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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pittsburgh, It's A Happening Town.........

.........and it can happen without me! I saw very little of it, had no desire to see anymore. Of course to be fair, we had to be there at 8:30 am so Lisa (the other nurse) and  I met at 6:15 at the office to drive together. I drove and was very glad I had a GPS - when you're rushing in pouring rain it's awful to have to drive in unfamilar territory. The conference was fun and better yet - they gave you lunch. When they don't it sucks since you only have 45 minutes to try and navigate to find somewhere to eat and be able to find your way back. They let us out a bit early so I was home before 6. I had my half day yesterday and was rushing through as Ray was coming and due around 2pm. When he didn't appear by 4 we were starting to get really worried. He refuses to carry a cell phone so we couldn't contact him - I had no idea what we would do as I didn't know his exact route either. Thankfully at 4:30 he arrived, they're doing construction in NJ and there were 3 accidents in PA which was the big holdup. I made him coffee and then we went out to Tiberio's, a family run italian restuarant which we enjoy. This morning is the Buckwheat Festival which should be great! I actually had bought Ray a bag of buckwheat flour but Miss Thing found it and stole it. Since she didn't consider it edible she just flung it around a bit. Last night when we came home we found a small pile of nails, a utility knife blade and duct tape in the living room on the floor. David said he's starting to worry about Charger's safety and what Pearl is plotting. We have no idea where she got that stuff or how she managed not hurt herself with it. We'll just have to make sure EVEYRYTHING is up by the ceiling. Sigh, and to think we PAID for her!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On The Road To Recovery

Pearl and I took an evening walk along the river - and we did great! Not only did she not have any aggression incidents, she's now getting to the point of going toward people to meet them. Now we have the other problem, the Vizsla Full Body Greeting which involves a great deal of jumping and spinning. We still  have work to do - Pearl doesn't like other dogs besides Charger and she especially doesn't like small toy dogs. As we were coming back from our walk I could see a family with the preteen boy walking what appeared to be a snarling hairball. Pearl started growling and bouncing so I did what I usually do which is grab the back of her harness and give it a little shake and say "No Barking!". Unfortunately for the yarn tangle with eyes I accidently hit the release of the harness and Pearl The Snake was out! She's VERY fast, have I ever mentioned that? She circled around the back but allowed me to get ahold of her collar - thank goodness as we can't afford for her to have such an expensive meal this month! And like most genetically altered Hamster/Dogs this one was no exception and obviously had never been acquainted with the NO BARKING rule. I managed to stuff Weasel-ine back into her shackles and we got by without incident. Tomorrow I'm off to Pittsburgh for an inservice so that should be interesting as I've never been there. And I've started getting ready for Ray's visit, we are so excited!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Reunited And It Feels So Good!

Ta-dah! I've officially lost TWENTY FIVE POUNDS as of this week! David got my winter clothes down this weekend and all of my pants fit, some of them are even a little loose! So - I've cut my hair and lost weight, I did consider trying online dating but I think the Yarn Hater might   disapprove so  I might put that on the back burner. It took me forever, well, since May at least, as I get older the weight I used to drop so effortlessly now feels like I need a blowtorch and chisel. And of the course now the hard part - KEEPING it off. And that might not be too easy,what with the Buckwheat Festival coming up and all. Did I mention Ray will be out for that? David didn't think he was serious but I did and have kept the weekend open. I'm very excited about the whole business. I made stew the other night for the First Day of Fall - everyone was excited about THAT - I've never met two people so crazy for stew. Jackson actually came romping up the stairs to see what smelled so good and then lurked around until it was done. I of course can't eat it, but I do love the smell. There's just something about it that reminds you of the comfort of a warm house in winter, isn't there? And as it happens every year the day after I got all of my winter clothes out and put my summer ones away the tempeture shot up to 85 degrees which sent me digging through all of the carefully folded and packed clothes so they now look like they were put away by schizophrenic on a bad day. Oh well, Happy Fall if you didn't hear me the first time!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy First Day Of Fall!

