we went and at the first store hit a snag. It seems the boy has grown and now wears a size 14 which is a sort of Holy Grail size. When the clerk asked if I needed something I told her I would like to see something in a smaller boy. She only laughed and left me with him.To add to the mix he will also only wear black AND only specific black sneakers. We did find one pair but they had an "N" on the side and for some reason that would cause him become a social leper, so back in the car. At the 4rth (or 5th, I lost track) shoe store the girl there cut right to the chase and simply brought out all the black size 14 sneakers they had - a task that took 3 minutes. But we did find a pair that wouldn't cause him to suffer a social crisis  and $70 later we were good to go. Speaking of Holy Grails there's a fight over in Clarksburg over a picture of Jesus in thier HS. After THIRTY YEARS someone noticed it and instantly became offended so it's of course escalated into a court battle and will be featured on the 700 Club show. As far as I can tell, it's simply just something that's always been there and doesn't really have a religious significance anymore, people are just attached to it as a sentimental object. I'm personally in favor of leaving it alone. But it's nice to know our tax dollars will be at work (and given the news coverage it will be a lot of tax dollars).