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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolutions For 2012

I resolve to continue in my quest to own a sheep
 I don't believe that resolutions should be hard, annoying or not fun at all - who made up that stupid rule anyhow? Why is it when we want to improve ourselves - it always has to something strenuous or unpleasant - why can't we resolve to do something we WANT to? Why does improvement mean No Fun At All? So in the spirit of 2012 here are my resolutions:

I resolve to knit as much as humanly possible. Every minute that is not to devoted to work, sleep or other necessary endeavors will be nothing but nonstop knitting.
        I resolve to get my own personal sheep, two in fact. David has said no because he states this would be his life "David, have you seen the sheep? Do you know where they are? I think they ran off again David, can you help me look for them? ACCK! They pooped in the yard. David, can you help me feed the sheep? Does this one look alright to you, I think he's sick David!"...... that is the reason I have been told there will be no woolly citizens darkening my doorway. Bastards.
         But that's OK because I resolve to continue buying all the fun yarn I see, that I'll visit a yarn shop at least once every two weeks for an assortment of yarn and of course bags and accessories.
       I'll keep my weight stable and continue with Weight Watchers - these past few weeks have been hard! with the holidays and all but I didn't do too badly. I gained two pounds over the holidays but I'm still below my goal weight so hopefully I can continue and become a Life time member.  I make myself get up and exercise every day - thank goodness for Hulu these days. I take my laptop down with me and catch up on TV programs - I've watched the entire season of the Biggest Loser, Being Human and Bones, to name a few. It makes it much easier and with the reduced commercials the shows last almost exactly 40 minutes.
             I'll continue to hike and walk as much as the weather and time will allow - I'm so looking forward to the spring so we can really go on some long jaunts.
     And that's it for the resolutions! Not too painful I might add. David and I went out today to spend our Christmas money - I bought a new Namaste knitting bag so I now have them ALL - the one I bought was purple and is very swanky. VERY swanky. I'll post pictures when I get a chance. We did Gabe's but I only got one pair of pants (for $1.75 I might add). Sam's Club for a handful of groceries then to the mall. David did Gander Mountain and I went to Victoria's Secret since they're starting their clearance sales - I might hit the one in Morgantown too.  I also went to Macy's and bought new sheets and stuff - the rest I'll get as I see. I try to hold off til mid January because that's when the real sales start, don't they?
To share even though I don't want to

To work hard keeping my weight down where it should be

And to never be too old to play in the mud.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Of Days Gone By

 Most people I know during the Christmas season or shortly thereafter, will wish Christmas of their childhood back. They'll remark it's not as special, that you'll never possess that special joy of a childlike quality you had - of course you won't.  Because you most likely have acquired things like I have - what I have now that I did not have as a 10 year old are: in-laws, bills, a job, a car, a spouse,  -  there is nothing childlike or sparkly about most of that. I tend to be more of a giver these days as opposed to being a sole recipient and when I get something I don't just take it for granted I am entitled to it - I worry that my gift should have been bigger or more personal as if I could somehow instantly think of the perfect gift despite the fact that weeks of heavy thought failed to produce anything past a gift card. And the things I wanted as 10 year old me seemed far out of reach and yet somehow most of it appeared - but in reality what I viewed as exotic and desirable always came in at well under the $100 mark. Even the year I scored big and got the coveted puppy - I was warned and told if I got the puppy I would get Nothing Else Just The Puppy. It was repeated with the same serious tone that one would use for a Life And Death Decision - I had to be sure I  REALLY wanted that puppy as I would be sitting gift-less, enduring watching everyone opening packages - what a test of courage -  I braved it and agreed  that I would get Just The Puppy And Nothing Else. And needless to say Schnitzel and I spent most of the morning opening gifts together (I actually got the puppy prior to Christmas). Getting the puppy was a big coup as it is for most kids - the size of the animal requested is usually inverse to the chances of you getting it - asking for a hamster or a gerbil has about an 80% chance of happening, kitten - hmm. 30%. Puppy is a definite crap shoot and a pony or a horse - you're chances are about the same as spontaneous combustion.  So, needless to say Christmas does sort of lose it's magic - but just because things are different doesn't mean they're not as good. Waiting for Adam to come home - and then him being here! Christmas driving around and ending up at the Chinese buffet like we did for years, David and I taking a day to spend our Christmas money at the endless clearance sales where you can buy about 10 times as much for 10 times less - maybe the magic isn't gone, it just gets a little thinner.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Still Having Fun