Whoopee! It's FINALLY FALL! I enjoy the other three seasons, but fall is the best as far as I'm concerned. The leaves are already starting to turn and hopefully they'll be well on thier way when Ray comes out next weekend. I love when the moutains turn yellow, green, red and orange! Ray's coming for the Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood - it's one of the biggest events around here and they've been having it for over 65 years. David is calling him tonight to make sure he's coming and then we'll have to "de-cat" the guest room. They don't really do anything in there but lay on the bed, but Ray is very allergic to cat hair so I have to wash all the bedding and vacuum - and then shut the door TIGHT. It's raining today hard so no hiking today I suppose. I'm on call this weekend but my car has to go into the shop to have the brakes checked out so hopefully I'll get it back shortly. I'm going to Pittsburgh on Thursday to an inservice on Oasis - that's the assessment form for medicare patients that I just cannot seem to get right. I've never been to Pittsburgh so it should be interesting.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

I had a rather happy half day the other day - I was back in Bobtown Pa. Not the most happening place I have to admit, unless you want to shop at the BobTown QuikMart or get your hair done in at Sherril's House Of Beauty which is conveniently located in a single wide next to the above mentioned store. BUT I did get to go back and finish trespassing at the Shinnopin Mining Corperation. I went all the way to the back, I have to admit  I was a bit spooked - I guess all those big empty buildings are a bit daunting. It's a shame how all of them have been trashed over the years, the exteriors are all brick and amazingly well preserved, but the interiors have been looted and ransacked by vandals. When I got to the last one way in the back I saw some food wrappers and cans, but the gallon of water sort of threw me - very few teenagers bring water to hang out. So I scadaddled. Charger is still sneezing but we're giving him the pills anyhow - $60 prescription for the dog he'd better take them! They usually do a follow-up call to see how your pet is doing, but I think they won't be calling here since I left in the middle of his appointment yesterday. Jackson is busy these days, he had a problem in english - when he looked on Edline (that's the schools online page where you can check your grades) he saw he had a D. So he arranged a conference and brought in all his paper work and the teacher has changed his grade to a B - we're really proud of him for taking care of it himself!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Object Of My Infection

Yesterday I went home for lunch to let the dogs out - I hate for them to be in for 9 hours so if I have any patients near I try to schedule them for midday. Charger has been sneezing for the past couple days and I 'd planned on making an appointment today (my half day) - but when I got home he sneezed a few times and there was blood all over his muzzle. Since we 've been through the midnight thing  I called the vet and got an appointment  after 6pm - with the new vet. I should've waited. Not that he's a bad vet - just new and has no time management. We arrived at 6:10 - and waited. And waited. Around 6:45 we got into a room and the new vet came in a bit after. They did the usual but he was so busy I don't think he heard anything I said - the only funny part was when he tried to look into Charger's (aka "Lockjaw's") mouth - the more he pulled the more Charger clamped his teeth together until  he looked like a prissy school teacher. The vet said I guess I won't be able to look so I just reached around and opened Charger's mouth for him, sigh. So he did blood work and said it would be resulted in a few minutes - hmm. I have NEVER waited for bloodwork but I thought it would be done soon. silly me. At 7:40 I got up and took Charger to the front desk to pay my bill - it's not like he's dying and we could certainly wait til tomorrow. when the vet tech came out  I asked for my bill and she got very upset -I told her I was aware they were very busy and I 'd call for the results tomorrow but at this point I'd been there for almost two hours!! and he still wasn't done. And she was argued with me! Then she assured me he would be right out - and disappeared for another 15 minutes. Sigh. She appeared back with meds in hand - Charger's white count was up so he THINKS it MIGHT be an infection. (Insert a very big sigh here). All I know is I sat for over two hours to get a guess and the whole thing cost me $193 for a dog with a bloody nose.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No News Is Good News

I guess I should take a break from pictures of Pearl - but it's been crappy weather-wise so there's not much to take pictures of. David is finishing up a large job today and doing a couple more small ones, this small job business seems to be working out for him. My job has been going alright for the past couple of days and I'm almost sleeping through the entire night. I'm also exercising in the morning and that helps reduce the stress level. I've been walking on the river trail every morning, I have to drop Jackson off at MTech around 7:20 am and that gives me an hour before I have to show up for work. So I walk the trail every morning, it certainly beats sitting in the car. I've heard from Adam a few  times, not much going on in Japan and he seems to be doing much better. And now for the National Week report:

