I started physical therapy a couple of weeks ago, as I've been saying for the past couple of months my plantar faschitis continued to plague me, despite keeping off it, cortisone shots, a night brace, ice - it's very frustrating because you keep thinking it will just go away one day. And it doesn't. So my podiatrist signed me up for PT. I was a little skeptical I must say - what were they going to do that I wasn't doing? My first day was an evaluation, my therapist has a student with him so that meant I had to do things a few times until the student figured out what I was doing. So I dutifully trotted up and down the therapy room while they stared and whispered, it was like wearing high water pants to school and walking down the hall past the Popular Kids. SO they came up with a game plan and it involves me doing lots of stuff with my injured foot. The most surprising is that I'm to stress it all day with a specific exercise - instead of making it more painful by staying off it, exercising it in this manner actually builds it up. This is based on a model by an orthopedic surgeon who tore his Achilles tendon. They wouldn't operate unless it was completely torn so he spent all day stressing it in an effort to blow it out and get the surgery. It had the opposite effect and he actually repaired it. In other words it was a case of a Doctor Actually Curing Himself. Strange but true, so when Pearl is outside scoping out the squirrels I'm on the bottom step of the deck bouncing on one leg. Today my foot is taped to keep it from swinging in, a habit I've developed in an effort to make walking a little less painful. I have to say my one foot is accumulating quite a few things - but I've reached the point I will do anything to make it feel better. I'm tired of being afraid of taking that first few steps in the morning because the pain will send me into the stratosphere, not being able to hike or even walk to the mailbox and back without paying for it later. And the expense is a bit daunting, my insurance has a huge copay, at first it was $40 a session for the physical therapy - that's $120 a week in co-pays! Thank you Mr. Obama for your improvements in health care - but after threatening to cancel my therapy altogether the billing lady told me they would accept $20 a visit, not great, but do-able. Of course that's also a sign of the times, they would rather negotiate the co-pay then lose the patient, I'm glad we're still in a position that we can afford to do that. But I'll be glad when I can go back to hiking, my faithful Chaser Of Chipmunks at my side, because being limited like this sucks.
We've had a busy week, Janet and Diane for Thanksgiving, Mom and Fred for the weekend. They came up Friday but went to Mount Airy Lodge to try out the local casino. I was told it was so-so, but since I'm not taking up gambling it doesn't really affect my world one way or another. They got a bit turned around getting here - Mom was telling me she was on our street - I asked her if she'd seen a giant rubber chicken. Fred did so I knew they were on the wrong end of the road. The giant rubber chicken is in a guy's yard and aside from being severely ugly it's kind of creepy as it's holding a plate of fried chicken. However it does have it's uses - like when guests end up on the wrong end of road. Saturday we headed out to Bethlehem for the Moravian Museum. The Moravians, as far as I can tell, had some sort of annoying religious beliefs so every time they settled somewhere they would annoy the locals and get asked to pack their toys and go. Eventually they saved up enough for a big place and stayed, but they died out or became less annoying over time- I don't remember which and here they stayed. Before we hit there however we saw a Christmas Festival which I should've known better given the huge amount of cars and tour buses. They charged to get it, it was super crowded and it was stalls and stalls of merchandise. But we had a nice German lunch and it was fun to look. So after we got out of there we headed over to the museum which we already discussed and then headed home. Pearl was hostessing of course all weekend, sitting on top of each guest equally but as she gets older she gets less pesty. David was home yesterday, we didn't do too much. Bookstore, Chinese buffet and home to watch some football game. It's work for me today but we had a really fun weekend.