What a fun few days we've been having. On Wednesday I took Adam on the promised sightseeing mission. The first stop was the Golden Palace in Cameron WV - it's one of the main compounds of the Hare Krishas - it's in a tiny tiny town, 4 miles off the main road on a twisting, potholded road passing farms and trailers. All of the sudden you come around the corner and there it is! We took the tour - all two of us - apparently on a pouring rain day in December it's not a hot tourist spot. But the guy was a good sport and turned on the lights and gave the tour. After we went the 1/4 mile down the road to the main temple and compound -  and took tons of pictures including the 40 foot statues. It was nothing short of amazing. After that we headed off to Moundsville - the prison is closed for the season but we toured the indian mound and museum. We climbed the mound - it's about 70 feet high and you can see Ohio from the top! More pictures of course and then off to Triadelphia to do a little shopping and lunch. We had lunch at a mexican restaurant - I'm trying  to stay on my diet but  not making myself miserable. I am 4 pounds under my goal weight so I have a little leeway. Yesterday it was hiking in Coopers Rock out near Bruceton. I got my dog, backpack and off we went. The park is closed this time of year for the hunters but the one trail that goes to the look out is still open and Pearl wore her blaze orange harness so hunters would not mistake her for a small neurotic deer. We ended up doing about 6 miles and it turned out to be a perfect day for it - not too cold but not too warm. We passed rock formations, a lake and of course the overlook that Pearl is NOT allowed on - she would go hopping over the rail in a heartbeat. It would add a bit of drama to our walk but not in a good way. Today we finished up shopping and went to see Sherlock Holmes 2 - it was just as good as the first one and I had just popcorn a- a medium with just a tiny bit of butter - and a water. I'm making stew for Christmas Eve and we are going to try our luck at finding a restaurant tomorrow - we either end up somewhere great or in a diner -but it's been family tradition forever!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Pearl feeling sad because Adam is unable to read.
 It seems like the past few years we've managed to have either one boy or the other home - last year was like a rare leap year that we had BOTH of them home at the same time. But Jackson remains in Afghanistan so maybe next year lightening will strike twice. It's been nice having Adam stationed in Norfolk - we've seen him THREE times in the past year, a record. I took off too - Adam arrived on Friday of last week,  it was his first long road trip so we were a bit nervous about it. He of course ignored the directions I had sent because our address does not show up on a GPS so he learned his lesson by having to sit next to a cow pasture until we could figure out where he was. But he made very good time with only a few stops along the way. I had to work until yesterday so on Sunday, he and David took off for NJ to go see Ray. Adam calls Ray on occasion and they keep in touch so he was eager to go see him. That's the one thing that's hard is being so far from Ray - but we've seen him more this year too so hopefully that will continue into the new year. Anyhoo - the past two days at work were a forced march of course -but I know it just feels like that since I was trying to get everything done before I left plus stuff five days into two. I got home last night about 7:30, they had gotten home about 5. They had a wonderful time with Ray, they went to the famous Macaroni Grill, the park and of course the The Stack House, Ray's big favorite. Adam and I are heading out to do some sightseeing this morning, or at least will be trying to. This time of year is a bit on the iffy side for tourist attractions but I'm glad to have someone to do some adventuring with. If not there's always shopping! I have Weight Watchers tonight too, I've been good since I only have I think 3 more weeks to make the Lifetime Member - wish me luck!
David, Adam and Ray

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Visitor!

 Adam made it up to our house the other day - David and I were stressing about it a little of course. Adam just got this car of his about 6 months ago and this was his first big trip, but he did fine and got here in pretty good time. He used his GPS and I had sent him directions because our house does not show up - he chose to ignore this and ended up sitting overlooking a field of cows. When he called I said where are you? and he didn't know since the cows weren't that good with directions either. But he figured it out and he was actually only a mile or so from the house, he just needed to go a little further. We spent the day together yesterday in downtown Morgantown which is always  fun. There's all sorts of little funky stores and restaurants, we had breakfast at Maxwell's which caters to meat eaters and vegetarians, not bad. I also made him go to the yarn store with me and then he returned the favor by insisting I go to the college store where you can buy hemp shirts and Grateful Dead stuff. After a full day of wandering we headed home  and stopped at a farm so I could take pictures of sheep, then off to meet David and then back out to dinner. I'm trying so hard to be good because I have 3 more weeks to go in Weight Watchers to make Lifetime member so I eat and then work out forever.So I had the diet dinner and the big piece of cake - all a balancing act.  Pearl as you can see is having a grand time performing her hostessing duties, she darts up and down the stairs at night to make sure the guest doesn't need anything or isn't lonely for a dog. They are going off to see Ray today since I have to work for the next two days,then I'm off until Adam leaves which I'm looking forward to. We might hike Cooper's Rock if it the weather isn't too bad or I might take him to go sight seeing. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Walk In The Park