This week is National: Pollution Prevention Week, Singles Week, Dog Week, Handwashing Awareness Week, Spa Week, Recess Week and National Be Nice To Nettles Week.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Walk In The Park

It was very foggy this morning but I am determined to get Pearl past this aggression thing so we did our hour walk by the river. Yesterday went better than I had expected, well, except for when she terrorized the boy scout troop. I guess I won't be looking for her badge in the mail. A friend of mine at work suggested I try flipping her over on her back and yelling NO BARKING!(or whatever the behavior is as she has several, sigh...) at her. It sounds strange I know!! We tried it at home for one of her favorite offenses which is climbing in my lap while I'm on the computer and sending everything flying - and it worked!! So yesterday leash in hand off we went. We had someone walking towards us right off the bat and when she went into battle mode  I flipped her over and screamed NO BARKING in her face. Not only did it work but it also startled the crap out of the poor guy with the fishing pole. I didn't consider that I would look like I was mugging Pearl and it looks far worse than it is. So now when I see someone I let them know I'll be yelling momentarily and why and it seems to work. At least no one has called the police on me yet. The upside of all of this is that although she's still doing it a little, she stops right away and it's not necessary to flip her over most of the time. We did have a run in with a post, I have no idea what she thought it was, but in her world it was dangerous and unpredictable and it took a few minutes for me to demonstrate that it was not going to get her. But she can now walk past people without any problem most of the time and I'm greatly encouraged by it all.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bring It On

I think I've finally gotten everything straightened out at work - for the past 3 weeks, I'd gotten wind that my boss was very unhappy with me. I should've done something then, but she hadn't said anything directly to me - everything I heard was secondhand or a note that I was trying to read between the lines. But I didn't, I just stewed and fretted, couldn't eat, went back to being the 2 AM girl - waking up in an instant panic. I don't know why - I'm usually not like that - given the fact that my world tends to have pretty strict rules and I HAVE to know EXACTLY what you mean at any given time this was not a good look for me. So the other day I went right in there and sat down. (so much for office intrigue...) The whole shibang took about 30 minutes, we have the whole thing worked out, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was of course and the 2 AM girl has gone back to her corner. I am still smarting a little, I wish she had said something directly to me at the start - I can never understand why people do that. It's not the first time of course - there was a huge blow up between me and my Uncle's 2nd wife a few years back - same song different chorus. And after all the nasty emails she sent and how bad she made me feel - to this day I still have no clue what it was I did. It'll always bother me, not knowing how it happened. And it was along the same lines but much worse - she was brave enough to write all of those poisonous notes and talk about me to anyone who would listen - but too much of a coward to come to the phone and speak to me directly. I have pretty much put it behind me, I don't miss her or my Uncle, we were never really that close (which made the whole thing even weirder) but I guess it will always bother me that it DOES bother me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Everyday Is A Day At The Zoo

We have way too many animals. We keep thinking at least one of them might kick off due to age or something, but so far no one has stepped up to the plate. Sometimes it gets difficult - yesterday we both had to work late and Jackson was over Becky's. I managed to get home at lunch and let them out for 1/2 an hour, but then no one was home until 7 pm. Pearl managed to amuse herself by ripping out the last chapter in the book I'm reading and shredding it better than the government ever dreamed of - she truely does have a small and blackened heart. Everyone else was either hanging around the door or the dinner bowls. But I'm home at noon today and then off for the weekend. It's activities out of town this weekend again - there's not one, but THREE major football games at the university and since that's a huge money maker for the town, all the stops are pulled. School was let out at 12:30 yesterday because the busses can't get through the stadium traffic so Jackson went home with Becky. I had to drop off labs after 5pm - what a nightmare! The lab is right down the road from the stadium and I ended up having drive through Sabarton ( a neighboring town) and take all the back roads there. My next job was in Pa which is in the other direction - otherwise I never would've gotten home. For the big games they turn off all the traffic lights and the police direct traffic - and all the charter busses get police escort to the parking areas. If you work at the hospital or in town you need to get a special permit to park - you get used to it. Due to Sept 11th I put off the National list, but here it is -better late than never -

This week is National : Character Counts Week, Poetry Week, Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, Family Week AND Drive Safely To Work Week (which would of course counteract last week's Red Light Running Week)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Halloween Is Right Around The Corner

