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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I don't Hate Catholics, I Just Don't Understand Them

Every time I start  on the pope, I can tell the true Catholics. They roll their eyes, not this again, then I get the You Must Hate Catholics Speech. I don't hate Catholics, I simply don't understand them. If there was a police precinct that it was found they were taking kids in the back and molesting them, can you imagine the hue and cry? They would be arrested, stripped of their uniforms and would go to prison - and you know that's true, don't you? Yet as you can see, the Vatican and their cohorts have not only been raping children for years- their followers seem to be in agreement with them and THAT is the part I don't understand. I can put on a police uniform, that doesn't make me an officer. And in my head, it's the same thing with priests. The pope and the Vatican have blamed celibacy, homosexuality, gossip, they've compared themselves the Holocaust victims - everyone but they are responsible. They cry and announce it's their duty to pray and heal the victims - and then prey on more victims. The diocese in Scranton announced they were going to help the victims their own clergy had raped but in the same speech kept reminding parishioners that the church's bankruptcy was directly due to the money awarded to the rape victims - as if they had somehow stolen it. The pope was "saddened" by the Bishop in Belgium's recent confession he's been raping his own nephew for 8 years but was completely outraged by the police raiding the Vatican since they searched the tombs. He had no sympathy for that young man but plenty for dead people. He goes to London to prey with the sex abuse victims, yet there's a letter written by him stating not to defrock two priests that had been found guilty of molesting boys "for the good of the universal church". Three BILLION dollars have been paid out to the victims so far, there are secret documents that the church was aware of the pedophiles, it goes on and on in mind boggling numbers. Every offering, every donation to the church goes to fund the lawsuits - it's like me getting in a car accident and expecting the guy I hit and his family to pay for it. Can ANYONE explain this to me i a way it make some sort of sense? Because I just can't figure it out and it drives me crazy - how can anyone support and defend these terrible people? And no, it's a small percentage I agree but their fellow priests, bishops and even the pope have lied and covered for them - why? And why does the rest of the world turn a blind eye to it? The pope was right to compare this to the Holocaust because for a long time people turned a blind eye to what the Nazis were doing - it wasn't their business and it didn't affect them, so why get involved. And by the time the world turned it's gaze back, six million people were dead. So, anyone able to explain why history should repeat itself?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thunder Swamp, Revisited

I decided to get back on that horse this morning, I have to say I was a little bit fearful - I've never gotten lost hiking and last week I was  ill prepared to be lost since I had only planned on going for an hour or so as a practice run. I had only brought one small container of water, no food for me and very little for Pearl The Wonder Dog. We left before dawn so only the path was visible, that was very stupid as Thunder Swamp is not a park, it's part of the Delaware National Forest so it's a bit on the Super Large Size and Fairly Woodsy Side. I planned on doing a couple of hours this morning and  I packed our backpack much better - two containers of water (ice for Pearl's), protein bars for me and a large bag of snacks for Miss Pants and the requisite Poo Bags as someone insists on pooping right on the trail despite numerous instructions from the owner to go before we leave. I looked at the map and folded it so we could see the part of the trail we were using AND yesterday I stopped in at Verizon yesterday to have them download a GPS to my phone - more on that later. We left well after sunup and that made a world of difference - I was able to see the markings on the trees clearly and made sure to turn around occasionally so I could be sure the trail was visible and to landmark in my head things I would remember on the way back (a bent tree, an unusual stone).
 It was a much better hike - we had time to look around and Pearl snuffled her heart out for all sorts of critters and got more than she bargained for - she got stung by a yellow jacket which was a bit upsetting, she has a little swelling on her butt where she got stung and we'll keep an eye on her this morning in case she has a reaction. The GPS was a toss up - I had used it yesterday in the car and it was fine. I did Find Location in the woods and it cheerfully announced I was in Central Park and even showed little me on a sidewalk. I called Verizon from the forest and I insisted if I was where my GPS said I was it was going to be a hell of a walk back to my car. The rep suggested some way to reset so I'll give it a go the next time we're out walking to see if it makes a difference, otherwise it will be ix-nayed pronto. I'm not paying extra for something that will GET me lost, I obviously am able to do that on my own. And do it very well, thank you. Going back was a little nerve wracking, I thought for a minute I had missed the path but then found the sign - that is where I got lost last week - I must've walked right past it without noticing and continued on the red trail instead of getting back on the orange trail. We made it back to the car in 2 1/2 hours, Miss Pants loves the car ride home as I put the window down half way. She hangs her head out in true hound dog fashion, her ears flying in the wind - some days are WAY better than others, aren't they?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Ramblings

