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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ack! Who Turned Off The Heat?

The weather has been cold, but not too bad - 30 and 40's for the most part. Yesterday it took a huge tumble into the low teens so everyone was complaining. And yes, everyone knows its going to happen, but we harbor this secret hope that this year it will stay cold but not freezing. The renter called when I got home last night, she had come home from work to no water. Well. That was not fun, David was on the phone for most of the evening, couldn't find a plumber, he can't really drive at night - the renter knew a plumber but she also was using a blow dryer on the pipes and they were indeed frozen. She finally got them moving, a big relief for us but we were a a little a disconcerted, we'd lived in that house for a year and had never had a problem. So David will be heading over there this morning before work and will wrap the pipes in heat tape. Everyone we talk to seems to just be waiting for the end of the year, lately it's been one stress after another - but I think around the holidays it always feels like that. I don't think that things tend to "happen" at the holidays but I they're just more noticeable. The holidays are supposed to be nonstop fun and photo opportunities so when life goes on and the pipes freeze, the bills come - it's a betrayal, not fair! Speaking of bills, David had a ventless gas heater installed yesterday as we got our first real electric bill - almost $600 for one month and it wasn't even cold. This house is all electric and he'd planned on having the furnace installed during the summer but the gas heater will help until then - they're also good if the electricity gets knocked out as we discovered in the Lake Ariel house. And my car. My car now has 208,000 miles and is starting to show it . When you get that high in mileage, it's a catch 22 because you can't really trade it in, you'll get nothing - but I don't want to put any more money in it. We're hoping it lasts til spring, the idea of car shopping this time of year? A little breezy I think!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The End Of The Year Is Coming Fast

I'm lifting my head and getting out of the house - when I can. It's been hard lately, the holidays are not easy as that is when everyone wants to be off and everyone in the hospital wants to be home - but after the New Year we'll be back to status quo. And of course there's that extra money - I ordered from Knit Picks this morning - whoo hoo, but I'm worth it! It's a new venture and there are bumps here and there - but we're moving ahead. David and I headed out to Bethlehem, Janet and Diane gave me a gift certificate for Wegmans - I know! I know! It's a supermarket but we LOVE Wegmans the way people love Versace - there's the cheese bar, the Foods Of Many Nations - where else can you shop for groceries and pass the sushi chefs?? After that we headed out to Barnes and Noble, I haven't been to a Barnes and Noble since we left WV. I browsed and found a book I'd been dying to read on clearance , we also found the mall - it was a relaxing fun day for once. The weather is beautiful today, in the 40's and sunny, the rain got rid of the snow and the ice. I was a little worried there - rain at this time of year is much worse than the snow if the temperatures drop, I'll take snow over ice any day of the week. I started a new project, yet another shawl, I'm sort of stuck on them for the moment but I think the next project will be a sweater. I'm making it out of that mercurnized cotton yarn from Chili, the green is a little bright but this time of year, I'll take the bright spots where I can get them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hanging At The Cat Pee House.

A friend of ours had a local carver make this for us. When you buy a house from Remax or do business with them they give you a sign with a little carved bear. Because we did business and are now the proud owners of The Cat Pee House AND our friend is also our RE agent, we got a special sign and a cat instead of a bear. Vincent perceives it as a bit uppity but he's a cat and his opinion is not sought after. I've been having a hard time at work, which I'm sure everyone is aware of. If you're not then you can review my Whining and Carrying On section in facebook. Things are starting to look a little brighter, over the weekend I spoke with Kim( Queen of Moral Support and Trouble Shooting) first and Stephen second - Stephen deals with this stuff all the time so his opinion carries a bit more weight than Vincent's. He has a rather unique view and he said a few things, one in particular that stays with me daily - I won't be repeating it here but it certainly made me think and I view things in a completely different way now. All the stress isn't gone, but most of it I realize is simply due to the holidays and like everything related in the medical profession, the holidays are too long, too short staffed and the hospitals are frantically trying to discharge their patients to our already understaffed agencies. It's hard to say no - you know when you do someone isn't going home for Christmas. But it will all be over with in a week or so and then I have a Master Plan - I love master plans, don't you? The fun thing is you can have a Master Plan and then a back up plan - and then there's Plan B in case that doesn't pan out! David and I will be doing nothing for the holidays as far as I know, we'll celebrate later on after things quiet down. We spoke to Jackson, he's in WV visiting Becky and Adam will hopefully be up to see us in the beginning of January - then a few months of winter and BLAM it will be spring.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Hostess Strikes Again

