Having three dogs in the house that bear a striking resemblance to each other is a bit unnerving at times - I was petting Pearl and she was leaning, then I realized it was Gypsy and Pearl was downstairs. They play hard - since they're all the same breed it's a very equal playing field but it's fun to watch as they play and run at top speed at all times. All of the guests, canine and human left this morning - after Tommy got the truck packed and the two dogs in their crates Pearl The Traitor jumped in the cab of the truck and wouldn't come out. She was going home I think - or at least trying. They didn't do too well hunting but I think the next time Tommy comes if he arrives early in the season he should do well. But we all had a good time and I know David enjoyed seeing him and getting to hang out with a real friend. Someone said to me today that you can have acquaintances and people you know, but a real friend is hard to come by. She was right - if I think of who I consider a real friend they're all the people I've known for ever. When you graduate school it becomes very hard to find someone you can have that same level of trust and comfort with. Maybe as you become an adult and you become busier you just don't have the time to cultivate that type of friend. When I met Kim, Liz and Richard I remember spending hours and days in their company - if we weren't in each other's sight we were on the phone. We walked to town together, the beach, parties, slept over each other's houses in rotation, we were constantly in the company of each other in various and all configurations. If you really think about it our friendship has a massive base that you cannot duplicate - it's what gives us that comfortable feeling with each other, defenses down, no holds barred. Because I know even if they say something I don't like - the intent is not to hurt me or get me back for some real or imagined insult. Sometimes they've said things simply because they thought I needed to hear it - and I did. It makes me sad as an adult that I've been unable to find that kind of friend here - but maybe that's the way it is in real life. And maybe I don't need to - they are all still just a phone call or car ride away - can't ask for more than that.
Christmas was quiet - I didn't mind though. I actually enjoyed the quiet and the ability to just sit and relax. We have so much coming up! Tommy arrived from West Virginia, his two dogs Gypsy and Sage along for the ride to visit with David and Pearl. Pearl was not sure of her guests at first - dog guests are a little ruder than people guests. They take your toys and eat your food, sometimes they even sit on your blanket - Pearl was a bit overwhelmed but is enjoying having them to horse around with. In the morning she dithers by the stairs to see if they're up. They went hunting yesterday despite the high winds and low temps and got one pheasant. Today promises to be a little less windy and a little warmer so hopefully Tommy will get a couple shots in too. We went out to dinner last night and it's great seeing Tom and catching up on all the news. The weather has taken a winter turn of course - we didn't get the snow everyone else got but the wind was howling all day yesterday and the temp never got above 20. I had to drive to one of my clients that is over 50 miles - it was slow going due to the nervous nellies that seem to have to go out and then proceed to drive about 13 miles an hour. The road were fairly clear but that didn't stop them from being jerks. On the way back I stopped at the Gentle Arts in Honesdale and finally bought that Jordana Paige knitting bag - it was expensive but it's most likely the last bag I will buy and I did have Christmas money. I called David from the road to let them know I'd be home soon. Of course a snow plow appeared and we crawled our way towards home. He pulled over after about 5 miles to let us by and it was smooth sailing until the Nervous Nelly appeared. She drove 27 miles an hour except for curves, bends, downhills, uphills and anything else we considered a danger. She rode her brakes for 30 miles and straddled the center line so I couldn't get by. When we got close to home she made a right at the stop sign and I was tempted to follow her home and scream at her in her yard. But then I remembered I'm not from that side of the family and let it go. I just wish those people would stay home when it snows. Tommy is leaving on Wednesday then Friday Jackson will be here - I have to call him today as he turns 21 today! Can you believe it? I cant! Adam will follow along on Tuesday and then off we go again. Who would have thought January would be this busy?