 Sunday was our first walk in over a month since Pearl injured her front leg. It's funny how she can't remember not to eat the cat's food no matter how many times she gets yelled at for it, yet I take out her orange walking harness she hasn't seen for a month and she's bouncing around the kitchen, all barky and spinning. Rat fink. So off we went to meet Charlene and her dogs Sophie and Libby. It's so much more fun to walk with another person, isn't it? I met Charlene over the Internet when I lived in Stroudsburg - then we were face book friends and then when I moved here - we met at the park and went walking together. I like to tell David before I leave that I'm going out to meet the stranger I met over the Internet in the woods. I think it's funny! As you can see by the pictures Pearl has a grand time visiting and playing and I get my exercise in. We probably only have another month before the weather gets too bad to go out walking - if it's nice next weekend we'll go again. So Sunday went well - Monday not so good. I woke up feeling tired but figured it would go away - it didn't. I ended up calling in sick, hello 24 hour virus. I HATE being sick, I get offended and outraged, I am not a good patient. Best to leave me - if I live I live, if I don't the yarn goes with me. I ended up calling into work and having to coordinate a few things from my death bed, but other than that I survived the war and was back at work today. I ended up having to work late of course - not home til 7:30 !! - why is when you least can do it is when you have to do it the most? Murphy's Law. I am still slogging through the Christmas cards, just haven't had the time or inclination. We sent Jackson's Christmas package two weeks ago, still not there. Adam is coming home for Christmas so that should be really fun - I can't wait to see him.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Julia E Goes To Washington.

The new garage doors I've been going on about - don't they look great?
 Yes I did - Washington Pennsylvania that is. I am off call this weekend so we decided to to a run up there this week. David hit the Tractor Store first and bought his Christmas present, a martin house which he's been wanting since he saw it in their weekly ad. I did the Gabe's up there, I got two turtlenecks, 3 long sleeved shirts and a knee length cardigan - for $38. It just kills me that I can go to Jones Of NY in the mall and see the pants for $48 then go to Gabe's and get the same exact pants for $7.99. You just have hunt around more Then we went to Blooming Yarns - one of my favorite  yarn shops and I bought my Christmas present  while David sat in the truck. When I came in there was a husband parked on the couch they have snoozing away, apparently the excitement got to him. So I got my present - David spent more than he had planned, but I'm worth it, aren't I? Off to the natural food store - they sell Miracle Rice and Shitaki noodles - what's so great about that? NO CALORIES. That's what's so great - and I picked up some other odds and ends. David went to Loafers and got us both lunch, it was very good - but a little pricey - oh well. They do a great vegetarian sandwich and they make all of their own bread, you have no idea how good freshly made multigrain bread is until you have it. I could have run back in and bought 5 loaves but I was good and just horsed down my gourmet sandwich and secretly wished I could have another. I was so full I was ready to throw up but I still wanted another one.We swung by Sam's but it was super packed so we decided to go to the one in Morgantown which is only 15 miles out of our way. When you live here anything under 40 miles is right around the corner. As we stopped my phone rang and it was Jackson calling from Afghanistan so we sat and talked to him for quite awhile. Then off to Sam's Club finally and back home again. We still have to do Christmas shopping but these days that pretty much consists of gift cards - with the distance it's just too hard and really, after awhile you run out of things to buy. Not to mention all the REALLY great sales take place in January - David and I usually take off a day together and just go out to lunch and then shopping so I'm trying super hard not to buy anything.  I continue in Weight Watchers, if I can maintain my weight for 6 weeks I get to be a lifetime member - no dues! Of course I choose to do this over Christmas. Sigh. As usual, my timing is impeccable.
David also finished off most of the kitchen this week.

Monday, December 5, 2011

About Halfway There.