Pearl's greatest joy in life - well, aside from sneaky eating all the cat food - is Hostessing. From the moment guests arrive til it comes time for them to leave while fending off the Hostess - she puts her heart and soul into making sure everyone is properly cared for. She sits, snuggles, hops and nudges - it's quite fortunate she's rather cute and no one seems to mind. We enjoyed showing off the Cat Pee House and discovered the source of the Appearing and Disappearing Ooky Smell (the downstairs toilet needs a new wax ring). The weather wasn't great but we got a Christmas tree and did a little shopping, out to dinner was fun. They had a hard time getting home which stunk - it had started to rain as they left and from Reports From Connie, proceeded to get worse. The four hour ride became a nine hour one, sort of like what happened to Gilligan but not as exciting and no deserted island at the end. I called and tried hard not to call again - Mom finally called after 9 pm, tired and glad to be home. Off to work today, a Shining Example Of Why Welfare Is So Attractive Sometimes - I think the only people that didn't yell at me were god and John Wayne and that's only because one I strongly suspect doesn't exist and the other, well, he's dead. It was a forced march all day, one thing after another, on and on - one issue chasing the tail of another. Throughout it advice from the home office, some wanted, some not, as I get more independent I get more of an opinion. It may not be right, but it's mine. The other back and forth thing is I am not a big phone person. I am a big emailer and texter and do it all day, every day. I can do all three at once - I'm good. My office is constant with it, so I end up emailing the main office and then calling to let them know I emailed (because my staff emails, mine is up all day). Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Evangeline's House

