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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Winter continues, I feel a little silly buying Halloween candy while outside it looks like we need a string of christmas lights and holly. I let the cats out for a little while this morning, we are going to try letting them out early before we go to work for the winter. I can't see having them stay out all day, at least not during the cold weather and them still being fairly unfamilar with the area. Ray is coming out this weekend but on Saturday as he worries about his house during Halloween. Back to work was a bit of a march, but if you take a week off it always is. My laptop sits next to my desk collecting dust at the moment but that will change in a few months after they get on the new system. David did return the generator yesterday, it just wasn't worth it as the reason we needed it (the well) was the one thing we can't use it for. We'll just buy some more plastic containers and keep them filled as according to EVERYONE around here it's not unusual for the outlying areas to be without power during the winter for hours on end. David was talking to Cecil back in WV about it yesterday and he said Bertha was in the back yelling "you can come home now" - some days I still wish I could.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eek! Instant Winter

Sorry about the mishmash of pictures but you can only put four on as far as I can see so I try to pick and chose. I don't know if you can put headers on them either, but at least I can put them up now. We had a rather unpleasant day yesterday, the electric putzed out around 11:30 - and of course we forgot to fill the tub. David had filled two containers but when the electric still wasn't on at 3:30 we did start to worry. David went out and bought a generator but we may end up returning it. The heat is no problem, we have a ventless propane heater in the dining room that does a surprisingly good job of heating the whole house - but the water pump has no plug (it goes straight to a panel) so David would have to create a plug which could lead to trouble. Anyhoo, the electric finally came back on around 7 pm so we had water. The snow stopped last night and it seems to be starting to melt, I would say we got about 4 or 5 inches altogether. We heard from Jackson in the wee hours this morning, he was waiting for his plane to take him to Mississippi, they woke them up at 1 am for the bus and they were sitting at the airport so we got a call around 5. He sounds good and ready for his next adventure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Dreaming Of A White....Halloween???

Well, I don't know about your neck of the woods, but mine is buried in snow. It's not some little dusting either, it's about 3 or 4 inches SO FAR and is still coming down. It's wet and heavy and we have also discovered something new about satellite TV and it is not a good thing. If there is snow on the dish the picture doesn't come in. So you have to get a ladder and a broom and brush off the snow. Repeat as needed. The other thing that is coming into play is the well. The electric has flickered off and on a couple of times this morning and the Well Of Memory has come back, precisely that if there are no lights there is no water. So we now have a few containers filled just in case. I'm glad I took an extra day off of work, the original reason was that due to current events I'm very behind in things I need to do and took the extra day for a catch up sort of thing. But with the snow at the moment I'm stuck in the house, but I will be taking my car out for an experimental drive just to see. Pearl of course is enjoying the snow, she runs like a loon back and forth sliding and carousing like nobody's business. The cats on the other hand of are a different opinion - we did finally let them out yesterday on thier own. I figured since we're home it would be a good time to do it and they were in and out, a little nervous but enjoying it. Thier adventures have been cut short by the weather, they can go out and did but came back in shortly, but in the greater scheme of things I sort of prefer the short jaunts for now. Pearl is a bit skinny at the moment, the people at the kennel said she barked constantly and they pretty sure she didn't sleep - I don't think she ate too much, but she'll recover.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In The Navy

