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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Fine Art Of Decay

Rotting is not necessarily a bad thing. People tend to think it is - if you think of rot you might mention zombies, the Dearly Departed of course, tomatoes past September, things that smell. But here - and a lot of other places decay is just a part of your day. It's such a vast open area you can't possibly begin to think of cleaning it. Leaves lie where they land, dead things gently repose back into the earth, trees fall and soon turn bright green with moss and mold. You can spend hours in my yard and around examining the slow decay - every next thing as interesting as the last. Because after the flesh is gone, there's no smell of course, just ivory brittle bones. The trees turn to gross shapes, no longer resembling their former selves, patterns of moss scattering across new barkless forms. So much of it resembles sculptures, free form and flowing, how much of it don't we see? Parts of the surrounding areas here look like scenes out of a gothic fairy tale, the twisted looming trees, layers of leaves and loam, dank leaves and branches swallowed in the bogs, swollen lifeless things beneath the surface. It's amusing how many people fear death or try to put it off, without realizing just because you don't know what it is - doesn't mean it's bad. Here is something I walk through every day without giving it a second thought, surrounded by the dead on my way to work. Hey! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I most likely would have had more fun if I didn't have to work all the time - but I do so on I go. Kim and Grace got here after having the joy of sitting in traffic - we had all forgotten that this is a get away for most of NY and NJ, especially during the winter so they had a few delays. I made the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and all - and a vegetarian version of the stuffing that got cooked by itself - I may not eat the corpse, but I certainly enjoy the trimmings!! Pearl the Hostess worked over time, even checking on the guests in the middle of the night in case they wanted something (like, to pet the dog perhaps.....) - both Kim and Grace love dogs - and Pearl loves a guest so it was a perfect match. I was back to work yesterday so they went around to the local flea market and Lowes of course, we have a copper chandelier to match the copper back splash - pictures to follow. I also had to see a patient who lives near my favorite LYS, how convenient so I picked up some more yarn. I'll eventually have it all, but I'm doing it one skein at a time. I finished one sock and have started on the other while I ponder my next project. After I got home from work we went out to dinner - we live down the road from a platoon of restaurants so it's easy to go out, we just haven't had the time lately. Kim and Grace left this morning, the weather is starting to get chilly but the sun is out and it's perfect traveling weather. The house in Lake Ariel continues to sit, we go back and forth as to what we're going to do with it. David extended the RE for a couple of months, right now we just don't have the time and hadn't considered what we would do if someone wanted to see it - it's an hour away from here and soon no one will be in the position to be running over there on a moments notice. We too are dragging a bit at renting it - the problem with that is you have to rent it for a year and once it's rented it becomes much less marketable for selling. We'll figure it out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ghosts Of Christmas Present

I've never put the Halloween ghosts away, I don't know why but I just like them too much. So I decided that instead of packing them away I would just change them up a bit, like those geese people have on their front porches. You know, the ones that you can buy Easter outfits, St Patricks, etc - why not ghosts? So I went to AC Moores and bought Santa hats and bows - I think they came out pretty good, don't you? David and I left out early this morning to buy most of the Thanksgiving dinner stuff, I'm glad we got there before ten - when we left the lines were snaking back, kids crying,etc. We went to the new Giant on 611 - it's a bit out of the way but it's new so it's fun to shop there. Pearl was a bit spiteful today and got into the grapes - she flung them all over the house stinking dog. We also had a group of turkeys come up the drive, they're way bigger than you think they are, especially since unlike their freezer dept contemporaries they still have their heads and feathers. Pearl didn't like them much but had great fun chasing them up the trees. They can fly a bit, but they're not very good at it. We have the guest room almost prepared - strangely enough the lower level wasn't as bad with the cat pee, it was mainly in the carpet so with that gone so is the smell. We're leaving the lower end til spring but really, the paneling down here is real wood, not plastic and I think with a bit of polish it just might be keep able. It just goes with the stone wall and the dark dark trim - maybe because I was raised in the 70s (which is when this house was decorated) is why it feels so comforting and homey down here. David has my ellipse set up down here so I can finally exercise, but I have to tell you, I weighed myself for the first time in 3 weeks - and I've lost 4 pounds! I'm down to 142 which I suppose is OK, my GP told me my weight should ideally be between 145 and 148 given my height and body type (he also wrote it down, circled it and showed it to me twice since at that point I believe he felt my diet was going a little too well.....) life is strange. We're having David's brother and his wife Grace for the holidays, they will be the first official guests of the Cat Pee House - and yes, the Hostess is laying in wait.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Can Find My Own Way Home.

