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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Unexpected Turn Of Events.

 "I can accept all of the economy of life and all of human activities and human nature except one thing: what is the use of grief?" 
Thomas Jeffereson

We saw Jim early this morning walking home carrying Gabe - and knew the worst had happened. Another neighbor had called to tell them Gabe was on the side of the road. It was too late of course, There is nothing more heartbreaking than a sudden death - whether it's human or canine - a hole is there. We all cried this morning, I cried off and on all day, just thinking we will never see Gabe again or laugh watching Pearl play keep away - unsuccessfully I might add - again is not imaginable. David helped Jim bury Gabe later on this morning, a sad task, Pearl keeps racing around the yard, then stops to watch next door for him to come racing over to play. She'll stop eventually, I don't know if they ever forget though. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Down On The Farm

 Well, I'm pooped. We had a busy day today. Pearl and I were at Friendship Hill before 8 am this morning - we hiked over 2 1/2 hours without a break. Well, I did use the bathroom once and Pearl was annoying as usual. When you hike the dog goes everywhere with you - bathroom included. So she got tied to the door and survived but insisted upon Carrying On which is unfair -I don't fuss when she goes! We also looked at the historic buildings - The Gallatin Wilderness House,Sarah Gallatin's grave site, etc  but if I do the tour it will have to be without Pearl. Although I must admit the idea of bringing Pearl to museum does make me laugh - can you imagine Pearl The Squirrel in a place filled with historical artifacts? We just had a really good morning, it was a perfect day for walking in the woods and just hanging with the dog.  After we got back I did a few things around here - I did get my clothes swapped out for fall and I got the vacuuming done, etc. Then I headed out to the Alpaca Farm for the open house. I saw the woman I saw at the covered bridge festival - her name is Rebecca's and I have her number - yea! another knitter! - she was doing a spinning demonstration. The alpacas were cute but out of my price range. A male can maybe go for $1000, a female can go for as much as $10,000 depending on blood lines. Eek! I'll just have to buy it by the skein I suppose. They had a shearing demonstration which was interesting and I skipped the hayride. I did get a skein, it was the same one I bought at the festival so now I have enough for knee socks. I also met the owner of the alpacas and she took my number and email address as she's trying to get a knitting group started. There was a local winery there and I got their information - they do dinners at the winery which sounds great -  I might run it by Jim and  Robin to see if they'd like to do that. Work will be busy this week and at the end of October I'll start taking my turn being on call - not looking forward to it, but part of the job. The good with the bad and all of that stuff. I finished the one sock of the ones I'm currently knitting and started the next one - onward!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Is Here!

 I'm making excellent progress on the sock - another few rows to go and then I start the toe. Then the other one of course. I wore a pair of socks I made last year to work today - I've never worn any socks I've made so it was an experience. A good one! They fit and they were comfortable which is all you can ask. This weekend I'm going to an open house at an Alpaca farm in Waynesburg, next weekend I'm off to the Buckwheat Festival, the weekend after that I am planning to finally hike Cooper's Rock. The neighbors have said they'd be interested in playing cards with us some weekend, Susan is going to come over to help me figure out the sewing machine - we are busy bees in West Virginia. But I'm glad we're back and it feels like we've never been gone. We are getting ready for the winter - we have heat - the furnace and hot water heater we had installed is 95% efficient. We had talked about fixing the old system but since we had planned on replacing it was silly to spend money on it. We also had the cesspool pumped - David ran into a neighbor at the covered bridge festival last week and they were brainstorming as to where it might be. Then the neighbor said he'd never seen it pumped out - David had a renewed interest in finding it!! He did locate it and pulled the cover off and well, we wont' go into Great Detail but the cesspool guy came the very next day after speaking to David and was amazed our drains had not backed up.  Eek. But disaster averted and on we go. I'm going through my clothes tomorrow - the ones I can find - and get the winter clothes swapped out. It's been raining again, I'm so tired of rain! But better than snow I suppose. I put the ghosts out as it's their time of the year again and will buy a few more Halloween decorations. I hate the holiday but love the trappings of it! I guess it's the B Movie Girl in me.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back In The Woods