Despite my miscounting, it is FINALLY fall - summer got it's last licks in on some unexpected expenses but it's all good and nothing we can't handle. I figured if we could stay debt free for a couple of weeks we would be ahead of the game. Fall is very much here, the trees are turning fast and my driveway is already a mass of leaves. That picture is of Pearl eating an acorn, I've given up trying to make her stop. We're being pelted with acorns 24/7, Pearl sneaks them in the house and happily chews them up, eats the nut part and spits out the shell - all over the carpet. I guess her AKC name - Pearl the Squirrel - is appropriate. I'm busy looking for my winter clothes, I found half of them which are still in the bin downstairs so I have to go down every morning,rummage and get dressed. The weather this time of year is a bit iffy and if I put the summer clothes away it will instantly be like 90 degrees for the next two weeks. I've started on the fish hat I wanted to knit, so far so good. I had to resize it as the intended recipient is quite small but it seems to be working out so far. David is working all sorts of crazy shifts this weekend as he was out of work while his knee healed so he's making up for lost time. I'm just rambling on, aren't I? Well, Happy Fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sweater Is Done

It is not fall as I had thought it would be today. Apparently the first day of fall moves around and it's the first day of SPRING that lands on the 20th every year. Oh well, now we have to wait another couple of days but it won't kill us I suppose. In other news I finally finished the sweater I've been working on for the past moth. Not the greatest picture, but it's done and that's what counts. It just needs the buttons which I'll pick up during the week. I have a button box but none match of course. Yesterday David and I went to a BBQ at Gerri's house, what fun! It was nice to see everyone outside of work on a weekend. I'd like to eventually have a party here but we have to finish the house first. Now that we've gotten our finances straightened out we have to sit down and figure out what needs to be done in the house and how to achieve that without going back into debt. The balcony and the atrium both need carpeting, downstairs needs a few windows and paint - I've debated painting the paneling but it's so outdated and so dark down there, there's just no point in not doing it. The pool will wait until spring, doing it now will just create work and that's something we don't need to be looking for. So, Happy Almost Fall today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Next Time I'll Bring Bread Crumbs

Today was the day that I've been waiting for - and in honor of that I broke all the rules. You'd think I would know better, but no, I don't. I only used a small backpack since today was supposed to be a trial run down at Thunder Swamp, we would only go for an hour and I left earlier than I had planned as I have a lot to do today. I packed water and some dog treats for Pearl, just in case we met other hikers and I had to reinforce the good behavior we've been working on.  I stuffed the map in there, I hadn't really had a chance to look at it all week but I figured it would be good to have.  We arrived right before first light, we'd been hiking for about 40 minutes before the sun came up so I paid very close attention to the trail as it's rough  and I didn't want to misstep. The trail was reblazed orange, the side trails red - in the early light both colors look the same. Why am I telling you all this? So then you'll not be surprised that I was on my cell phone to 911 waiting for them to connect me with the state ranger station which is what you do when you're lost in a national forest. I have NEVER gotten lost so this was a new adventure for both me and Pearl - all I want to say is if I'm ever trapped on a desert island it had better not be with Pearl and if it is she's very lucky I'm a vegetarian. I made the call when I located a trail marker which I didn't move from until he located me on his map and told me to start walking north. Bill the Forest Fire Supervisor was great, he called me every 20 minutes to make sure I was on the right trail and an hour later I was back to my car, what a relief! And of course the whole time I was texting back and forth with Janet just in case someone needed to know where the body would be. I'll be back there next week but next time I'll look at the map BEFORE so I know the trails, I'll pack food just in case and I'll leave after the sun is up so I can make sure I'm coming back out the way I came in. Part of the problem is I didn't really look at surroundings when I went in and it was light enough to see the trail but not much else, plus the red markings look the same as the orange in the low light. But on the upside - my new hiking shoes are GREAT! Almost 4 hours of hiking and not one blister. Lead on McDuff, lead on!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Three More Days And Counting