I was sitting on the couch last night eating my pecan log I got at Stuckeys - we stopped there on the way back from Norfolk. I would say Stuckey's is overrated, but it's sort self-overrated. They invest a lot in big billboards announcing that you will soon be at Stuckeys! The first one told me I was exactly 48 miles from Stuckeys, Home Of The Pecan Log and Other Pecan Delights. The next sign let me know I could have my pick of over 100 Kountry Gifts for under a dollar. Next - only 20 miles! Every sign extolled the virtues, pecans and bargains of Stuckey's - by the time we got there I could barely contain myself. David managed to contain himself quite well as Stuckey's was actually located in an overrated gas station and he was more interested in getting something to drink and use the bathroom than to scamper amongst the Kountry Klutter. And they did have Klutter Galore - plastic dogs and kittens, wind up Harley Davidson alarm clocks, Kute Kountry Wooden Signs and plenty of pecans. I bought a couple pecan logs, I wanted to buy enough to last me a nuclear winter but I knew that was not a good idea. I do not have enough self control to not eat them or to even save one in the event of a nuclear holocaust - I know I'll hog them down as fast as I can. I also bought a can of honey roasted peanuts which David ate, no Kounty Klutter as we have enough of the garden variety Klutter of our own. I have half a day of work today and David is working the swing shift so we finally put up the tree and got that decorated. Since the boys will be home after Christmas and David is working we're not really celebrating quite yet - for us Christmas is a day - and it will be the day we can be together. I can't wait! Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
We got up early yesterday to see Adam - he stayed over his friend Brit's house as apparently if you're stuck on a ship for 6 months you tend to avoid it like the plague when you hit land. So I picked him up around 8:30 - he smelled a bit like a brewery but since his Aunts were responsible for supplying the beer what could ya do? He took his shower at our hotel room and by that time the Aunts were up. They had been up late drinking with the captain, but we were on a Navy base so that is acceptable behavior. We went over to the Nex for breakfast, Adam was enjoying it as it's been overhauled since he left port. We had a great breakfast together and then set out to explore the NEX. I bought a few things and so did everyone else, I got some nice local wine to bring home. We stopped at John and Carleen's to hang out and say goodbye, then down to the ship for one final picture (Adam is ok as long as he doesn't have to board it) and after that it was getting late in the afternoon so we took Adam back to his friend's house and said goodbye. He returns to work today so we decided to head back to PA and that way we could get some stuff done around here. It looked good on paper. Keep in mind we had gone to a big party, gotten up and driven almost 450 miles the next morning, then a full day, then another day, then back in the car for the 450 mile drive back. We were a little churlish to say the least. The pot blew the lid when David was mucking around with the radio and I yelled at him - I was the one driving and I was tired with a headache. Then David gave me a lecture on how he had driven ALL the way down without complaining. I snapped back with a witty comment which David returned my volley and spiked the ball. My favorite part was when David claimed I had ruined the ENTIRE trip by yelling at him for touching the radio - I have no idea what we were thinking when we made this grand plan. We made it home late (we timed it beautifully so we could hit rush hour outside of Philly). I had debated not taking off today but I'm glad I did - we had a ton of stuff to do and I am tired. Pearl made out well in prison, the people that run the kennel show Vizla so that gives her a little bit of an "in" - the cats were OK of course but Vincent of course is stilled freaked out a bit. He is currently parked on my lap while I try to type over his little round head, he's purring like an engine, such a baby!