 Pearl and I hit the trails again today - we did almost two hours this time and although I had my compass I didn't use it too much - just checked to make sure it was working. I debated bringing the backpack but after thinking about it - it's just easier than trying to stuff this and that in my pockets. I take my camera and phone, water, treats for Pearl - and it's easier to carry. Pearl wears her electric collar as I do let her off the leash to trot about on her own if no one is around so I have to bring the beeper end of it too.. When we got back there was a group dressed as revolutionary figures and they all loved Pearl, she tends to get a fan base where ever she goes. She's doing a bit better in that department but we had a little issue with the joggers on the trail - Pearl feels anyone traveling faster than her must be Up To No Good and she barks to make them stop. It is uber annoying. After I came home David and i went to the Covered Bridge Festival - more colonial outfits. It was a small affair but we actually ran into people we knew so that was exciting for me - and even more exciting were the alpacas! Apparently there;s an alpaca farm local and they produce (TADA - drum roll please!) Alpaca yarn of course. I bought only one skein of yarn since the Yarn Hater left most of our money at home. In an envelope. he has been at this for two weeks - he claims he has five hundred dollars and every time we go out he announces he left it home in the envelope. This is what stopped me from buying the subsoil mineral rights at the auction yesterday (well, even if he'd brought the envelope we would have still been $35,500 short so I suppose that wasn't his fault) and from buying the entire basket of yarn. That and he could not believe a skein of yarn could cost $19.  Oh, how little we know.........Anyhooo - they're having an open house next week and I will be there perusing the alpacas. I was talking to someone there that spins and she'll be there too - I didn't get her name but she's from Missouri originally - so maybe I'll make a friend out of the deal too.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Socks, Auctions and Other Stuff

 The weekends have become a fun event lately - there's so much to do you don't know where to start! Today we had a lot to do - shopping,  I needed a haircut, we needed to fill out paperwork for a home equity line of credit, on and on. David took my car BACK to Monroe Muffler and Brakes AGAIN  first thing this morning - this is time #4 but who's counting? They (hopefully!) finished bollixing it up and actually fixed it  - maybe they're as tired of seeing us as we are of seeing them - and David came back to get me. Next stop was the bank to sign paperwork - once we get settled financially we apply for a line of credit, it's easier and safer than credit cards and you have that "just in case" cushion. We ended up at an auction right after by following the signs posted along the road, what a fun surprise thing to do  - I bid on and won the sewing machine. It's an older model but I only paid $22 so if I decide sewing is not for me it's not a huge investment. They were auctioning off the house and the subsoil mineral rights after that - we were standing behind two guys that were bidding hot and heavy on the mineral rights and I was terrified to move. I figured my luck I would scratch my ear and the next thing I would hear would be "SOLD! $40,000 to the lady right over there!" The mineral rights went for $36,000!! and the house with the 20 acres went for $255,000. My sewing machine came with a basket that contained attachments and Crap, the crap being uber fun. One of the items was a disposable pair of cataract glasses which David was like TAKE THEM OFF - I thought I looked like a spy but apparently I was the only one of that opinion. We went to the book store next, groceries of course since it is Saturday and then I got my haircut. I tipped the girl a lot because she did a great job I think.  We are going to the covered bridge festival tomorrow - just the White Bridge near us. You can do the whole ten but it's a whole lot of driving! If I get up early enough I'll take Pearl back to Friendship Hill to walk tomorrow, we'll see. I've got to get my winter clothes out this week, no sense in putting it off anymore. Our furnace went Kaput this week - we had planned on replacing it as it's original to the house but we had planned on it next year. Oh well - no time like the present I suppose.  I'm currently working on a simple pair of socks - I had started them when we went down to Norfolk but ended up frogging it as it just didn't look right. Socks give me a chance to plan the next project and hopefully by then I'm not only have bookshelves but my books out so I can see them without having to burrow through the whole house. Since David is renovating my knitting stuff is on all three floors. Yikes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Walk The Line

Today we finally dared it - after a year we returned to the trails. Pearl The Pest and I got ready in our usual manner - she jumped around and barked like an idiot and I yelled at her.  I went out and started the car, leaving the back car door open because she knew she was going walking. I opened the kitchen door and she went firing straight out the door like a shot - catapulted into the car and resumed barking and jumping around like an idiot. I resumed yelling. She rode with her head out the window, ears flying straight back - I have no idea why she finds this so much fun, but it's dime not mine. The trail we did was Friendship Hill Park, it's historic so there's little graves and stuff along the way if you do the long way. We were just on a trial run for both my foot and my digital compass which is sort of like a GPS but you hit your start point and then off you go. You can even turn it off and turn it back on later - and it will tell how far you are away from your start point and the miles (or feet ) decrease as you get toward it. Pearl is sort of a mixed bag as far as hiking partners go - she can walk forever without tiring since she is a Vizsla, however she insists on trying to do it as Fast As Her Legs Will Carry Her And You Too, HURRY UP DAMMIT. It sort of takes the relaxing part out of it. We did have a few tricky moments as apparently people can ride their bike on the trail which Pearl views as an Evil Contraption and behaves accordingly. Thank the stars for leashes! And then when I turned my compass on it just read "00.6" - and it wouldn't change. I started to panic a little since I'd been lost once in the woods and that was enough thank you very much - but then noticed it had changed to "00.5" finally - I realized then that we had never gone very far while practicing in the backyard and it had never read more than feet before. Whew! So it did work after all and then I really enjoyed the walk. We only did a couple of hours as I didn't want to over do and headed home so I could get a jump start on the cooking for the week. When I have time I try to at least cook a couple of dishes for the week so we can just stick em in the oven and it's done.  David got his first beef stew of the season and stuffed green peppers for later in the week, I did the vegetarian version of the peppers, Hippie Loaf and mushroom burgers.  I love feeling like I'm a little head before I start the week, don't you?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hiding Out