One of the reasons I really love doing home health is I get the holidays off - no more 12 hour shifts on the floors while the rest of the world settles in for sweet potato pie and dinner rolls. Last year David's brother and sister in law came for the holiday - 8 days after we moved in! But it was fun, we managed to cobble together a dinner and guest room and it was a nice way to celebrate our new home. This year my sister and sister in law came up - we all have to work tomorrow so it was just for the day but since we now live only 2 hours apart it's do-able. I bought a huge-o-la turkey - 20 pounds - but I'm expecting my mom and stepfather for the weekend and who doesn't love thanksgiving leftovers? For me I bought a Tofurkey, I've never bought one before because they are VERY expensive - $24 which is more than I paid for the real deal. But when David and I did our shopping they were on sale for $11 which was reasonable - I don't mind paying the money but I've never had one and didn't know if I would like it or not. I can see paying $11 to experiment, not $24. The day started off stinky grey and cold, David took Pearl happy pants hunting - it's been years since he's gone on Thanksgiving and after a little prodding off they went - they got two pheasant so it was a good hunt for them. While they were gone I cleaned and picked up, set the table and put the wine in the fridge. Around 10 I got the turkey started - since Janet and Diane would be driving back home I wanted to eat early afternoon. They got here around 11 - it had started to snow a bit, David started a roaring fire in our fireplace. Since it was their first visit to this house they got the Grand Tour, after we had coffee and caught up. Dinner came out great, I even made the green bean casserole which I think everyone remembers from 1970-something - it was standard fare at every holiday and potluck when I was growing up. Green beans, cream of mushroom soup with French's Fried Onions - who can't take a bite of that and not be instantly transported back to the land of Gaucho pants and Dorothy Hamil haircuts? They brought a bottle of white wine from Duck Walk and we all tried the Tofurkey - the verdict was.........it was pretty good. It didn't taste like turkey which I was grateful for because if it had I would have thrown it out - but it was really good. It looks weird when you take it out of the box - almost like a light brown football - but when you take it out of the oven it browns up and when you slice it, it's stuffed with stuffing! They got going around 4:30 or so, I'm on the couch with my foot propped up in a splint (I was on it too much today and it's aching!). Pearl is beside me in a turkey coma, dreaming no doubt of future hunts. The fire is burning down and I'm watching Beauty and The Beast - there is nothing like a good Disney movie after a big holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone - I hope you all had a good one.
Yes I finished it - I keep saying I finally finished it but really it didn't take that long, did it? It was a fun shawl to knit, hard enough to be interesting but easy enough to watch TV. So now I am Project-Less. I am not Yarn-Less. Or Pattern-Less, just a bit Idea-Less. I still have to fix the socks I knit for traveling, they're taking too long. And of course I left off the second sock halfway (??) through the heel, maybe not - all I know is I ended up ripping it all out because I had a 1/3 less stitches than I should have. Not a biggie, but frogging a project is always a bit of a pain, ripping it back and then trying to pick up the live stitches without losing any. But while I finish the socks I'll think of what I want to do next - it might be another shawl but knitted in the round instead of back and forth. I have my DVD player going - finally! - I have been without since we got direct TV as it's not a simple procedure, it involves Secret Codes and a bit of Voodoo I think. I did what is easiest, begged and pleaded with David until he did it. He did it but was very churlish about the whole experience but he did it even though he does not care about the DVD. I'm currently watching Coraline - I love Tim Burton, don't you? We're getting the house ready for guests, the cesspool is being pumped on Wednesday - that's a good hosting thing to do, isn't it? Actually the reason we're having it done is because we've lived here for a year now (actually a year and 5 days but who's counting?) but since there's no way for us to know when it was pumped last we figured we do it before the snow flies. And I think it will be flying soon - don't you?
Yesterday we woke up to a terrible storm - wind howling, rain pounding, trees whipping. I was lying there thinking I should get up and start the coffee, but then decided to wait - and the electric went out. Bastards. This house has a well, an electric stove so when the lights go off, we are effectively screwed. David suggested we back to sleep which we did for awhile. Then I got Bored. No coffee. No Facebook. No shower,oatmeal, TV, nothing. It was like being dead. Stuck in limbo. I was again counseled to GO BACK TO SLEEP. I counseled David to go to the gas station and get coffee which he then wanted to know why HE had to do that and then I had to list a LOT of reasons why he should do it. Not to mention I was so Very Very Bored I was about to cease breathing which David might have been in favor of at that point. Finally David broke and went to the gas station for a couple of gallons of water and coffee. The lights came back on quite naturally as soon as he brought the coffee and water in. This morning the coffee perk-u-lated in it's usually friendly manner and as we were having our first cup - lights out AGAIN. This time there was no reason for it to be out. When I called the electric company they were surprised too but the guy told me there seemed to be a lot more calls coming in - and he was right, our entire neighborhood was out. Despite sneaky questioning he still didn't know why or when it would come back on and took a report in order to distract me. David had taken his shower the night before and he had his coffee, I looked like a rag. Pearl and I went and hung out in the yard - BORING - but at least I had my coffee. I called again around 7:20 and the little message told me they would have the lights on by 9 which would have been ok if I hadn't needed to be at work at 8:30 and still looked like a rag. So, using the 2 gallons of water I managed to wash my hair and myself really well. If pioneers had bottled water I would have done VERY well. yes I would have . Would too. Shut up. Anyhoo, about 30 seconds after I was done and was trying to figure out how to Pioneer Blow Dry my hair (plan A involved darting around the yard. A Lot) of course the lights came back on. Bastards. So I quickie hopped in the shower since I actually hadn't done as a great a job as I said and got the rest of the soap out of my hair and was only 10 minutes late to work after I cleaned up my Pioneer Mess. I am leaving a couple buckets of water on the back porch just in case - but I will be a very Angry Pioneer if it happens again tomorrow.