When I was growing up there was a small red house two doors down with a real live white picket fence. It was inherited from her father - Evangeline used it as a summer house at first. She was the wildest thing I'd ever seen, in her 40's, she dated young long haired men exclusively. She drove a baby blue Cadillac - took us to the beach in it sometimes too. She'd let the young men drive and she'd wear this one piece bathing suit with fringe all over it - I thought it was super fancy. Then she came less and less - the house became host to a variety of misfits, looking for a place in this world I think. First it was the two guys in their 20's - the early disco boys that we spent the summer spying on, every night it was a different girl, a party. Next it was Phil - I was 11,12? He was working on the house in exchange for rent and every afternoon he would meet me out by the fence and talk to me about his future. His little girl my age moving out to the clean air. It didn't occur to me until much later on in life that the reason he spoke to me was because no one else would - it was the early 70's and racial equality hadn't hit Hampton Bays, they drove him out. I saw him the day he left, broken and discouraged. Next came Diane Henry and the loudest mom in town - single mother with three kids. My clearest memory of her is her standing by the fence bellowing Diane had better come home RIGHT NOW or she'd turn her every way but loose as soon as she got a hold of her. It probably shouldn't - but it still makes me laugh - that's one of the best threats I've ever heard. The last was Tommy, my life line, my light. He was about 20 or so, I was 14 - one of the kindest gentlest souls, what hippies were supposed to be, but rarely were. He was one of the first people that I reached out to - what a rare gift it is in life to find someone who is willing to listen, no matter what. He knew how much I needed to talk, to tell everything I was never allowed. If I walked by the front and down the side of the house he would meet me in the woods - and I would talk, that was it. And on those afternoons I told him everything, my life, my pain, the terrible things Uncle Joe had done, my fear I would never be anything or be allowed to be an adult. That man embodied the unconditional and I think he gave me hope that someday things would be alright. Maybe not great, but I would find my way - he often told me I was worth something - and sometimes I believed him. The last time I saw him he'd been beaten so badly he couldn't open his eyes. His jaw was swollen, I'm sure his ribs were shattered. A few good boys in town decided they would rather he leave, so when he was able to, he did. I asked him if I could go too, but he gently told me he could barely care for himself, the world was no place for me. I mourned him for a long time, I couldn't talk about him because I wasn't supposed to talk to him in the first place, but I'll always be grateful for his time and his ability to care for someone he didn't even know. After he left, that was it, the house became overgrown with weeds, there was the terrible summer that Evangeline had tried her hand at animal rescue and the ASPCA had to rescue the dogs from their rescuer. It now houses a real family, but for me it will always contain the ghosts of my past.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It finally snowed yesterday - not a huge amount but enough to get the party started. David has a gift card rebate from Sears and was vacillating between a snow blower and a chainsaw. I'm voting for the snow blower. We went to the Bayada Christmas party in Pittston, that's a bit of a hike but we had a really good time. They hired an Elvis impostor and although that's not my cup of tea (ok!ok! I HATE Elvis, I think he's a moron. There I said it, I feel better) he was pretty true to his god. It was sort of funny, the party was a combination for the two offices and the East Stroudsburg office filled exactly one table. Hopefully we will be bigger next year. Everyone now knows I'm a vegetarian, although why anyone finds that interesting is beyond me - it's not a great accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination nor is it fun at times. And just for the record - after almost 20 years I still cannot bring myself to do it - I'm sure a large part of my aversion to meat is more psychological than anything else. Every time I consider it all I can see is tendons and bones, arteries and fat riddled muscle coated with clotted blood, cold and rotting corpses. And yes, if you disguised it well and I didn't know it was there I would eat it I suppose - but the same could be said of any substance - if you disguised cockroaches well enough people would eat them too. Or African Cave Spiders. I actually saw a clip once of people eating them on a reality show - no, you most likely couldn't pay me enough especially since they were not only live, but their twitching legs sticking out of some one's mouth is something I would have preferred not to have seen. Where was I? Anyhoo, in other news we finally got the other house rented so that's a relief. It won't save the farm but it will pay the taxes - the house is still for sale and the renter has first right of refusal in case we do sell it. I'm hoping I'm off for real today, we need to do some Christmas shopping and get cards out, and I need a little snow therapy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Would Like To Be A Little Stupid. But Just A Little.

Now, when I say I'd like to be a little stupid - I do mean just a little. I'd like to retain enough smarts to dress myself and get invited to parties, knit of course but that goes without saying. And maybe hold a job, but one where I wore an apron and didn't hold too much responsibility - Michael's would be OK because if I was just sweeping or something I could keep a not too bright eye on the yarn department. And you get to wear red I think. That would be fun. I wouldn't have to worry that I am responsible for other people getting to keep their jobs or things getting done, being everything for everyone. But I am where I am and we have hit the point of either self destruction or flying high - I tend to do both so often these days it's like being stuck on the Cyclone and no one releasing the safety bar. Being a manager is fun, I get to wear spanky clothes and high heels, I have peers instead of co-workers, figuring out how things can get moving is interesting. I do conferences and stay in hotels for free, I can order off swanky menus and not worry about it - but there are long endless hours, trying to do the impossible - and being sent back in to do it again. The hard part is slowly realizing you are not every one's friend and you have to be unpopular sometimes no matter how hard you try. Or when you aren't as smart as you need to be right now - and when someone else is smarter. It's trying, I was wishing for WV all the way home tonight, it's funny how things are so much shinier and brighter when they're far away - but even though my job was hard there, the pressure didn't get like this. But by the time I got home I was, alright. David had french toast and a big roaring fire, some of the things my paychecks go towards - and I did promise Bayada when I started that I would commit to this job - they took me on with a wing and a prayer, so I suppose I should continue to fly. Either my wings will melt like Icarus or I'll soar, time will tell.