What a great time we had, I have to say it was one of our more memorable vacations. I took tons of pictures of course, but the ones I wasn't allowed were the ones I wish I had. When we were sitting in the parking lot waiting for Jackson's unit I was watching all the new recruits. All dressed perfectly in their uniforms, looking so much like young men. But as they came around the corner you could see the anxiety in their eyes as they looked for their moms and dads and the relief when they were spotted, the others retreated to the sidewalk to wait in a group, scanning each car as it went by. We took Jackson to the mall as requested, most of the base was there, back on more familiar ground for them. This is a major transition period for them, a few people came up to Jackson and shook his hand and thanked him for serving our country (how cool is that!) and he looked so grown up, but he's not so grown up that we didn't get dragged to the Safari tour to look at the snakes. He played the video games at our hotel - they were old ones but any port in a storm as they say. The next day we couldn't spend the entire day, he wanted to go back to the mall - we ran into his friend from the base and they were doing something in the afternoon so we headed off for an early lunch. We could've spent an a little more time with him but I didn't want him to miss an afternoon out - he was a little anxious as we didn't spot them but we headed down to the other cafe and there they were. We hugged goodbye and my last look of him was Jackson heading off to his friends eagerly for whatever adventures planned for the last afternoon of liberty. I miss him, but I'm glad to see he's doing well and enjoying his new life. We headed off to the airport, we ended up sitting but it was alright because there's plenty to do there. We got in late and then there was the VERY long drive home, we arrived about 1 am, threw the suitcases on the floor and headed to bed. This week is looming large and we now have a new set of spanky bills to pay, but this is it for awhile. We are going to ground and staying there for a few months. At least.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Well, he's all graduated. We had to be there really early - I had called Janet's cell phone to make sure they knew but I had a small faux pas. I forgot to use her new number in my speed dial. But they hurried and we were at the base by 7 am. We snaked our way around and were seated by 8am for a 9 am graduation. All I can say is I'm glad we didn't dally or bring any extra people because they wouldn't have gotten in. The graduation was great, love the navy band! and as you can see from the picture Jackson has changed drastically in the past two months. He looks wonderful and is all Navy This and Navy That.  He had watch at 4 pm which was a little disappointing, David and I will be here for his liberty but Janet and Diane are leaving this morning so they didn't get to spend as much time with him as they wanted. But we had a wonderful afternoon  - we went to lunch and Jackson got his beloved bacon cheeseburger and then after we drove around the super ritzy part part of Gurnee Illinois by the lake. We went back to the base and Jackson picked up his pictures that we will be trollying home on the plane along with the Ginormous frames he bought. Then he ran off for  4 o'clock watch at 2:45, so worried about being late. This boy that 6 months ago we we screaming out of bed every morning, Mr Five More Minutes. The change the navy makes in these boys is overwhelming, he is an instant adult. He's still Jackson though, but we're glad he's doing so well and loving his life - what more can you ask?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

David and I are not big travelers. I mean we're pretty good Get In The Car And Go people and fairly hot stuff with our GPS and maps. But the airport, the plane, the arrangement with the animals, the rental car - well, that's just asking for a big fight, isn't it? The thing that pushed things over the edge was the long term parking at Newark airport - which in itself is NOT clearly marked. Not kidding - the first sign we saw for it was the one saying it was indeed the airport. It's a big circle of roads and we kept following the signs for parking - and ended up back at terminal A. We stopped and asked a cop who apparently felt he should not be forced to answer such mundane questions but did - the we had to pull over AGAIN as the parking (not kidding) is TWO MILES from the highway and of  course not marked. Fortunately we had left very early as we've never been to Newark and I like to leave plenty of time for any Untoward Events. Then we went to check our bags in and not only were they a couple of pounds over but David's ATM card was not functioning. So we charged the $30 to our VISA and from there everything else went as scheduled. We got jacked at the rental car, you know they quote you a price and then when you get there it's did you need insurance, GPS, an upgrade, four tires - all at a nominal fee. We managed to get out of there with our underpants, but barely! This was balanced out by the fact we weren't aware we could get a navy discount and paid half of what I thought we would.  So we went out to dinner and then did a spin around the mall which is only a mile down the road. I'm sure we'll be able to take Jackson there. I'm so excited that we'll be able to see him tomorrow,even if it's only for a short period of time. Janet and Diane are going to be coming in tonight and then we are off to the base in the AM. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The picture thing on this is driving me crazy - I hate that you can't just access your pictures, you have to go from file to file to find them and then they have to be uploaded. I'll get the hang of it eventually, but right now I have neither the time nor patience. I've got a full schedule of patients today, the only thing that's throwing me is of course the area itself. I use my GPS constantly and am starting to recognize roads, I drove the backway home last night without using it and yesterday made to a patient's house with no assistance at all. The only downfall is you need a road name - and like anywhere else that you live for a long time people tend to "just know" where roads are. I have one patient on my agenda this morning that the nurse that goes there has no idea what the road name is and I can't get it to come up on map quest so I'm a bit stressed on that. In other news David finished the deck out back, I'll take a picture of it when I get a chance although the chances of anyone actually seeing it are about 50/50. Pearl and I trotted up and down the stairs a few times yesterday to test it out and it'll be nice to be able to come in and out the back instead of having to run around the house all the time(this house had no back door but has two front doors about 15 feet apart, I don't know either). Vincent is busy being a pest, we're not letting them out until next week so he spends his free time playing whether you like it or not. He joined me in the shower this morning, he pattered around the edge of tub and played with the shower curtain, I was just waiting for him to fall in. The weather has turned cold suddenly so we're frantically digging for scarves and gloves - brrr!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to the new location - how about you guys? The picture thing is a pain in the butt and I have to sign in to blog, but other than that, things are not so bad. I like the snappy polka dot pattern, it looks a lot like one of my favorite knitting bags. Anyhoo, I was back to work today, I had to ask for MORE patients, this close by thing is so hard to get used to and there is only so much sitting and spinning in my nifty chair at my desk I can do. Since I'm used to covering hundreds of miles a week I'm pretty economical with my day and am hyper organized at all times. So,  I drew labs for another nurse, did 4 patients, finished my paperwork and followed up labs for the other nurse and was still done on time. I got my first paycheck and it was ok! I'm still trying to get my feet under me in other areas of my life but working helps a great deal. It makes me feel like there are at least 8 hours that are normal.  The other joy in my life at the moment is the Direct TV - it is so Whoo Hoo! Still obsessed with scary movies, we watched The Ring last night and I made sure the guest room door was wide open when I went to bed because that way there would be no where for that damp sticky dead girl to hide if she happened to wander in here. And it never fails - did you ever notice that the second you turn out the lights and it's super dark and scary that's when you have to go to the bathroom? 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moving sucks.