I got a work phone, for work quite naturally. After I activated it, I got about 4 phone calls in a row. Hmm. Apparently the former owner, Britney, owes money. To more than one person. I've managed to get rid of most of them, but there is one company - TRC out of Bloomsburg that is VERY persistant. I've looked them up on the internet and from what I've read they're a very aggressive bill collection agency - there's even an ad on YouTube for a lawyer if they're after you! I've had this issue before with an old number on a work phone and telemarketers but this is miserable. I looked and in the past week and a half they've called about 10 times! After I set up my voice mail that seemed to cure a lot of it with the other telemarketers, I made sure I mentioned I was a clinical manager for Bayada. But TRC, on and on they call. I told them politely I was not Britney. Then I tried ignoring it. The other day I was getting mad so the gentleman on the other end carefully took my phone number and assured me I would be taken off the list. My phone rang again tonight - TRC again - yes I was mean and nasty. Because what I've found in the past is unless you really get nasty they just pretend to take your name off the calling list since it's obviously too much trouble to actually do it and they continue to call. The woman calling refused to tell me why she was calling and told me rather rudely it was none of my business - I pointed out she had called ME. She asked me why I wanted to know if I wasn't Britney and I told her it was because despite repeatedly asking to be removed from the list they were still calling and Britney most likely owed them money too as that was the only reason anyone would call so much and I wanted to be taken off the list. She said well, you've politely asked to be taken off the list six times - I was like then take me off the list already!! ARRGH. It's more upsetting that unless you get aggressive and nasty they do nothing - I know it's probably a time consuming activity to remove someone but it seems like unless you're screaming and threatening they just can't be bothered. How annoying is that.
Well, back to the foot doctor I went - I have a splint to wear at night which keeps my foot straight up and the tendon stretched. I also have a prescription for physical therapy - a lot of it mind you. The doctor is getting concerned because it should not still be this bad at times and if the PT doesn't work we will be back to the drawing board. I'm supposed to keep off it as much as possible so I've been knitting and watching movies in my spare time, I can still use my Elipse and my exercise bicycle which gets me moving. I'll look into the PT next week as I've been very busy lately. Work is picking up but as crazy as our office gets I still have the weekends to myself 99% of the time and rarely am out late - it's challenging and sometimes overwhelming but we work together well as a group. Working with kids is hilarious at all times, some of my clients notes include the Time Out Bench and detention, drama club and recess. I've started doing a bit of knitting for them when I have the time, their parents appreciate it more than they do (what kid wants a hat??) - but it's all good. Today David and I went to the Chinese Buffet before we went grocery shopping ,with David's new hours we are reduced to having one full day together a week so we try to do something fun since the other activity we do is grocery shopping on that day. I LOVE the Chinese buffet, I could live there forever and ever. I don't understand why Chinese buffets tend to include cheese & macaroni and creamed spinach but then again I've never been to China so maybe it is a local dish - who am I to say? We've been getting a little better at the grocery budget, it probably averages out to about $120 a week, I'd like to get it down further but the prices around here are not cheap. And we bring our lunches to work, both of us and we only eat out once a week so all things considered, I don't think it's that bad. The Yarn Budget is another story, I have slowed down due to Lack Of Space and I have to start knitting it up faster than I buy it I suppose. But they keep sending me stinkin emails that they have a sale!, clearance!, addi turbo bamboo needles! - it's like having a pipe sale at a crack house, how am I to resist??