We turned the heat on for the first time last night - not all night, but just enough to take the chill off. The leaves are starting to turn rapidly, the road to our house will soon be a riot of color. Fall is in the air and as we all know, I've been waiting with anticipation. I know it's silly to think that on this coming Monday my life will be magically transformed, but I think in my head - it will simply be closing that chapter and moving on. We still have things to resolve - next week we can start filing charges against the Freeloader. I'm sure we'll never see a dime of it but we can try. But David's knee is recovered, we're saved from financial ruin and I finished the sweater. The sleeves  are on and it just needs the edging around the front, but it's done. I'll post pictures this weekend. Our hummingbird feeder is still being used but less I think now. I wish we had gotten it earlier in the year, but we have it now to use next year. I did get a pair of hiking shoes and am looking very forward to using them. I've been wearing them on our morning walks to break them in a little, but they fit so well there's not much breaking in to do. We're going to a party this weekend on Sunday and I'll be making an apple pie for that - probably two as I'm sure David would like to have his own Personal Pie. Job is good still and very much enjoying it, that I've very glad for. It's a nice mix of being out to see my patients and in the office to do the paperwork, the days blow by and it's no longer Is Five O'clock Yet? for the whole day - and better yet - I LEAVE at 5 O'Clock!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walking The Dog

One of the things I love about my new job is I now - after a year - have time to do the things I've had to put on the back burner. The thing I've missed the most is walking and hiking, I've done both for years and this is the first time I've had to do without for such an extended period. As you all know Pearl has had behavior issues so for the past couple of months I've been teaching and reinforcing a new command for Pearl which is "leave it". I started by taking a treat, putting in on the floor and telling her "leave it" - it took awhile of playing keep away (it's got to be positive for it to work so no yelling just being firm).  She finally got it so now when we walk if we see other dogs, neighbors, etc and she started the bad behavior (barking, pulling) I just say "leave it" give the leash a little  tug - and she stops! She's also being friendly towards the neighbors so it's a vast improvement - but now we have a glitch. The road we walk on is very steep, it's straight downhill on the way out, straight uphill on the way back. The uphill part is the killer but here's the problem. Pearl has realized I have treats in my pocket - I carry them for good behavior - and she would like some freebies. She's also put two and two together and understands I really don't want to drag a 50 pound dog uphill so for the past couple of days when we start on our way back, she sits. She has the gravity of a small mule and despite my desperate commands refuses to lift backside from tarmac. This morning I refused to be bullied by a dog so when she touched my pocket with her nose and refused to move I didn't make eye contact and kept going. For about three feet as she was standing, but had all four on the floor and was pulling BACKWARDS. Then she sat. I dragged her an inch. She didn't care. I said "come".  Still sitting. She got up and danced around and as I started walking again - she sat. I looked at her, I looked up the hill, carrying the dog was not an option. She got her treat. I had to wonder as we climbed the last hill, who has who trained??.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine More Days And Counting