As we all know, AOL is closing it's journal site - I've been putting off the migrating thing, because my computers skills are fairly limited. I can push the right button if positioned directly in front of my face, but anything after that is a gamble. So this morning I bit the bullet and migrated almost 5 years worth of blogging - that's a lot of writing. Four moves, five houses, multiple jobs, multiple pets, here, there, births, deaths, graduations, coming and going. All kept track of on my journal. The one thing they're working on and I'm hoping they fix are the migration of the pictures as I've deleted a lot of them from my computer once they're on the journal. so we shall see how this all works out. In other news the pets all did well while we were away, we were a bit worried about how Miss Pants would react to the kennel. She was OVERJOYED to see us, but she hadn't lost any weight and the owner described her as "very energetic, isn't she?" so we will feel a little better about going to Chicago. Cats stayed home and it was nice having someone to come and feed them and keep an eye on the house. I'm back to work tomorrow, hopefully there will be a paycheck waiting for me - it's been too long since I've seen one! I will celebrate of course by ordering from Knitpicks as they are having thier bi-annual 40% off all books sale AND there is some yarn I have my eye on.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What I Like About Pennsylvania

Life has been a bit of a challenge lately, hasn't it? I've had very far and few days that I've felt like I'm on an even keel and not living in dread that something will flood, explode, disappear, or just plain make me crazy. I'm trying not to complain (although that is my nature) but some days that silver lining is too deeply buried in the cloud for anyone to find. But there are some things that I do like about our new home.

Wegmans - Holy crap. Wegman's is like the cadillac of supermarkets, if you've ever been in one you know what I'm talking about. You can find anything you need from imported Monestery cheese (which is alright if you enjoy eating something that smells like old gym socks) to tilapia. We took Ray the last time and he was uber - envious.

Well Water - the downside of having a well of course is if the electric goes out you have no water. The upside though is crystal clear water with no chlorine or chemicals in it. I can use my Brita water pitcher without the filter.

The Leaves Of Course - doesn't even look real most days. I'm going to be doing more visits for work and have my camera ready at all times. Just driving around to the supermarket and back is awe-inspiring.

My Closets - they have little light switches and everything! My entire stash along with my various bags and so forth all fit into one.

Satallite TV - the channels will confuse you but I'm getting the hang of it. They even have a horror channel that plays all my old favorites (Tales from The Darkside, Friday the 13th The Series). When Ray discovered we had a huge amount of sports channels I thought I would have to crowbar him out of his room

Pizza - you have no idea.

The Cheesecake Factory - ditto.

The Distance - no longer having that 12 hour drive makes quite a bit of difference. Realizing you can pick your relatives does too!