Have you noticed there's a few more hunting pictures these days? David was lucky enough to find someone that hunts and they've been having a ball along with Pearl The Super Dog. I have to laugh because Pearl usually greets me full speed ahead - you open the door and she comes slinging through likes she hasn't seen another living soul for years. The past couple of weeks after a full day of hunting she comes pottering out to the kitchen, gives me A It's Just You look and heads back for the couch. They don't go every day so she gets a chance to recover before her next round of heading out. But it's good for her and since I'm still dealing with this painful plantar facshitits I'm glad to know she's getting the exercise I can't do anymore. I'm back to the foot doctor tomorrow as my foot still continues to pain me - it's gone on way too long in my opinion. And pain after awhile is just frustrating. Hopefully it will be better soon. I've been doing a lot of knitting quite naturally - the shawl I started is almost half done. It's all scrunched up so it doesn't look like much so far but I think when I get it blocked it will be super neat. I've got other projects lined up and I've slowed down on buying books and stuff - since I pretty much have them all, don't I?
It's good to be home - the ride back was horrible of course. The only issue I have with most conferences is they tend to be held near major cities and they ALWAYS let out at rush hour. And since Mount Laurel is right next to Philly you can imagine the mess. I tried to avoid the highway but that turned out to be a forced march - I knew it was getting dark, the traffic was heavy and the GPS wasn't exactly glitching but I think the roads are so close together it will tell you to turn on one road but it actually means one or two roads over. So after doing a brief tour of Sort Of Scary Neighborhoods I headed back to the highway and unfortunately hadn't wasted enough time to avoid rush hour. So I stopped and goed, mainly stopped. It was getting too dark to play with my hand held Scrabble game I keep for such emergencies and my new yarn and books were in the suitcase so I couldn't admire that and the sock I keep in the car is at the heel which takes stitch counting so all my usual traffic activities were halted. So I did what I do best which is sit and fume. David called a couple of times but then thought the better of it since he was getting blamed for the traffic and there is so much ranting one can listen to. After doing a slow crawl it finally picked up - and then stopped. This was repeated at every exit, every town. Then it really picked up - and then I hit construction on 33 in which they have about 5 miles of it blocked off to one lane and when you come to the end there's a bunch of guys drinking coffee and standing around. That would be known as "night construction". They should all be slapped. Twice. I got home around 8:30 - it took me 4 hours to drive 130 miles which someone should be punished for. But after I got the suitcase emptied, threw a frozen pizza in, found pajamas and got situated on the couch with the World's Greatest Hunting Dog I felt better. Pearl is out this morning hunting again, the season ends around the last week in November so until then the cats and I have the house to ourselves. David has been having a great time with his friend Tom hunting the local areas.
Yes, that's a picture from yesterday but I didn't take any today. When you go to a conference there's not much to take a picture of . I have to say I wasn't impressed with my lodging in Delaware - they were OK, but not great. And it's probably the only hotel that DIDN'T have a complimentary continental breakfast - I know that now after a $15 mistake. I was up early as usual and I knew they were having a breakfast at the conference so I went down for a little coffee and fruit. I had a little scrambled eggs too, I didn't finish them because they were luk-ie warm and a tiny bit rubbery. And while I was there some sneaky old lady asked me if I'd like more coffee and left a bill on the table For FIFTEEN DOLLARS. Where on earth have you eaten lately that one breakfast could cost that much?? It's exactly what I said about eating in the hotel - 80% chance of being overpriced and 75% chance of being something you wouldn't eat on a bet. That aside the conference was great and I met some people to boot. I hate to eat alone as we discussed yesterday but I have no problem with pulling up a chair and plunking down - there was a table of us that had come alone and it was fun since we were from all over. I sat with a field nurse from Bayada, two NICU nurses from AI Dupont Hospital, an 80 year old retired nurse who had once done private duty for the Dupont family and was a red cross nurse - it was an interesting lunch. We got out around 3:45 and I immediately got stuck in traffic. Whoo. Hoo. It broke up after the bridge - don't you LOVE construction during rush hour?? - and I got off at the first truck stop I saw. I got gas and a veggie burger at Burger King, not my first choice of Things I Like To Eat but after yesterday's search and rescue for dinner I figured a burger in the hand is worth tofu in the wok. I try. Well, it was sort of funny. Was too. Shut up. I got here around 6 and had them use my Chase card just to see - I was telling the girls behind the check in counter what happened and they looked at each other and one said "It's a Chase card, isn't it?" - apparently I'm not the only one that's had that experience - it was still saying pending but since it's only to hold the room no one seemed to care much. My room is nice but smells slightly of smoke - but I don't care. Two full days of conferences in two different states is a bit much so I'll take what I can get.