That's how many days it is until the first day of fall, Sept 20th. The picture is one that I took last year about this time of the giant maple in front of our house. Can you believe we're coming up on a year here? We moved in 8 days before Thanksgiving last year after David steamrolled his way through one of the biggest projects he's tackled to date. He has said he will NEVER do that again. But we all know one should never say never...... the weather turned cool quickly, by next week I'll most likely be hauling out my winter clothes and start my sorting - what fits, what doesn't, what was I thinking when I bought this...... my coats need to go to the cleaners, one needs to go to goodwill if they'll take it. We'll see, we'll see. I'm a third of the way through the second sleeve and I occasionally sneaky knit on the sock as the sleeve is getting very boring. David had his follow up appointment with Dr. Paul. he's very much on the mend and has two more doctor's appointments. One for a podiatrist and the other for the infectious disease doctor as this is his third infection and Dr. Paul thinks that needs a closer look. But David will be back to work which I know he's looking forward to, he doesn't knit so days off are not a fun thing for him. We're waiting for the check to clear from our house sale so we can pay off the mortgage and so forth - we can breath again! That is such a relief, I cannot begin to tell you. We'll be saving money through the winter so we can finish up the house in the spring - we have to do something about the small pool in front as it's nothing but an eyesore at this point.  Vincent the cat likes it because there's snakes and stuff hiding behind the falling down liner - he pounces and bounces around which he thinks is great fun. Other than that, it's all pretty useless. I have to head out to Pittston this morning to do my CPR, not looking for activities but I'll get it done and over with. My cold is much better but I still sound like the Crypt keeper, hopefully I'll get over that soon - nine more days and counting!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Congratulations, You're Not A Homeowner!

FINALLY - the closing had been delayed a week due to bank things. We of course should know the drill by now, a closing date is very unlikely to happen on the day they tell you - there is always some eleventh hour crisis or a paper they forgot to file to be had. I was glad I decided to attend this one, I usually make Harry be me or the lawyer has occasionally been me but we hadn't bothered to sign away my rights this time. I took off the afternoon and that really worked out as David is obviously unable to drive. The closing went well and fast, the couple that bought the house are young with a baby, I'm glad someone like that got the house. The picture I posted is one I like of it, that was taken a couple of days after we moved in - you can see the original Circus Green style with the Spotty Rug going on.  I currently have a cold since we are obviously not having enough fun this week so to celebrate this weight lifted from our collective shoulders David got a Fillet O Fish meal from McDonald's, I took cold medicine and we both passed out. But it is a huge weight lifted, we wouldn't have gone bankrupt but we were facing a pretty hard winter if we'd been unable to sell it. We were looking at taxes on two houses, a house that had no income for the past 4 months and a mortgage payment that had been previously covered by the rent - it was getting to the point of unthinkable. We took a bath on this sale, make no doubt about it, but given the scary economy we'll be OK now and if we ever sell the Cat Pee house we'll make the money back - we're OK with that. Now we go after the Freeloader - I think she thinks things are alright because we sold the house but it's not. If we hadn't sold it due to this irresponsible person's actions we could have lost both our houses and the sad thing is - she doesn't care. She's moved on to another landlord to cheat and that isn't fair. We may or may not ever see our money but we are going to give her something to think about. But we're not focusing on that now, are we? I took Pearl for another walk this morning and she's doing much better, we saw two neighbors with a good reaction to them - tail wagging and dancing - so I am now getting hopeful there will be some hiking in our future. That would be good, wouldn't it? I've started back to exercising and eating better and I feel better, more like myself again. David has a follow up appointment with Dr. Paul on Friday, his knee looks much better this morning too and is not quite as painful. It's nice to have things go well for a couple of minutes, I'm sure there's another crisis lurking around but for now I'm OK.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gimping The Night Away

I took this the last time I was out at the Lake Ariel house, I wish I could have taken these two plants with me. Anyhow, David's leg got worse on Sunday - I asked if he wanted to go to the ER because it is a holiday weekend and if he was going, I wanted it to be EARLY.  When I say the traffic around here on a holiday is horrendous - I'm not kidding. David said no and then around 11 decided he DID want to go - I was rather peevish to say the least. The ER wasn't too bad  but the ride home was awful. Not only was traffic a total snarl but the light at a major intersection was stuck. We ended up bolting across the intersection after about 10 minutes and then realizing it was not changing - there was a charming fairy-like creature in a Mercedes that took pity on me and the other motorists by not only blocking the lane but giving us the finger in a most delicate way - ask me AGAIN why I don't like New Yorkers....... I took David to Dairy Queen as he hadn't eaten all day and it was Sunday so it was the day we get our ice cream fix.  He  has cellulitis on his knee so he's on crutches and antibiotics. Pearl the Fearsome Bear Hound freaked at the sight of crutches and not only wouldn't let David in the house, she got so scared she peed on the porch. She is such a help. Other than that the weekend was pretty nice. The weather continued to stay a little cool, I found a package of stew meat in the freezer so David had a nice beef stew for dinner and I made myself Shepardess pie - Pearl even got a little stew in her dinner. I finished the first sleeve of the sweater and got started on the other, I think I'll even have just enough yarn to finish it.  I've slowed down quite a bit on yarn buying and am starting to use up what I have. Which will only take about 105 years. The other thing is they are having an all day Marathon on Hoarders Buried Alive - sweet! We also watched  Mortuary the other day where you get turned into a zombie like creature if zombie #1 barfs black goo in your mouth. They all had rather amazing aim I must say, I would be hard pressed to be able to turn anyone into a zombie as I can't hit the broad side of a barn under normal circumstances. Maybe I could turn Pearl into a zombie dog but that would be the limit of it.  Unless of course it was that woman in the Mercedes - then my accuracy would improve. A LOT.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Getting There.