It's coming along a little faster than I thought it would - not perfect of course. If you want perfect go to Macy's and buy one for heaven's sake. I knew I had to keep switching the needles to a larger size as I knit along but I keep forgetting. So every time I think of it I switch the needles, no rhyme or reason but whatever - feel free to refer to my previous comment about being perfect. I knit for the joy of it and when it's done I usually give it away. I am super loving my new bookcases with the storage area behind it, it's the first time in my whole life I've had a real spot for my knitting collection. I've been busily moving all my needles and bags there too so eventually all of my knitting stuff will be in one place. David finishing the kitchen, the closets in the upstairs bedroom and the garage doors are coming Wednesday - then we are taking a break til spring. The list has gotten much smaller and only has a couple major things left on it.  We decorated the outside for Christmas, well, David did and I watched. He felt obligated because everyone else has their stuff up. The tree will be in a couple more weeks and hopefully we can locate the decorations. I think they're here somewhere - even though this is a much smaller house we have tons of storage so it could be anywhere. We've been condensing our stuff, it was scattered all over and most of the bins were less than half full. I've gone through most of them and managed to get rid of about a half dozen, Over the winter I want to organize the basement, we have most of our exercise stuff down there but it's here and there. And there. And some over there. You get the idea. But given that we've only been here since July I think we've done pretty good so far

Saturday, December 3, 2011


 Well, this week has been interesting. I FINALLY hit my goal weight at Weight Watchers - 30 pounds gone! I got my star and if I can keep it off for 6 weeks I can become a Lifetime Member. I will be staying in for awhile yet, with the holidays coming and then the idle hours of deep winter - I think it's in my best interest to keep going.  I've been having a rough go of it, as everyone that knows me knows I was hanging out at the same weight for almost a month. Right before I left for NJ was the worst -  after a week of dropping the amount I was eating and increasing the amount I was exercising -not only didn't I lose - I gained. I was this far from quitting, what's the use, why bother. But I got it under control - I've come too far now to give up. I realized one of the reasons I got so mad was I was forced to face the fact that I can no longer eat what ever - and when ever I want. I was really angry about it - irrational and childish as that is, that was a hard thing to accept and I still have some issues about it.  Getting older for me has been a good thing, I like being in my fifties - I'm not going to go on and on about it because the last time I did that I got a big cosmic fanny smack - but the difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight has been a big change for me. It takes more exercise now and less calories, but I've gotten creative about that too. We have piles of fruits and vegetables around, I keep the bad stuff either out of the house or out of sight. I've started substituting Miracle Rice and Shitake Noodles for the real deal. You can find one or both either in the soy section of our local food store or natural food stores - both have LESS than 20 calories per serving. Just word to the wise - rinse them before you sniff them. And that's all I'm going to say. So, hopefully I'll be able to keep up with my exercise and dieting through the winter, it was hard to take off all that weight, I certainly don't want to do it twice!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Use What You Have.