 We have only lived here for a couple of months and we need a week off already. We are going to spend the next few weekends at home - no more here and there until we get the house under control. I cannot believe we've only lived here for about 10 weeks, so much has happened and we are rolling along, trying to get it under control. I've been back to Long Island for a week, then raced to PA to say good bye to Jackson, then down to Norfolk for a family weekend. I've been settling into work and racing about there - it's hard to get 30 or more clients all at once. It's like starting a novel in the middle - you'll eventually figure out the plot but in the mean time there's a lot of guessing and figuring out how things work. My clients are spread from the upper panhandle down past Fairmont, which was daunting but then you figure it's not the same as visit nursing - I'm seeing them once every 60 days, not 3 times a week so it is a bit more do-a-ble. But I'm so enjoying being back on the road, my timing is getting a little bit better and this week I actually got some time to visit my favorite graveyards and take some pictures too. I finally found Friendship Hill Park too so if the weather co-operates Pearl and I will be going on our first trail in a year - we've not hiked at all since I developed plantar fachiitis - it's a little scary. But we're only going to be doing about two miles or so just to see how things go, hopefully we'll get back to Cooper's Rock before winter sets in. In other news I started a pair of plain socks, they're small, easy, and pretty mindless. I had to restart them once as I was not happy with the way they looked but the second try is going much better. I love knitting socks because you can take them everywhere. We went out to breakfast this morning at Bob Evans and I took my little sock bag with me and knit a few rows while we waited  for our breakfast. My Weight Watchers continues to go well, I made my 10% goal and got my Weight Watchers key chain, I only have about 10 more pounds or so and  I'll get my lifetime membership. David continues to work on the upstairs and we are most likely looking at a new furnace. Not a surprise - the one that came with the house is most likely original and we'll save money in the long run. We replaced the toilet a few weeks ago- David kept saying there was something wrong with it but it was just old. You get so used to the low flush toilets that you forget how slow the old 15 gallons a flush jobs were! Oh well - wish me luck tomorrow!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Norfolk Navy Base

 We were invited by John to come down for Labor day - our family is so scattered at this point more than two of  use getting together is an event - 13 of us is epic! We left after work on Friday and drove until we couldn't - we stayed over in Fredricksburg - the hotel was nice, the breakfast they served would have inspired prison riots - good thing I have my cooler along. I've discovered with all the traveling I've done in the past few years is junk food is plentiful, good food is not  so I pack a cooler with coffee creamer, fruit, yogurt, etc so I'm not stuck eating something i really shouldn't. The original plan was Busch Gardens but due to the labor day traffic we hung out at the Navy Museum and downtown Norfolk. Amy and Jim had their two little boys who loved the museum due to the Gift Shop - they're both hilarious. It's fun to watch them, they are both in great awe of their cousin John Jr and fought to be near him, to hold his hands, etc - I have to say John Jr. was exceptionable great about it and provided all the attention they wanted with no complaints. His older sister Katie is equally polite, I have to say I'm impressed with both of them.  We went out to eat together a few times - it's a little difficult to find a table for more than ten people but John managed. I did finish the sweater for John - the sleeves were not fixable. They were great big bell sleeves and a bit long so I folded them up and pulled them in. The problem was if I pulled them in too tight then they would be poofy sleeves and I think that would be worse. John was gracious enough to try it on but I think Carleen might end up wearing it - which is fine, Once I'm done I'm done.  On Sunday everyone went their separate ways and then met up for one last dinner.  We spent the day with Adam, something we only get to do a couple of times a year - and that's if he's on shore and we're lucky enough to time it right. Having both the boys in the navy I think makes us take them much less for granted, we will run hundreds of miles just to see them for a day. Adam is doing well and getting geared up to get out next year, I think he's a bit nervous but looking forward to it. He's going to stay in Norfolk and he has John and Carleen down there for advice and moral support so it's all good. Janet and Diane came down too so it was a great weekend, it really felt like old times again, didn't it? It' so hard to think that 20 years ago we all lived down the road from each other and now we live so far it's mind boggling. Tommy in Nebraska, Henry in Georgia, Uncle Harry and Bette in Colorado, Jackson in Afghanistan - it goes on and on. I've heard from Jackson a few times, he's doing well and getting to work so the next project will be a care package for him. It never stops, does it?