I'm finally in the home stretch with this sweater - the one sleeve is 3/4 of the way done. I've had the time, but not the inclination today. The temps dropped last night about 20 degrees and it's breezy - it feels SO good. It really feels like fall, all windy and sunshiny and best of all not dying hot!So I've been out pulling the last of the fall weeds and Pearl has been on Bear Patrol.  I had to go to the dentist today which as I get older gets easier. If you took everything out of my mouth that wasn't mine - crowns bonding, partial - I think I would have about 5 teeth. Pretend Teeth are better in their own way as they never need drilling or stuff.  So I had one cavity and that was about it. I also need to bring my little partial in as that needs a bit of tweaking too - but since  that is also Pretend Teeth I just hand em over and they hand em back. Everything in life should be so simple. David did something to his knee, he's not sure what but the knee cap is all swollen and hurts, just in time for a 3 day weekend.  He doesn't have work until Wednesday this coming week so can keep it up and still. I think he'll have to cancel his shifts for this week and get an appointment with Dr. Paul. David's mighty annoyed as you might guess, he goes his entire life with almost no problems and then this year it's like party all the time. After the dentist I headed out to do the grocery shopping -fast. The tourists are up here in droves and they have all sorts of things going on, town was a zoo. So I did my shopping and came right back home. I didn't do too well on the grocery shopping this week, I ended up spending $145 but my alternative would have been not to feed the dog and cats or wash my hair. Or read the latest mystery from one of my favorite authors. And I had to buy the macaroni salad as David ONLY likes the one from Giant. I bought one from BJ's last time  and as soon as I unpacked it I knew I would be sorry due to the fact that I live with Mr. Picky Pants. He noticed right off the bat it was not the one he liked. Then we had to have a few discussions on why he didn't like it. Then he kept insisting it might be bad and sneaky throw it out. I finally gave it up and did throw it out. There are just some battles you will never win.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Clabber Time!

For the past week I've been playing around with the word "clabber" - Donna used it when describing making cottage cheese (although I'm still a bit stymied as to how someone could hang cheese out to dry). The word "clabber" has irish roots and it means "to thicken". So you could use it in this sentence - "If I don't stop eating candy my butt will be all clabbered." However, there are a few more uses. For instance if you live in Indiana you can play a card game that goes by that name -   - it seems weirdly complicated and if you have four Jacks you have a "mule" - I have no idea either.  Then there is the Clabber Girl, she originates from Terra Haute  and there's even a museum for your viewing pleasure. She is the logo for a baking soda company.   - it looks like you can also play a little farmville like game.
There's a race horse -  and a restaurant that sells clabber fed chickens -  and after you get your super delicious clabber fed chickens you can go home to house on the Clabber Creek    - not too shabby!  There are some people that are having kefir problems which are clabber related and are reaching out to perfect strangers in their time of need since they also have keferizing issues -  and then my personal favorite, urban translation - crack whore!  Maybe you didn't know this either but if you're mixing up your favorite crack recipe Clabber Girl baking soda is the preferred brand of junkies.  So there you go, all the clabber you could want and then some.