On Saturday we had the Carnation Division Bayada party - it was at a casino, it was very fancy and the food was great. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have - I was a little preoccupied because we all know what I was doing the next day. Plus my foot is not holding up well, but enough of that. I'm sick of hearing about it too. Am too. Yes. Shut up. It was fun seeing all of my coworkers dressed up and we had a great time. The next day we didn't leave until 8 or so since there was no hurry. It took us about 9 hours, but we kind of meandered down, we stopped in Milford Delaware as that is on our list, it was pretty but not what we expected so it's now moved down the list. I think if we go back I would like to stay at Bethany beach but only if Pearl can come too. We arrived at Norfolk around 5 and met up with Janet and Diane at John and Carleen's house - it was fun for us to all be together as that rarely happens these days. Carleen is recovering from major surgery so John is in charge and doing a great job. We had pizza and then went to the Navy Inn which is conveniently located across the road. The next morning we were on the pier at 8:30 - it was freezing!! You could tell the new navy wives because they were in short skirts and spiked heels - the rest of us were bundled up. It took hours to dock and then the sailors came off in droves - no Adam. Still no Adam. Then I checked my phone and there was a voicemail from Adam letting us know he would be one of the last off the ship and would meet us around 11:30. They have large tents set up to wait in and there tons of free coffee and food so it wasn't a hard wait. Adam showed up in civilian clothes as he has had enough of wearing a uniform - he looked wonderful and was so happy to be home. He'd had a good tour - Bahrain, Greece, France, but was glad to be back. John had a welcome home lunch for him - he even made a cake which was very impressive and Adam was very touched that he went to so much trouble for him. We had a great day - David pooped out on us so he stayed at the hotel. We took Adam to have his phone reactivated and then to a Mexican restaurant where his friend Brit works. Then back to the hotel to pick up all the beer we had accumulated (don't ask!) and then dropped him off at his friend's house for the night as Adam is trying to squeeze 6 months in 9 hours. Adam will be at our house for almost 2 weeks in January - I can't wait!
We had our quarterly audit - I was a little nervous because the first one I had just started in the office so it was sort of a freebie. The charts I had weren't really "mine" yet and the one that was, my mentor had been with me for the entire admission and open, plus the paperwork so it would have been super bad if it had not looked good. The audits for Bayada are more of a learning experience, they continuously audit so when the state comes in you're up to speed and not scrambling. There were a few tiny things, but overall we did pretty well - a few little fixable things, but that was it. So now it's back to real life - and with the holidays and vacations looming every day is a scramble and a rearrangement. . The client I've been waiting for auth for ever - we suddenly get authorized for, the visit I was doing next week is now this week due to unforeseen complications. I need tires, David wants to drop his baby at the body shop (that would be the car - not me!) (although I could use a new body!), we're both working tomorrow, there's the party, a trip coming up, Christmas, boys coming home, gifts going out, some need to be bought, eek eek eek! Our office is moving along, it's a fun crew and even with the holiday stress everyone is still laughing. After work I'm busy on all my projects, all of which need finish. I have half a sock, the next 2/3 of the Shipwreck Shawl and I started a baby sweater for Emma so Maia can wear her dresses and not be cold. I'm making a wrap sweater so it will fit her for awhile with a lace and cable pattern on the bottom. I'll post when I get enough to do so.
The dentist I have started off well - he's still good, when you can get ahold of him and if you can steer clear of his rag tag staff. I canceled two appointments, one because I didn't have 3 hours to sit and vegetate, the next because I had to be somewhere again and didn't want to have to reschedule. Today I was in half an hour after I arrived - not bad. Don't get hopeful, it went downhill from there. The assistant - and that is a VERY loose term came in and cheerfully asked why I was in - I told her for the cavity. That was on the X-ray. She looked perplexed and then brightened up and asked what tooth was bothering me. I told her none of my teeth were bothering me but the dentist had told me I had a cavity. That was on the X-rays. That had been taken at this very office. She looked perplexed again, then a little less chirpy but soldiered on. She announced we were going to take an X-ray and wanted to know what side the cavity I thought I had was on. I asked why we were taking another x-ray and she valiantly attempted to make up some story about how we needed to take another X-ray to see what the cavity was doing (??). Since I had only had the X-rays taken about 6 weeks ago I didn't think it had been up to anything new but if she wished to take an X-ray we might as well. As she put the lead apron on she once again asked which tooth was bothering me that I had called the office about. Now I was getting mad as not only was time being wasted but her new game plan was to repeatedly return to her original tack until we both believed her. I told her firmly that I had NOT called the office, my tooth was NOT bothering me and an X-ray was a waste of time since we already knew I had a cavity that the dentist had told me I had after he read the ORIGINAL X-rays. She darted out of the room and was hysterically chirping at the real hygienist about that lady that thought she had a cavity. Apparently I was being unreasonable. It turned out the crackerjack team upfront had actually booked me incorrectly for an exam (which sugar pants would have figured out had she asked) and then dentist came in, put up my X-rays that sugarpants hadn't even looked for and then told me I should actually have a crown not a filling as that was way too big and he didn't know who told me it was just a cavity (that would be his partner but we'll leave that out). The other cavity was also missed on the previous exam so I did have repeat X-rays -by the real hygienist not sugarpants who was staying out of the line of fire - and when we get the authorization I will have two new crowns. After that I'm looking for a new dentist - this guy is great, but having to get past the Island Of Misfit Toys is getting rather tiresome.