So it is getting better, a step at a time


Friday, October 17, 2008


Funerals are such odd creatures, aren't they? In the movies everyone is moping about the church, sleepwalking with grief in thier heavy black clothes - but they're not anything close to that, are they?  Not to say there was no crying or grieving, but it's more a renewal of family bonds, grasping how much someone impacted your life even though you didn't know it sometimes - and realizing things you thought were such a big deal and upset you so much are in reality, nothing more than a blip on your radar. That Liz is important to me and always will be - she'll be there when the tough times are steamrolling through and she'll be there when there's a good sale and she's steamrolling over me. We'll always have that friendship strengthened by 3 generations of family behind it. The Schnieders have been my steps for almost 20 years, do you realize Rick was in high school when he first became my stepbrother and he's now married with 4 children? Aunt Maryann is still wonderful (and still my favorite aunt) and I'll always know it's her laughing,even from across the room. I was so glad I made it home for Grandpa's birthday, we all were - that we were able to celebrate together before we grieved together. The funeral was wonderful - smaller than we thought as most of Grandpa's family and friends have passed on before him. It made me wonder on the way home - what happens now? Even though we didn't think about it, Grandpa was a focus in the family, he was the one we came home for, made sure we visited everytime, the person impossible to buy for but we kept trying. He was the one who had a story for everything and advice to go along with it, who could discuss everything from how to smoke a lamb to how to clean a gun, the person who would eat all your watermelon - the person I toted a glass bowl of ice cream with a real spoon to the hospital ( in July!) for because he needed a decent bowl of ice cream and not to leave the gallon because the damn nurses would eat it. I miss him, but I think as the holidays approach I'll miss both of them more. There will be times and days that will be worse and some will be better - I'll never see an american water spaniel without thinking of him or see a row of boats without that fleeting thought.  I know he's in a better place and is not suffering, but I get so tired of saying goodbye lately.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Seas Of Change

I heard from Adam the other day - he finally got his mail so he has his birthday cards. He went over to John and Carleen's for his birthday and they had a cake and dinner for him. He was so touched by this - even as an adult it's hard to celebrate your birthday by yourself and he truley appreciated it. David and I are busy packing and so forth, this has just been a crazy couple of months and hopefully will level out after Jackson graduates from bootcamp. Work has been going well, despite the fact I'm taking off more time than I'm spending at work these days! but that's just the way things go. I'm no longer on salary - they pay by the hour and that is very hard to get used to. My other job when I was done I was done, here when I'm done I'm required to go in the office and hang out until 5 pm which is sort of bogus in my opionion. I pass the time by helping out the supervisor with phone calls and paperwork and I try hard not to bother anyone. I asked to be put on a full schedule, the driving here is nothing compared to WV - the furthest patient out is about 20 miles - and that's unusual! Yesterday my total milage for 3 patients was under 20 miles, unbelieveable!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Circle Grows Smaller.

It just doesn't seem real so far - I know in my head Grandpa has passed on, but I just don't feel it yet. Most people in my age group don't have grandparents, the fact that I'm on the closer side of 50 and still had a grandfather is pretty amazing. That tight feeling my chest is back again, it's ok then I remember and it squeezes right down when I think of how it will be. I know Grandpa has been failing, but he was here, wasn't he? When I saw him last he went in and out but for brief shining moments he was there, laughing about our hunting dog and asking about David. I am so glad we got home for his 90th birthday, that for once we were all together like it used to be. And of course his passing on has brought back memories of Grandma and the house in East Quogue - the joy we had there as kids, everyone there for birthdays and holidays, just stopping by to say hello. The past has for me in the last few months has become a difficult thing to deal with, I've had to say goodbye to my home, my last child, my job  and now one of my remaining grandparents. I know it's the natural order of things and I am so glad I had all this time with him, but right now that just doesn't make it any easier.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Think I Actually Have Enough Yarn. Not.

I've been exploring the area here and there as time allows, earlier in the week I came across a flier advertising The Christmas Tree Store which sells of all things, yarn. I got off a little early and toodled down there - it's a huge store that actually sells not only christmas stuff and yarn - but linens, cleaning supplies, seasonal decorations, toys, furniture, a little bit of this and that to be exact - and pretty discounted. I finally located the yarn - it's not a lot but they did have Lion Brand Suede in fairly decent colors (part of the problem with bargain yarn is it's cheap but has a tendency to come in neon orange or be some strange novelty yarn). As I started to load up on it ($1 a skein as opposed to $5 in other stores) it suddenly dawned on me - I had absolutely NO use for this yarn. None. Nada. It was too heavy for a sweater, I would need a cart to buy enough for an afgan and there is a limited amount of ponchos you can make. And can you believe I actually put it back?? I know! Neither can I. Hmm. I suppose it had to happen someday but not so soon. But since I have a knit picks catalog and they are having a sale I think I will recover in a fairly timely fashion. Anyhoo, we have a few things on the boards today, I have to go "de-cat" Ray's room, my car is going to be inspected today and I have to organize for Monday. The weather this weekend is supposed to be really nice and the fall leaves are brilliant - whoo hooo!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy Week.