I drove home last night without the GPS - I really haven't needed it for the past couple of days but it's a back up sort of thing for me. The morning isn't a problem but at night it's full dark by the time I leave so I just put it on. This weekend I'm taking at least half a day - and doing nothing. We've been so busy lately, it seems like we never stop moving, the 2 AM Girl was in fine form all week, some nights starting early with me. But for the past two nights she's found other things to do and I actually got a full night's sleep which has made life a bit easier. I'm a very bad insomniac and it just leaves me unable to deal with anything. We've had all sorts of issues at work, nothing out of the ordinary but when you're tired all time it suddenly seems unmanageable. We're slowly unpacking, every time you move it seems like you own a mountain of stuff, where are you going to put it all? But over time your belongings either drift into their space or go to charity - we've learned not to give it away too fast because a little further down the road you end up needing it. Hopefully this weekend we can get out and look around, there's so much more here we haven't seen because we've been so busy. We have time though. Adam is trying to get leave for the first week in January which would be super, I hear from Jackson occasionally but he's involved in his high sea adventures - I'm glad he's loving his life. I'll post pictures tomorrow, David finished the back splash and it looks amazing! Over the winter he'll be starting work on the other floor, for now it will have to stay stuck in the 70's

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Short Road Home

At this point I live to go to bed - we are so busy! I'm getting used to the much shorter drive to work, I leave at 7:30 and I'm home before 6 which is a treat - staying late isn't as anxiety producing since I know home is now only 20 minutes away. The deer continue to be pesty creatures, no wonder people are so interested in shooting them. You should see the stupid things, alway peering at you with those big wet eyes, I'm sure they smell. When you go outside they dork about the bushes like you're not supposed to see them THEN they come bursting out like you were doing something and run willy nilly like a bunch of morons - I mean why are they in my yard in the first place?? If they're so afraid they should stay the hell in the woods and quit bothering me. Ha - you've discovered my true nature - I'm a vegetarian because I hate animals. David is planning on starting in on the tile this weekend, he cleaned the stonefire place today and got all that black soot off the front of it. We continue to unpack, it takes so long to find a place for everything. I'm hoping David puts the shelves up in the living room so I can unpack my books soon - I hate having them packed away again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things You Should Know Before You Visit

The baseboard heater in the wee little bathroom works. BUT after about 5 minutes the smell of Hot Pee starts wafting through the air, it is not the most pleasant of amenities.

We have discovered our hot water heater is on a timer - and we don't know how to turn it off. It looks like a big clock looming over the heater and every night at 7 pm it turns off the hot water and refuses to turn it back on until about 5 or 6 am. David I think can bypass it temporarily but can't get it to just cut it out. Bastards.

This place is lousy with deer. They spend all of their freaking spare time skulking around my yard, spying over the fence and hiding in the bushes. I have no idea what their agenda is. They have a forest, they need to play in it.

The cats can be amazingly pesty if you make them stay in the house all the time so the bears won't eat them.

Just when you think you've put everything away, another bin appears. And just when you get it all put away - you can't remember where you put it. It is like a wave of flotsom ebbing and flowing at all times.

You should never throw away the remote that comes with the TV, even if you get satallite TV because you never know when you might move and get cable. We've found 5 remotes and only ONE of them actually works something. The other ones just sort of blink fruitlessly and pretend to do stuff.

You should try to store all your cans in one place because when you move you'll discover so many cans of green beans you'll begin to doubt your sanity.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

If You Want To Know About Your House......