I took a vacation day - since I 'm heading out this way, it's fun to just wander my way here instead of fighting traffic to arrive in the dark and scamper off to the conference at first light. I left around 9 am, took all back roads to Lancaster first, there was a yarn shop I wanted to hit on the way. I went to a total of 3 on the way here, two were great - one was in Tourist Land and was priced accordingly. As usual I went by about 4 billion places to eat, grocery stores, etc - later later. The last stop was a bit of a stretch - I went to Borders with a coupon of course figuring it had to be in a shopping complex. My figuring was incorrect unless I was planning on eating at Staples. As I got closer to the hotel it got more congested and not only would pulling off be difficult - I saw no where to get food. I parked at a strip mall - there had to be something. I ended up in an Indian grocery desperately looking for something not stinking of curry (it's not an ethnic slur - I HATE curry) and walked out with some figs and some other cha cha that was curry free. 30 feet down the road was a Pita Pit (SCORE!) so I picked up something for dinner there. I hate to eat alone in a restaurant - I always feel self conscious waiting for my food - where am I supposed to look? - and if you eat in the hotel the food has an 80% chance of being horribly overpriced and a 75% chance of being something you wouldn't eat on a bet. If I'm alone I prefer to eat in my room while gloating over my purchases of the day while pathetically trying to find any channel that doesn't feature a newscaster with a hairstyle from 1985. At the hotel I tried to use my credit card only to have it declined. I have a debit card of course but wanted to put it on the credit card to keep more money free for yarn purchases I might have to make. A quick call to Chase - they haven't posted the payment for the seventy five buckaroos we owe them. Yes you heard right - Chase Visa has put a hold on my credit card because our payment of exactly $74.85 cents is late by a week and a half. David called to try and pay it but didn't know his bank routing number (who does??) and since it's a computer glitch (the payment actually was sent, just not posted) my care remains on hold. As soon as it's paid off it will be cancelled as that is ridiculous - we are never late and we pay off the balance as soon as we get it. So I'm currently sitting in the Marriot eating figs and getting ready to knit - the conference starts at 7:30 but it's right down the road so it will be just a quick scamper down the road. Until then I'll be eating figs and knitting!
David met a fellow hunter a few weeks ago - David has the dog, the guy has the fields. So off Pearl and Her Friend went - and they're still not back. I did speak to him, they got pheasants, had a great time and he's having a beer, I'm sure they're already reliving the hunt with Miss Pants snoring somewhere in the background. We're starting to get a little bit more grounded lately, with my much reduced hours and David having a regular work schedule things are coming around. We had decided a few weeks ago we would wait a full year before making any plans to stay or go and if we do decide to make One More Move the parties involved would have to have: a job in hand, a place to go that they had laid eyes on at LEAST twice, would need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that moving would benefit all parties involved and have the complete understanding that this is the Very Last Stop Before Actually Dying - because I have ONE more move and that's IT. So like the last wish a genie grants it had better be a very careful and well thought out wish. But in the meantime the other thing we discussed is we're actively trying to like it here instead of acting like we're just biding our time until something better comes along - we're looking for things to do and people to meet. We had dinner on Sunday with friends in Lake Ariel, Joe and Eileen - they made a huge Italian spread and we spent the evening talking and eating. We left a bowl of candy on a lawn chair at our house before we left just in case but when we came back it hadn't been touched, not even the bear had been by to see what we got good. So much for Halloween. The Ghosts I keep up year around will be getting into their Pilgrim outfits soon - move it along move it along!!