 I spent part of the day cleaning the fridge and rearranging the food cabinet. David and I still do major shopping every couple of weeks but we seem to have acquired a surplus of food lately. Part of the problem is we just keep stuffing it in and  it's not that I had to throw out too much - just some eggs that were not above suspicion and a package of portobello mushrooms I forgot I had and were now spending their free time cheerfully liquifying in the bottom drawer. . Once I got the fridge straightened out, it was still full but not as full as it had been. The cabinet was hilarious of course, I have enough beans that if I actually ate them all could turn myself into a secret weapon and I  seem to have cornered the market in pickled ginger (I've never even eaten pickled ginger - obviously). I am considering doing the freezer at some point today. But it's just under consideration. In other news  I also found my missing knitting needles and my Buddhas today too so I officially Have It All. David and I went shopping up in Washington yesterday - I got to go to the yarn shop (yay!!) and got 10% off as their Black Friday Weekend Special. We poked around while we were there and found a really nice natural food store while we were there. David got to go to Dick's and we did our weekly food shopping, but lately it's consisted of produce and perishables - I think next week will be a very light shopping week. We have to start Christmas shopping, but the past few years due to time and distance, most of my shopping consists of buying gift cards. I also have my weekly weigh in this week - we'll see. I have been stuck at the same weight now for almost a month and I am getting discouraged. If I wasn't this close to my goal weight it wouldn't be such a big deal but to be that close and to fail week after week. It being Thanksgiving and visiting Ray didn't help - I tried to be good and I didn't go over, but I certainly was skirting it this week. It's back to work tomorrow - I'm dreading it a little, I only worked 3 days last week so this week will be catch up all week - but I'll get through it. Hunting season ended yesterday, David and Pearl got their last licks in. However, Pearl refuses to believe it's over and spent the entire morning sadly moaning and carrying on behind David's every step to get him to look at her Sad Sad Face and take her anyhow. He finally escaped to go clay shooting with Rich - and Pearl is now snoring away on the couch - she knows asking me is definately barking up the wrong tree.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Grahams in Kearny NJ
 We left right after I got home from work on Wednesday - the idea being we could get at least partway there so it wouldn't be so overwhelming in the morning. David and I do NOT travel well together - he hates to travel at night so from the moment we pull out of the driveway he complains, carries on and is a general irratation. The car was not even out of WV before he started talking about stopping for the night! We pulled off the highway after I was pretty much accused of being a terrorist. In the morning I am the pest, I dawdle and play while others are waiting. We got to Ray's around 10;30 - it's been so long since I've seen him, got to be close to a year.  I fixed the Facebook password issue and he now has an easy to remember one. David measured for the future washer dryer that he'll put in after Ray makes a decision as to when and where they will go. We had a great day, we walked in the park, visited a historical site - nothing much was open of course since it was Thanksgiving but we didn't come to shop. Ray looks good, a little older of course but so do we. We had dinner at one of Ray's favorite places, they had the turkey dinner, I had eggplant parmigiana. I had a huge piece of cake and a chocolate milkshake - I refuse to diet on Thanksgiving - I'll just run a little more on the weekend. Dinner was like old times, we discussed politics, art - the usual offenders. Then we wandered around town a bit. when we got back to Ray's I suggested we go to the corner bar - it's a real neighborhood bar where all the patrons know each other well. I had the honor of being the only woman in the place aside from the bartender who came down to see if I was offended by the chronic use of the "f" word. Anyone who knows me would laugh at me being offended by the "f" word as that would mean I frequently offend myself multiple times daily. I was not but I was impressed that she had told the bar to tone it down until she cleared it with me. Ray left her a very nice tip. We were there for an hour or so and then back to Rays. We'll visit a bit more before heading back - not a traditional Thanksgiving, but it is a holiday for giving thanks for what you cherish, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bless Me Father For I Have Grinned

Moundsville Prison. Disney for some of us.
 Yes, things are starting to go better - but they always do eventually, don't they? I was out in Moundsville today, eating my lunch outside the prison wishing it was mine before I started back to the office - I was just enjoying being there. I was also considering sneaking up the Indian mound but since it's A) in the middle of town, B) right outside the prison and C )raining a lot dammit I just sat and wanted it from A Far. Being weird does have it's benefits on occasion. On the way home I was flipping the stations and there was an evangelist on the radio - I was envying him too. I love the way they talk, they think they're way more interesting than they are. They remind me of the guy at the party that isn't half as amusing as he thinks he is - just loud and on your last nerve eventually. Anyhoo, he was god this and god that - then got to the real point which was to ask for money so he and his fellows could continue to broadcast god's message. First of all how do we know it IS god's message? did he approve the script? And what if they get extra moo la? Is it theirs? How do we know god didn't tell them to keep it and buy jet skis for their vacation? Since we're taking their word that they're spreading god's message I suppose we would just have to go along with it being a jet ski of god. Totally confusing. This led me to think about the bible I still have from my rather unsuccessful Sunday School Career in which I learned nothing but did receive a rather swanky white bible which ever stranger I have had for 41 years and have yet to crack the cover. Yes I am considering it.  I have tried in the past by usually peter out halfway through Genesis - all those Begets. Onward. We're spending our Thanksgiving with an old friend - I am super looking forward to that. I got my headlight fixed today after work - it's hard to find the time to do things these days! - since we live in the Land Without Streetlights having one headlight is very inconvenient - I had to do an after hours visit last week to someone who lived about 40 miles OFF the highway - most of the roads with drop offs have sticks masquerading as guard rails - it was a bit scary at times. Adam is considering coming home for Christmas which will be a fun thing for his old parents. And hunting season is coming to a close, Pearl will have to find something else to do with her afternoons!
I SUPER want to do this next

I would have sneaked but it's surrounded by a fence

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yes It Does All Roll Downhill. Thank You For Asking.