..... ask the neighbors. Our neighbor Pat was over today to say hello and was able to shed some light on the origins of the Cat Pee House. It was never rented - instead it had been built by a couple as their retirement home. Pat knew of them, but didn't really know them. We knew they were amateur animal rescuers from the people that work at the community house, but they had said they only had dogs. According to Pat they actually had around 7 inside cats. When he met them they were very elderly and and soon after the husband passed away. The wife had difficulty maintaining the home, the well eventually dried up and she was down to using a small kerosene heater for heat with no running water, Pat said she was living rough when she finally ended up losing the house. The new well was put in by Fannie Mae and despite that, the house sat empty for almost two years. It's sad how that happens still, even with a country with so much money. So that is the story of the Cat Pee House. We're still moving along, the phone will be in tomorrow hopefully, our cell phones get a very stinky signal out here in the boondocks and as soon as we have time to breath we have to get a new company as Sprint doesn't have any towers in this area. We've spoken to them already and as soon as we get our first utility bill we can end our contract without any penalties. We have cable and Internet and a bed now, last night was awful. We slept on the floor on the guest room mattress which is a full size, not a problem unless you have a house full of stressed out pets that want to sleep with you. I woke up around midnight with Vincent pinning my feet to the bed so I gave him a little push not realizing how deeply asleep he was - he rolled off the bed and hit the floor with a very loud KLUNK - he was fine ( a bit embarrassed I think) but we must've laughed for half an hour. Good think for him the mattress was on the floor. We made another trip back to the house today and then I think one more time for the rest of the stuff and we're in like Flynn for the winter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I had a little trouble getting started today - the task of moving is overwhelming at best. The good thing is we're not moving far this time, the bad this is we're not moving far so I'm not taking any time off. But once we got up and packing, you just keep doing it - we made two trips today so the only things left are the living room furniture, most of the exercise equipment and General Flotsam. Pearl rides in the truck of course quite often so moving her was not a problem, the cats are a different story. Vincent goes along with what every you want, he may protest but he'll do it. Claw is a tough customer most days so David manned the door and I ran out with her howling and spitting and flung her in the car with David quickly shutting the door behind her. I jumped in and proceeded to drive 40 miles with The Howling Feline who only stopped once and that was so she could poop NEXT TO the litter box. Curse her little black heart. I have to say the aroma and the howling made the trip a bit endless, but we're here. We'll most likely spend the rest of the winter rearranging and rearranging again, we have to get rid of the art deco bedroom set and purchase a day bed at some point because the second guest room isn't that big but for now things are good. It'll be easier not having to make the 40 mile trek there and back daily and if Claw gets out of hand I can now simply rub her down with gravy and feed her to the bears. Of course over the next few weeks we'll be wondering about how we accumulated so much stuff and why, although David wonders about the yarn and why we have so much of it daily. Vincent is sitting next to me right now purring up a storm, they'll be in for the winter of course, it would break my heart to lose him. I don't worry about Claw, like a bad penny she ALWAYS turns up.


There are no pictures of the conference because I didn't get a chance to take any. I took my camera, but I drove there in the dark, ran around all day and then drove back in the dark. The conference itself was fun and I really did learn a lot, especially during the feedback session - I even spoke in public! That's a big thing for me because every time I speak in public I worry my face will turn red - and it does because I'm so worried about it. I don't know why, maybe it's clown related, maybe not. Anyhow, the big problem is I sit there listening to other people talk and wish desperately I could do that, all these great things I could say - and I don't. So I made myself do it, spoke for about 5 minutes and did not die. I think my face did turn a bit red, I could feel it getting warm but then it stopped so to me, that was a bit of a milestone. The food was wonderful, they just feed you all day and I got to meet people from all the offices. I met people from Vermont, Cape Cod, Hyannis, and other people I hadn't seen in awhile. This weekend David and I are making a major effort to move. It's been pretty difficult because this is the first time we've moved that we haven't had time to simply move. I usually have a couple of weeks off and the house even if it needs work it's usually livable - this has been an entirely different can of worms. So, I suppose if I'm moving I should get out of bed and maybe even get dressed. Hmm. What do you think Vincent? A few more minutes in bed? Alright, just for you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Road Trip