Yes, I know, I know!! that AOL is closing thier journals yada yada yada - I still have until the end of the month so keep your pants on. I've been quite busy lately with work, just like if you don't exercise it's pretty hard when you start back up again, work is the same deal. Due to delays in selling the house and being ill, my couple of weeks off ended up stretching into about 5 or 6 weeks off. It's not so much the work that gets you, it's the lack of time -  by the time I swing in the door and get the dog walked, the mail in, the cats fed, etc it's 8 pm and  I feel like I've accomplished not much at all. Once I get to know the area things won't be quite so bad, as a visit nurse you can get quite a few errands done in between patients if you plot them out right but for now I feel like I've won the battle if I can just find my way back to the office! The job is going well, I've been off of orientation for a couple of days and am seeing patients, they did honor my request not to give me a full day for awhile until I get my feet under me. And of course I had the Snowball Effect Patient today - you go in for one simple thing and the next thing you know the doctor's office is involved and you're running stat labs and making all sorts of phone calls. It's just a little bit more cumbersome since I had to call the office to find out where the closest lab was and I'm not familar with any of these doctors at all. So the reduced schedule is fine for now as it takes twice as long to do everything it seems. and it doesn't seem to be a problem though because when I'm in the office I help with the paperwork since I'm very familar with it. Pets are fine, we met with the pet sitter the other night who is very nice and will be looking after the cats for us. Claw was disdainful but Vincent insisted on acting as if the petsitter brought a knife and fork with her - he's such a scardy cat!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gainfully Employed

I had my first day at work- it was a bit confusing for all parties involved. They've never had anyone come from another office which put me on equal footing as I've never been employed by another office either. Since it's the same outfit they could use a lot of the stuff I did when I started at Interim, I'm familar with most of the paperwork, they just started with thier new computer program so they have to learn it before they teach it to me so I spent a bit of time reading the newspaper and pottering about. The only blip in the radar was when the person doing the orientation decided I DID need to retake the drug test (even though I scored 100% on the last one) - the test is pretty standard and I'm generally ok with it if I know I'm going to be taking a test. However, as we all know surprises and I don't get along very well - so when she went back through my paperwork, looked up and then said "gee, I think I should have you take a test" and then handed me a 30 question drug test to take cold and right now, I had instant test anxiety. I did pass it, but didn't appreciate it. The rest of it was alright though, I'm going to have my own desk and they give you a laptop! and I'm going out with a nurse today on visits. I think they would give me a longer orientation period but I just want to get back to work. In other news the people that bought our house in WV have looked all over and there is no sign of my coat anywhere - and it's my good coat of course. So we think the good coat might be at Goodwill, sigh, of course it had to be THAT coat, didn't it? It couldn't be the coat I bought for $20 in the Kingwood thrift store or the one I keep toting for no reason at all. My winter boots are also gone along with a few other things I'm sure as it was all packed in a box. Oh well, off to work.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This house has very large, very old pine trees out front. The problem was they were not only blocking the sun but they weren't in the greatest of shape - all the branches on the bottom were dead and the rest weren't looking so hot. So David decided to take 3 of them down, not an easy task since we live on the road. But he did it and now it looks so much better. Of course now he has to deal with the branches and so forth, he's piling them outback and then will rent a chipper in the spring after they've dried out a bit. I've been busy just pottering about this weekend, the satallite tv is pretty neat - they even have a channel devoted to horror movies 24/7! The weather has been pretty crappy so there's not a whole lot to do outside, well aside from wreaking havoc on the local fauna. The mushrooms are finally fading, with the cooler weather coming in I knew that would happen. I got my new license plates and now have to get my car inspected AGAIN even though it was just inspected in August. I'm working on the sweater, I'm glad I bought all that yarn as doesn't go as far as I thought it would. I heard from the people in WV, they haven't come across my coat so it's either here somewhere or it got misplaced - since I don't have it both of those options suck. I start work tomorrow!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