I know it's not, but it sure feels like it. It's raining today and the temps are expected to drop down into the 60's tomorrow. Mr. Lee of course wears her Halloween costume year around so she's all set. Mick is coming to close the pool at the end of Sept, I wish David had told him to come sooner. I haven't been in it for a few weeks and when I'm not using it, it's just a pain keeping the leaves and alge at bay. Jackson stayed home yesterday, I think he had a little flu or virus, nothing serious but enough to make him feel bad. I've been working like crazy lately, we've hired two nurses but they don't start for another week or so and I've been driving from one end to the other, some days clocking in over 160 miles a day. Today is a half day for me so hopefully I can catch up on things, I was going to take Pearl out walking but with the rain maybe not. A patient of mine knows a dog trainer so if we can't get past this fear aggression thing I might have to do that. It's just such a hard thing - I'm so afraid she'll bite someone out of fear that I start getting nervous the minute anyone comes toward us and I know that's contributing but it's hard for me to relax. We're also working on proving to Miss Thing that WE are the boss, not her. So far I don't think she believes us.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

We're making no progress in the fear aggression department but we've been getting plenty of exercise, sigh. Peal and I went to Cooper's state park to hike today. First we went to the Rock City, it was really hard to take pictures because of overhanging rocks and a canopy of trees - I tried so hard because it was amazing! The paths went between these huge rock walls about 20 or 30 feet high on both sides. The path actually went beyond there but I was afraid of getting lost so we turned back. The difference between state parks on LI and state parks in WV are thousands of acres. On LI if you got lost in Sears Bellows Park you would pop out on the highway. Here if you get lost you'll pop out in Oregon or something. We hiked back to the park and I changed into shorts since it was getting warm out. Pearl doesn't like the bathroom either and I was changing fast because I figured someone would think I was beating her the way she was carrying on. Given the mad way she's been barking at people she would be stuck between a rock and a hard place if someone did come to rescue her, wouldn't she? We drove down to the trail for Raven's Rock and parked. First we ran into two teenage boys that we barked and freaked at. Then we ran into thier parents that she barked and freaked at but they wouldn't be put off and Pearl made friends despite her bizarre activities. Raven's rock was a couple of miles and first we saw a huge rock, but disappointing. Then we went a tiny bit further and it was HOLY SHIT time. You would have to see it to really appreciate the view, I stayed about 20 feet from the edge and my knees still wanted to buckle. And like most other places in WV they assume you'll stick to whatever rock you're standing on and not go flinging off the edge. Pearl sensing the party standing behind her was entertaining thoughts of puppy flinging wisely decided to start hiking back NOW. My legs are already aching and I'm sure I'll be paying for it tomorrow but I'm also sure we'll be back to explore the rest of the park.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Dog Days Of Summer

We've discovered our rather expensive dog has a major defect and I'm at a loss as to what I'm going to do about it. She freaks if anyone walks toward her. ANYONE. You can be black, white, short tall, male, female - she's an equal opportunity barker and flipper outer. If you come up behind her, she's ok. When you pass and are walking away, she's wagging her tail and trying to follow. If you kneel down a bit and put your hands out - you're ok and a friend. We dropped Jackson off at his friend's house and I let Pearl out to meet Craig's dad - she immediately put her hair up, tail down, barking like mad and trying to scramble under the car as fast as possible, she even got out of her collar AND harness! They have dogs so he knelt down and showed his hands and she did a complete 360 - tail wagging and trying to climb him. I've taken her down to the river trail a couple of times, since it's a trail people are constantly walking towards us but she didn't give it a rest. She did calm down a bit near the end of our walk but it was so hot by then she might have been hallucinating or something. I guess I'll just have to keep walking her. Or buy her blinders. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