I'm sitting in my hotel room in Mt Laurel NJ, I have a day long conference. I do enjoy them, it's a good chance to meet people from the other offices, you learn tons of stuff and of course it's a change of pace. The thing I don't like is I have to leave right after work so I end up sitting in every traffic jam on earth. Mt Laurel is just outside of Philly and I left work a little before 5 pm so it took a good almost 3 hours to go about 95 miles which pretty much sucked. I get a bit overwrought at times since we all know my general level of patience is maybe a .05 or lower and it being dark and unfamiliar certainly doesn't add to enjoyment of it all. Driving through a city and not being sure of where you are can be a little scary - I drove by myself this time because it would've taken too long to drive back to Pittston to carpool. Ellen and Laurie didn't get here until 9 pm so we had a late dinner and didn't get back to our rooms til 11 pm. So here I sit, waiting for it to be time to go, right after I'm heading back home and then this weekend we will be moving into the Cat Pee House, David is completely stressed out at this point but he'll calm down once we are in there. The driving back and forth is killing him, it's an eighty mile round trip and that doesn't include all the trips to Lowes, Home Depot, etc. I have to say this is the biggest project we've ever undertaken - not sure if he'd do it again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Wish I Had Gotten Out Of My Own Way.

Today was a long day, I was alone in the office and the phone rang nonstop until I turned it off at 3 and flipped it over to the home office as I was getting a little whiny. I also had a fairly interesting look going, I'm not sure if I even want to talk about this. Years ago I would despair with my younger son Jackson - he was a literary of bizarre accidents. He stepped off a bulk head and fell 8 feet playing blindman's bluff by himself, there was the throwing knife incident which required a huge amount of sewing, gouged under the eye by a miniature french bulldog ( I remember the poor owner who walked him home half in tears and me just sighing, since Jackson thought he looked super cool) on and on. He gets this from me. Yesterday Pearl brought her dumb stick to me once again. I went to throw it hard - and far - sigh. It got caught in my sleeve, swung around and the little pointy thing sticky out of the side pounded into my forehead. I can't remember anything bleeding so much, it just poured and poured. Despite my putting ice on it there is an interesting swelling right above my left eye with a nice cut. Hmm. So for today I followed the Clinton Method - Don't ask, don't tell - I took the 5th because quite honestly, the truth is a little to stupid too tell in this instance. And rather hilariously,even though I could see everyone could see it, no one was brave enough to ask.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Can't Get Out Of My Own Way

This has been a horribly stressful week - both David and I have been running and going nowhere fast. Work was bad, but I know a lot of that was because we're in the middle of moving, one of the nurses went on vacation, and I remain sick. It's hard to get better when you are constantly on the move, but right now there's nothing to be done for it. I had to work half the day yesterday - I also had to draw blood which I haven't done for almost a year. To add to the fun the place we get our phlebotomy equipment has a safety feature on the butterfly. When you hit the button the needle shoots into the cuff rendering it safe - and useless. I managed to hit the stupid button on four of them before I ran out of supplies and had to run out to my car for more - thank goodness I had the foresight to pack extra! ARRGH. I was glad the involved party was sweet and patient, if it had been a crabby patient I would've lost it. I thought I would have to drive to a far hospital but the family knew where all the local labs were so I was able to drop it off in town and then go to one of my favorite LYS. The yarn I made the shawl out of they still had - and still 20% off so I bought it in a burgundy - $33 for 3 skeins and that was on sale!! Given the fact a visit on the weekend is $35 that would make my total intake for 3 hours was 2 dollars, not bad for a day's work. I wanted to buy more as I don't think they're getting anymore after this - it's hand dyed from Chili so I had to buy enough to totally complete a project as if you run out, too bad. So If bought the other two colors I would've had to spend $99 and there are just some things you cannot get by the Yarn Hater. And he doesn't care if it was hand dyed by Fairies and Gnomes at that price. Today David and I went to the Cat Pee House, David has started painting and it looks great. The downstairs is still Dark and Dismal and the ship on a mirror it turns out is glued quite firmly to the wall. Well, didn't we plan for posterity! But we are going to start moving in by the end of the week - we have a stove, water, heat, cable, Internet, phone will be in a week or so - David is going to get the floor down in the kitchen and dining room, put up some shelves and call it a day for now.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The week is sort of over - but I'm working tomorrow and playing catch up on Sunday so I'm at the point of one day just rolling into another. Thanksgiving is racing fast - David is in charge of that. Kim and Grace will be coming to spend it with us so that will be nice - Pearl of course will be hostessing her head off and we will be in the Cat Pee house by then, despite some delays and miscalculations. As much as we think it's taking forever, it's really not - we just think it should have been done yesterday, David looking at that mammoth task and saying, Hmm, about two weeks I think. The Internet and the cable are in, phone is next week along with the furniture, water filter is functioning as is the dishwasher, its getting there. It will be livable, over the winter finishable. House is not rented yet, but we have a little time - we're being picky. Well, I'm being pickier since we're still selling it - David gets on the phone with Harry and I'm yelling. No pets! No smokers! No kids (David was wondering if they could use the bathroom), but we're between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to leave it sitting empty but we still need to sell it so it needs to stay nice. Work has been very stressful right now, we're at the point of fish or cut bait, it's been a hard sell in that area. And of course being sick all week just makes it harder, I'm tired and short of breath all the time, I just want to sleep. I do feel better and I get better ever day but I'm tired of being sick.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 567 - I am Still Sick.