The weather really turned much colder last night, when I took Pearl out this morning the grass was a tiny bit frozen. There are no street lights here at all, David can't understand why I don't want the lights on when I take her out - but in the dark here, you can see the stars so clearly - it's astounding and breathtaking. The Big Dipper was out the other night and it was so huge and so close you could almost touch it. I wish I could take a picture of exactly what it looks like, but I can't you will have to wonder. Anyhoo, I got my next knitting project off the ground, it's a hooded sweater with allover cables. I have the pattern set so it's hopefully smooth sailing from here on out. I got the yarn at Big Lots - if you haunt them from time to time you can get some boffo yarn for next to nothing. I got Elite Premire yarn for a song - I looked it up on the internet and it usually runs about $5 apiece, I got 20 skeins for $20. I didn't exercise this morning as my legs are a bit sore, it's funny how you can exercise every morning but if you stop even for a little while your body forgets and you have to start all over again. David and I went out to the chinese buffet again last night, I think that will be it for awhile as we are in danger of Overdoing it. I'm starting to look foward to work on Monday, there is only so much you can do to amuse yourself and since I no longer have being sick to occupy my time it leaves me with a bit too much time on my hands. I did sign up at the local library which is very tiny, but they had the latest bestsellers and a knitting club on Wednesday which I'll try to make - it runs from 4pm to 5:30 so if I have patients in the area I just may be able to catch the tail end once in awhile. It's not much but it's a start. We met a couple more of the neighbors, they have a cute baby who may end up on my knitting list and they are very nice of course. They also had the same problems with Verizon that we did, it seems everyone else has a horror story about them! Oh, and here is Adam's address as he has a birthday coming up on the 13th

SHSN Lester, Adam M, Supply Dept

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN75)


09524-2875 (Box 52)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

That Dark Horse

While looking for my winter coat this morning I finally came across the screws for the livingroom tables which is nice as David put them together before he left for work so I no longer have to guard my glass on the floor. The bad news is we never came across my coat which leads me to suspect I might have left it in WV so I'll have to contact the people that bought the house and hopefully it's there. I finally resolved the job situation after long and careful thought which was NOT performed while walking Pearl. I had thought I could ponder the pros and cons while admiring the fall leaves but just trying to keep Pearl in line takes any and all thought so I had to ponder on the elipse. I had decided to go with the agency I interviewed with on Tuesday but out of nowhere Interim called on Wednesday with a slightly higher salary, a much lower benefits payment and decided they wanted me full time instead of per- diem. The other deciding factor was the on call, both of them are once a month but Interim it's only a 40 mile radius as opposed to a 6 county radius from the other office which is 30 miles from here. I still had to think about it, gone are the days of impulsive behavior as it tends to lead to more trouble than it's worth. So I called Interim back this morning and accepted the job which I'll start on Monday. I called the other agency and talked to Paul who then said if he knew there was competition he would have been "much more aggressive with the salary offered"  - ARRGH. But I don't know how much more aggressive and it still doesn't change facts. But he did say if Interim didn't work out to call and they would be more than happy to hire me - works for me. The weather turned last night and there is a definate chill in the air (hence the Wintercoat Hunting), the rain is just making it chillier. I guess I'll have to make plans for my last weekend as a free person!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How It's Going So Far

Well, I still miss Jackson a lot and I'm still homesick - but I'm down to crying about once a day and that will pass. I feel better about Jackson now that we've heard from him a few times (he's written a couple of letters) and David has been hanging our pictures and stuff so it's starting to look more like our house every day. He fixed the faucet in the bathroom so that when you take a shower it no longer sounds like whale is trapped in the basement even though that was totally funny and annoyed the cat. Love the new stackable washer/dryer thing, works like a top.  I took Pearl for a walk and saw Larry the neighbor, they have a little west highland terrier and Pearl who usually wants to eat small dogs decided she liked Biscuit and wanted to play with him. However, if you've ever seen a Vizsla play you'd realize that is NOT a good idea and in the interest of maintaining  a good neighbor relationship I kept her on the leash. We're still keeping the cats in for awhile, at least until David put a fence up in front as a diversion from the road. I'm still mulling over my job decision, not much progress there. I'm also still trying to get over some stupid dream I had the night before I left for LI - I dreamed I was carrying a package of raw chicken across the kitchen and  - this is so gross - took a big bite of it! It was so  vivid I could actually taste it and in the dream I spit it out but I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth no matter what I did - and it's still bothering me. Yuck-o-la.