My kitchen at 10 am yesterday - note the lack of stove
 SO - we were having our first Official Inside Guests on Saturday. The stove repairman from San sung was coming to fix the tiny problem of the Hot Surface light not going out - easy easy right? Who are you talking to? I came home late Friday afternoon to the fan going, smoke in the kitchen and the Sam sung NOT repairman speaking hysterically into his phone. Turns out he was A)new, B) not in possession of the correct information and C) a bit of an idiot.  Most people would have said they didn't know how to fix it  and rescheduled since it was such a small thing but not our guy. Whatever he did caused a small fire, electrical sparks to come shooting out of the stove and in essence, caused the stove to die an untimely death. David called Lowe's who tried to pull an "as is" - but they caved and told him he could return it and get another with a $200 discount since they didn't have that model. In the meantime David had also been replacing the kitchen faucet as the one that came with the house had been invented just after the water pump. He could not get it to stop leaking. Or clogging. Or performing an annoying series of activities that no one wants their kitchen sink to do. We also discovered  there is no way to just turn off the kitchen sink. Sweet. So the next morning, after dragging the Dearly Departed out to the truck to go back to Lowe's David rigged up the old faucet set temporarily so I could take a shower as it was now nearing 10 am - guests due at 4. No water, no stove, no problem! David did his usual - even in the most desperate of situations get that discount. He found the same stove on sale for $700 - and then reminded the manager that he had been promised a $200 not only did he get the same stove but they owe us $150. He got a new faucet set and had it all hooked up by noon. The food got started, the kitchen swamped and swamped again. Susan, Roger and Buddy the dog found the house despite my amazingly bad directions. We did open the bottle of Ramp wine - and it was just as awful as you think it would be, no wine should have an onion aftertaste. I experimented with no boil noodles for the lasagna - never again. No boil and they also no baked around the edges. But all in all it went well. Pearl enjoyed having a guest of her own and they had a ball racing around the yard and we got to show off our new home. Now that we have had our test run I hope the next time will go smoother
No food, no water

Yet another new stove. I am getting jaded.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow.

 It's amusing that no matter what happens - the sun always comes up in the morning. Someone told me that years ago and it's my go-to comfort thought - and it does always seem better in the morning. That would be why the Two AM Girl likes to show up in the middle of the night, it's easier to jolt me out of my sleep with her dire words and worrisome conversation ("YOU'RE GOING TO JAIL! YOU'RE GOING TO GET FIRED! YOU'LL LOSE YOUR HOUSE!"). Ah yes, she does like a good time. But she hasn't been too active lately and I've been so tired that even her worst cannot disturb my sleep. And it is getting better - Pearl is recovering, Vincent remains status quo, the house moves along. David finished the kitchen floor and it looks wonderful - we also got a new stove which has all sorts of Fanciness and Spectacular Features. I can make my fries in a regular oven OR a convection oven. And it even has a warming tray built in. David bought it in stainless steel so it matches the fridge and he found so stuff to shine it up with. The last time he shined the fridge up he had read somewhere that you could use vegetable oil. Which you can. And it does work. Until the dog saunters by - Pearl did a double take and then proceeded to lick the entire front of the fridge clean of vegetable oil - it was the single most disgusting display of canine perseverance I've ever seen in my life - I thought I would laugh until my lungs burst. That was the last time we got a helpful hint out of a magazine.  We still have some odds and ends to attend to - we need garage doors- can you believe this house has never had them? You can see straight in my garage and see the big mess David has going. And we really need a new TV for upstairs. Somehow we ended up keeping the Toy TV Set which has a 9 inch screen. Everyone is the size of nickel and since it's pretty old it only goes up to channel 80 which means not only is everyone tiny, but they're not my favorite tiny people. We also figured out the On-Demand feature so I can catch up on my favorite shows or watch the movies on the premium channels without having to stay up past my bedtime. The bad thing is we can use the on-demand function upstairs with the pretend TV - that would be David's fault. I am STILL going to Weight Watchers - it's coming off in drops now I think. I thought I had it last week at my weigh in and I was - I kid you not - POINT TWO away from my goal weight.  If I can lose Point Two this week I will be a lifetime member and not have to pay $40 a month. Yes that's what it is - and it's not really that expensive if you think of A)how much Jenny Craig is and B)how much your health care costs go up when you're not at your best. So I eat my fruit and vegetables and keep my eye on the prize.