The flu is one of the stinkiest things to get - at least if you get one of those 24 hour jobs you get sick - and then you're done. Finished. After a fun filled weekend running fevers and hacking, then my head stuffed up. Then it drained - if you could sell snot I would be a millionaire. THEN it went into my chest and now I'm losing my voice. I guess I've gotten a lot of bang for my buck. Work has been busy, but interesting. I got my associate back part time and am getting another one, I'm scouting for a full time RN, always looking for therapists, having a mock audit in December, conference in Mt Laurel NJ next week, Disneyland - courtesy of Bayada!! - in March, staff meetings are now once a week, running running. We got more presents from Bayada today for another billing record - now I have to get the staff under control. Oh, and I started the heel on the sock which I LOVE the color which is either Hot Peppers or Chili Peppers - I can't remember which la la la. The temps are starting to get sneaky cold - I go to work in a sweater and freeze my way home until the heat comes on - Vincent goes out long enough in the morning to see if there's anything worth killing and then spends the rest of his day snoring away on the bench with the little afghan on it. The Cat Pee House is coming right along, David had a hard and not so productive day today - he's getting down to the details and you know how that goes -it's always the little things that will get you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Daylight Savings Time

Pearl woke me up a little after 5 this morning, she's not very subtle when she wants out. She lays directly on top, whuffing in your face and whining in your ear. I coughed, wheezed and groaned, but she was not buying what I was selling so I got up and found my shoes. Even though the clock in the bedroom said 5, the clock in the kitchen read 4 am - I peered at it rather intently but it still said the same thing, even when I looked away quickly and then looked back. Then I remembered it was one of those clocks that resets itself automatically (I've caught it doing that on occasion - it's very unnerving) and that we are now officially on Daylight Savings Time. It's almost winter my friends. We'll be in the Cat Pee House soon, David figures another couple of weeks. Of course he has to get the phone, Internet and cable up and rolling - I REFUSE to go through that again. You know, every once in awhile I read about those people that get rid of the TV, the phone, the computer, etc and they talk about how "freeing" it is - they're either on drugs or flat out lying. It is NOT freeing or relaxing, it's like being trapped on Gilligan's Island with no relief in sight. We had that experience here - stupid Verizon took a full month to get out here, thank goodness Direct TV got out here sooner than that or I would have chewed a leg off. You feel like you have no idea what's going on, you can't write to anyone, it sucks and the cell phone reception in this area is not dependable enough to only have cell phones. I'm posting the last pictures of the shawl, it was packed and mailed yesterday - I restarted the sock on a smaller size DPN and it can now be used by normal people. At least it was just a sock and nothing big. It seems like half my projects end up being restarted at some point, a lot of it has to do with the fact that I never do a gauge swatch - which most likely would take much less time that re knitting things. But since I knit all the time I think I'll skip the gauge swatch and continue to take my chances, we all have to get our cheap thrills somewhere.