There's No Such Thing As a Free Education

Jackson has been busy perusing the class ring catalog since it needs to be ordered tomorrow. He's decided on one side (welding) but is up in the air about the other, doesn't know if he wants an initial or an object on the stone, antique or natural, scroll work or smooth,etc. And the prices - sigh. The "value" ring is much less, but by the time you add on the "extras" (oh, you wanted it to say something?) it's pretty much in range with the others. We've talked him out of putting Gymnastics, the French flag or Jesus on the side, as hilarious as it would be now in years to come we've reminded him all he'll ever hear is Why did you do that?! Since all of my first born's senior pictures have him with jet black hair that he decided to dye right before the pictures were taken we think a little harder about these actions. We bought school supplies today too, the bag from Aunt Janet came and the check for half is going out tomorrow, and then he needs all sorts of welding equipment for school, not to mention clothing and shoes. I knew there was a reason I go to work! Anyhoo, Pearl has been a good citizen for two days in a row, we've gotten her (and ourselves) more under control. Of course since she is a vizsla it's hard not to laugh sometimes, like when we came home the other day and she'd eaten an entire bag of Honey Nut Cheerios that David left on the counter. Speaking of David, he had to get his state license, silly thing. He's working on a job for a guy that his neighbor doesn't like him. So everytime David sticks a leg out of the truck, the building inspector who's about as old as dirt and twice as friendly (NOT) comes trotting around the corner. The last time he insisted David get a state license. Here's the process - you drive to Clarksburg and HOPEFULLY the person in charge is not at lunch,the doctors,etc. You take the piece of paper (free of charge) to Morgantown and hand it to another person who gives you a different piece of paper. There. You're done. NOT TO MENTION that since there are an inordianate amount of people in West Virginia that put ADDITIONS on singlewides, use campers as a spare bedroom and sometimes build houses that can be best described as "free form" I found it hard to believe they HAVE an inspector!

Monday, September 4, 2006

Happy Labor Day!

I usually lose track of Labor Day due to the fact that school here doesn't start the day after - it starts in August so the holiday kind of gets lost in the sauce so to speak. I got my hair cut finally yesterday, I've been skirting around it for a month or so, I can't believe it hadn't had it cut for over 3 years! That's the longest I think I've ever gone. Jackson got his blue jeans yesterday - I took him to the Gap because that's where I always used to buy mine. I haven't been in there in years and will not be returning. In the entire store there was not one pair of regular jeans, not one! There was acid dyed, some with artfully ripped holes, an entire selection of ones that came with a little rope belt (for that "survivor" look I suppose), etc and they all started at $50 a pair(the on sale ones). Jackson decided they would make too much of a fashion statement for metal shop so we ended up at Sears who does carry Levi regular jeans and at less than half the price to boot. I've been picking through my winter clothes recently with the sudden drop in tempeture - I hate switching over this soon because I know as soon as I do that, the temps will go back into the 90's and I'll be wearing long pants and a sweater while everyone else is running around in shorts. I think we'll be closing the pool soon, all the lower temps and no sun have dropped the water temps to the low 70's high 60's - that's even a bit chilly for me!

Saturday, September 2, 2006

And Now For The Yarn Part Of The Program

My latest project is coming along as slow as molasses in January due to needle size. Usually blankets are knit on a size 8 to 10 needle - this is done on a size THREE which means I'll probably be nursing home material before it's finished. And I had to buy the needles special because the cable between them had to be a 40 inch span (as opposed to the regular 26) due to size of the blanket. I did finish the sweater which is a cotton yarn, I'm not sure of course what I'm going to do with it, which tends to be the case with just about everything I make. I just like knitting and if there's no specific goal in mind I can use whatever yarn I want and make what ever looks appealing at the moment. I'll have plenty of time over the weekend to knit on it though, I'm off on Monday (hooray!) and there are two things going on. One is the stinking rain. The other is The Thundering Herd is here this weekend from Marshall University - it's not as big as the Backyard Brawl (that would be when Pittsburgh comes to play)but it's up there. Apparently the Mountineers are planning on stomping them, I'm assuming the Thundering Herd has similar plans. But what this all means to us non-football fans is it makes a mess out of town and don't even think of trying to get through it. We're planning on shopping out of town today - Jackson has a change of fashion and is now wanting Levi jeans with of course a hundred little specifications and thing he will not wear. He's also informed he he will be growing a full beard and moustache which should be interesting since he's A)only 16 and B) very blond. I asked him if he was going to grow a beard like ZZTop and he said "who?". Sigh. I am so old.

National Week, Sept 4th - It will be National: Payroll Week, Suicide Prevention Week, Hearing Aid Awareness, Bowling Week, Breastfeeding At Work Week and my favorite, National Red Light Running Week. Stay well and don't get caught!