Friday, November 11, 2011

At Day's End.

The bad week has continued and will be at the end soon. We hope. It wasn't actually a bad week, but we had an unexpected death - well, who ever expects it? But this was especially terrible, a friend and co-worker lost her 22 year old daughter in a car accident - what do you say and what can you do? Nothing really,we sat with her at the hospital and stayed away at the end when the family needed to say goodbye, the whole event has been overly whelmingly sad. I did not know her personally, but have seen her pictures displayed and she was the light of her mother's life, a weekly topic of conversation. The memorial will be on Sunday, the beginning of a long trip back. It affects us all because we know our friend will never be the same again,  that we can imagine that horror but never fully know it really.  It hangs over us all, at the edges of your thoughts all day, something that should never happen to any of us. Funerals have a purpose in letting you have closure, to say goodbye.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How To Jinx Yourself.

I should have known better than to write about how great my life is - it's the best way to get a cosmic smack up side the head. This week has been a never ending slide down that slippery slope - work was a race and I ran ran ran and accomplished nothing. I've been lectured and yelled at by my clients, not mad at me, just mad and tired. Vincent, the Best Cat In The Universe went into kidney failure and spent two days at the vets getting fluids. He's better, but not great. Pearl has been hunting all week no problems. A friend of ours threw her toy and she managed to do something awful to her leg - it's not broken, but it's swollen and she can't bear weight on it. There are other things going on, but nothing I wish to mention here.  So it's been a bad week, actually more than bad. But there have been little bright spots here and there, I got my new stove, Vincent is home and Pearl will mend. Today was fun, well, after we took Pearl to the vet for an X-ray - just for those keeping track we've spent about $500 in vet fees so far this week. I also had to buy IV fluids for Vincent so if he starts to get dehydrated I can give him fluids. Pearl was a pest at the vet's as it stresses her out. She refused to go for for X-ray so Dr. Kenny just picked her up and carried her whining butt in there. She was not gracious about it at all but we were relieved her leg was not fractured. We gave her her pain medication which we have hidden high up - it's the same stuff she overdosed on as a puppy and she would still gladly suck down the entire bottle of beefie flavored pills.   Yarns and Tall Tails: O Is For Overdose.    We also put a deposit on a puppy for the spring the other day, it will be coming from Ohio Land That I Love. We've discussed it at great length and as much as I would love a puppy right now, it makes more sense to wait until the spring when it's warm and we have the time. We're also currently trying to make plans for Thanksgiving, so busy since we moved back! I started a shawl the other day, it took a couple of tries but I'm good now. I have all my knitting books out on the bookshelves David bought me and I'm thrilled of course - they came out so nice and it's so wonderful to have my stuff back.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I'm OK. I really am. It's funny how there are certain, unexpected times in your life that you thought would be - I don't know, terrible or depressing and strangely - they are not. Fifty has turned out to be one of my better moments I think - I look my age but inside - I feel 24. Right now, right here I feel happy. I'm not rich, not poor, my house is just right. My weight is almost where I'd like it, my cat is the best cat in the universe and I like my little corner of the world. Not that everything is perfect mind you - I worry about Adam getting out of the navy and Jackson being in Afghanistan, Claw the Evil cat spends her days sleeping in the root cellar and I think it will not be long now. Not a day goes by that I don't miss Setsu and Mikio or think of them - I still can't figure out how I could forget that I liked peanut butter at some point in my life when I can't even remember ever eating it. But I get the privilege of being fifty - being young enough to go hiking and old enough to spend the weekend sitting and knitting. I'm young enough to enjoy my job and find it exciting - and old enough to know how to do it. I get to be past all the very bad stuff, it's way back there in my rear view and I look to the future of puttering about, trips to Ohio - when I mean to and when I -oops! - didn't mean to - life is no longer a race but a canoe in the river.  I enjoy feeling safe. I have no idea what the future holds - will our money hold out, will the economy stagger and sink? Am I going to be healthy? Or not? Will I run out of yarn before I run out of time? I could ponder and worry, but right now I just don't want to - this weekend I'm on call so I can't go hiking (no cell service in the woods) - but I'm going to be putting my knitting book collection up on my new bookshelves that David built for me, I'll walk the dog and go grocery shopping. I'll read and knit, knit and read, watch TV and talk to David. It's not always true but sometimes, sometimes happiness is in your own backyard. And more importantly - if you find happiness you need to appreciate it for what it is, because it goes away much faster than it comes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Visit A Hostess A Weekend.