......but we are still lagging a bit behind. The decorations are still packed away downstairs, the ghosts are still Halloween ghosts. Part of it is with the kids gone, there's really no one to decorate for, no one to help with the tree or look for the Santa we put up every year. I know it would make me feel a bit more seasonal, I'll get there. We also have tons of plans - the Bayada Division party is this weekend so I've been trying to find a dress in between this and that - the dresses this year stink. I was trying so hard NOT to buy a black dress but anything with a bit of color to it is quite frankly weird this year. I tried on a bright red number - the ruffle around the collar hit right below my ears - back on the rack it went. There was a black dress and I know what I said, but it had tons of taffeta and looked great on the hanger. I looked like a fine horse showing off my blanket. AND the skirt rustled loudly with every move I made - if you were going to commit a murder it would not be the outfit of choice. There was one that made me look like I had an exotic skin disease, a dress that was composed entirely of a space blanket, back back back. I did end up with a black sleeveless dress and will just have to wear some very snappy shoes. David was going to head out to LI but the truck he bought started doing something off so back to the shop - not a major repair, but a needed one. Since he has to work and by the time he got moving today he just ended up canceling it for now, he can go in the middle of January after all the excitement is over. The boys are hopefully both going to be here after the holidays, I need tires, etc. etc. And there is work - but it remains a great job so no complaints on my end. I'm doing Christmas cards tonight, Glee is on so I 'll be watching that while I write them all out
I haven't taken any pictures lately so you'll have to revisit some old stuff. Not much is going on - a lot is going to go on, but it hasn't happened yet. And anyone that knows me for more than half an hour will tell you I'm extremely superstitious - I will not say Boo before things happen because if I do, then terrible things will happen and my life will be in shambles. So I guess this is sort of a Non-blog, skirting the subject but not really touching it. We're planning a few trips here and there and as they occur, I will write. In other news, the Shipwreck Shawl is coming along well, I'm on the 3rd pattern already and it vaguely resembles the pictures, so I'm happy. Once I get past that part I'm taking a break and doing a baby sweater for a co-worker, then back to the shawl. I have 4 more sessions of PT for my foot, jury is out again. I was doing really well and for the past two days it's been hurting again. I'm not sure if it's because I'm starting to slack off or I've done something, but I know I am tired of this stupid painful foot. I'm still exercising and stuff but it's just constantly annoying. I was hoping it would be all better by now, I have the division party coming up and the first trip, it would be nice not to have to worry about it or wear something other than clumpy shoes with my big green inserts in them. Work's going well, we're getting super busy and I wrote a piece for the company newsletter that was accepted - but you know at some point the pins will be knocked out from under me so that keeps my ego in check. I have no Christmas shopping done and it will be mainly gift certificates, I only have so much time and so much to do!