Fred, The Hostess, Mom
Mom and Fred were the first Official Subjects Of Hostessing, they visited Janet and Diane first and then made their way to our house. I must have given good directions as they arrived no worse for the wear. We had a very good time and  except for a few little bumps and bobbles it went pretty well. Fred is unable to walk too far due to his spinal stenosis so we went to the Gallitan Wilderness House which is historic but is a limited amount of walking. I would like to say here that if people visit us again and wish to drive around the country side it might behoove everyone involved to take their water pills AFTER we get back and that's all I'm saying.  We did the Boston Beanery and I had my beloved Beanwich - I spent about 20 minutes picking all the tiny bits of bacon out but believe me, if you ever come to West Virginia and go to the Beanery have that for lunch - you'll be hooked forever.  They left yesterday morning and I went back to the Salt Mines. David is now working down the list, we were approved for a home equity loan but that doesn't mean we need to spend the entire thing so we have a list of things we want to complete the house. For now. We'll be shopping for a new stove this weekend, the one that came with the house the owner's son had thought it didn't shut right. Actually what it does is sneaky incinerates your food every time you leave the room. I put frozen pizza in there last Friday and it was like cooking. cooking, coooookking..... then when I left the room it magically transported the pizza to the Fiery Pits Of Hell  and back so when I checked on it I discovered we were having hockey pucks.  Three pizzas later we had dinner. David is doing the bookshelves this week, we are extending the driveway - we're buying bedroom furniture but that's when we find something we like so it's no hurry. Most of it is small stuff - a kitchen faucet, a new dresser, maybe new counter tops, maybe not. We're also considering a swimming pool but that will be in the summer and we'll revisit that then. We've started looking for another dog, we might wait until spring if  we don't find one we want, warmer weather is better for puppies and babies anyhow. I'm on call for the first time this week, not looking forward to it but it tends to be a necessary evil in my part of the world.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plots And Plans

I love LOVE graveyards - the more remote, the older, the more Gothic I'm there! I feel about headstones, crypts and mausoleums the same way some would view the Louvre or the Mona Lisa. The thought and care that was put into the construction and the amazing artwork leaves  me wandering amongst the dead in open admiration. I stopped at a  mausoleum, it's a place where there are no markers, just flat little names on stone. In order to dress it up they stick fake bunches of flowers in plastic cones all over which makes it look a bit like Tacky Land but that would be one woman's opinion. There was a big structure in the middle which I assume houses the Hoity Toity Bunch - it was super pretty. I parked behind it and tried the door - score! - it was open. It had a pink puffy couch in one corner, some pew like seating and pulpit. I considered having my lunch there instead of in my car (I was out seeing patients) but I think the people in the office were peeking at me. I had a 50/50  chance of being able to eat in peace and I did have a back up plan that if someone came to see what I was doing I would kick my lunch under the couch and look all pious and stuff. I would have to pick and memorize a name on the Wall Of Our Dearly Departed so  I could pretend to be grieving or something but then that would most likely be going to far so I just did a little bit more of peeking about and off I went. To Work. Did too. Yes I did. Shut up. I saw a couple more patients and then had a little time before the next one and I found another graveyard - with three crypts all in a row. One had a broken door that looked like you could push it open....... BONUS!! Oh yes I did - are you kidding?? When opportunity knocks, well you should open the door. And I super did! It was just like I thought it would be but fancier. All the coffin shelves where made of marble and the entire interior was lined in white marble too. There were no coffins by the way, I have no idea - maybe they didn't pay their rent or moved on to a fancier piece of real estate. And that got me to wondering - if I bought a grave plot right now, would it be mine to use until I passed on to that Great Yarn Shop In The Sky? Could I eat my lunch there? Read? Take a nap or better yet - camp for the weekend? Would I just own the top or would I get to utilize all the way down six feet? Would I have to put my gravestone up - I would rather have something cheerier before the Big Event. And since I'm planning on being cremated could I sublet it? If I built a crypt of my own with little windows it would be a great place to get away from it and since most crypts have little air holes it would be perfect. And I have no idea why they have little air holes but I'm sure there's a good reason. ZOMBIES!