That kind of sets the tone for today. Not that today was blah - but I'm just going to blather. I don't know about your neck of the woods but the temperatures have dropped drastically. Vincent the cat however neglected to watch the weather channel and went out anyhow. When I came out for the second cup of coffee he was rather hilariously standing on his back legs with his little paws stretched up as high as they could go against the glass doors - I guess he was afraid I wouldn't see him. He shot in like his butt was on fire, slammed down his breakfast and headed on in for his blanket on the settee in the bedroom - right over the heat register, life good again. David and I went out to Bethlehem today, I needed to make a trip to the Asian market, I'm completely out of tofu and boy choy. I bought a big bag of Korean rice too, I usually don't buy rice in small markets because in the past, well, after a few days the rice has a tendency to, ahem, well - come alive. I had a Traumatic Event once involving this and challenging my vegetarian status - no details but it took a long time for me to eat rice again. After that we went to Barnes and Nobles where I had to repeatedly remind myself it is not Christmas yet, then off to Borders where I bought the 3rd twilight movie Eclipse and books for Jackson that he already read so I will give them to Adam since they read the same things. We did Wegmans and stocked up on stuff then we haunted the car lots. David sold his truck, because we're tired of selling and buying our guns I suppose - apparently we're not happy unless we're getting a truck or gun or both on occasion. He bought an older truck in good condition and now will buy a small gas efficient car to drive back and forth to work. That's the plan but we're actually just having fun looking and talking to a variety of People We Don't Know. I was forced to ride shotgun - I HATE buying cars, it's one of my least favorite things to do. Transferring funds, DMV, inspections, all of that makes me crazy, mad and complaining - when we bought my car I wasn't even allowed to see it before I got it unless I wanted to do it myself. I've heard from both the boys, Adam is close enough in to get on Facebook again so I see he's been on, making friends and comments. He's picked up a few "friends" I wish he hadn't but he's old enough to make his own bad decisions - as long as they stay off my page I suppose it has nothing to do with me. I'm sitting with my foot up, I did go for a walk as I had planned, then I walked all day so it might have been a wee bit too much. But the idea of physical therapy is for me to get back to hiking so I guess if I want to make an omelet, I'll have to break a few eggs.
Years ago I somehow got hooked on Spanish soap operas - I have no idea how that happened but it did. I ended up taking a Spanish class at the local library just so I could figure out who stole Esperanza and Phillip's baby and better yet, why she was hiding in a cave. A couple of months ago I was in a DVD store and saw a pile of Spanish DVDs on clearance and on impulse, bought one. I have a portable player that I use while I'm on my elipse so I can watch while I worked out. I just finished En Nombre De Amore (In the name of love) - I thought I could brush up on my Spanish which I haven't used in years - but I gave in after the first 3 episodes and turned on the subtitles. You're probably wondering what's so great about these as opposed to the ones we have in the US. Spanish soaps do not run for years, they run for about 4 to 6 months, they tie up all the loose ends, and the bad guys get what they deserve. They run heavy on the religion, priests tend to be central characters that have some secret romantic past. The lead character 99% of the time is a Chaste Young Woman that everyone picks on, her best friend will always plot to steal her One True Love, there will be at least one or two sleazy men to attempt to turn her head, and of course the Bad One will spend the entire course of the story pounding on our heroine. In this soap Aunt Charlota was bad, her niece Paloma was good. Aunt Charlota: killed her dog, blamed her parent's death on her (they turned out not be her parents later on) she stole her inheritance, killed her real mother (that would be Aunt Charlota's sister Marcerna), killed her first fiance, plotted with Paloma's best friend to trick Paloma's boyfriend into thinking he had fathered the best friend's child, drugged and took pictures of the priest in a compromising position (that was Paloma's real father), shot and tried to kill the local doctor, killed the dead fiance's father after he found out she had killed his son, killed Paloma's friend at her wedding, tried to shoot the priest, tried to kill Paloma by pushing her down the stairs AND killed the maid. My Spanish is no better but I have realized it's entirely possible to knock off half the town before anyone figures it was you. Through out The Chaste Young Woman keeps her chin up, forgives as she goes along and gets rewarded in the end - the Bad One gets punished appropriately and that's the end - what's not to like? In other news, my foot continues to heal, I am going to attempt a walk tomorrow morning, I would do it this morning but we have errands and I need to replace the batteries in Pearl's electric collar. She's much better but still would like to eat a small dog at some point in her life. My luck she was eat a triple crown winner and I would have to sell my car to replace it. I've started a new project - twice - I'm attempting the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty.com and it's pretty complicated. The only bad thing is I'm using actually mohair yarn lace weight so when you rip it back all those natural fibers clump and cling which meant repeated stopping, teasing it apart, rip, stop, pull, start, etc. It took almost as long to frog it as it did to knit it!