The sweater is actually done - I just need time and a sunny day to take a final picture of it. Of course now I have to figure out what I want to make next. This is the part where I glom over my books, magazine, start, frog, start, frog, different yarn, different needles, different bag. I start and stutter about half a dozen times then I'll find a project. I'm thinking socks since I haven't made them in awhile. Things are swinging along lately, the materials came in for the job David's doing so he's back to dividing his time between here and there. Our custom window came in so that is done, he's been busy peeling up the carpet and pulling down the walls upstairs - when it's done it will be amazing. The weather is slowly turning to chill, it's that odd time of the year where you wake up clutching the covers and racing to slam the windows shut, then when you come home from work you're racing for your shorts and flipping on the air. But I cannot wait for fall! I took Pearl on a practice walk last night, it's funny how you think you're all that and going so far - but you're not. I clocked what we had walked last night with the car this morning and we barely did half a mile. Stinks. But we will get better. Vincent is here with me right now, we have gotten into a routine in the evenings, I sit in the big chair and he drapes himself on top of the cushion behind me, dangling his paws over my shoulders. He is such a wonderful boy cat - all furry and purring, too bad Claw the Evil can't take a page out of his book. I had my Weight Watchers meeting tonight and finally met my 10% goal - they give you a key chain which is very swanky. I met with the leader and we figured out my final destination - it's a good weight and one that I can (hopefully) stay at. I am so tired of up and down, with more up every time I go there and it seems to get harder to take off each time. This I can do - because it's not a crazy thing and it allows you to eat what you like - you just can't eat it all the time and you can't eat 5 of them. I mean, let's face it - all diets comes down to the same thing - diet and exercise. This is just manageable.
David always has a neighbor to spy on - when we lived in Maidsville we had the Deck People. When we moved there it was just a single-wide trailer - but they went to work on improvements. First they added a peaked roof, an addition, siding, an above ground pool and then the piec`e de resistance - the biggest wrap around deck you'd ever seen in your life. It was HUGE - and they both changed into snappy black stretchy bathing suits and that was their life. They hung wash, talked on the phone, mowed the lawn and bobbed around the pool in their stretchy suits, by the end of the summer they were so tan they looked like wrapped kidney beans with legs. And I received constant reports from David and Jackson as to the latest activity of The Deck People. It was endlessly fascinating and even I found myself peering at them. Now we have the RV people that we pass daily - they seem to occupy two old, leaning houses with a large assortment of dogs, cats, cars, relatives, RVs, stuff as far as the eye can see - the overflow is housed in an old RV, with blankets for curtains and fans Galore. It's hard not to slow down and ogle, you just can't take it in in one pass, can you? If no one is outside I slow down and get an eye full, if someone is outside I pretend I don't notice them as staring is not polite. It's not easy being a good neighbor. If the hurricane came through here it might help them with the yard, don't you think? But it won't. I know it won't because we were mulling over whether a hurricane had ever blown through WV - and I said I would ask Susan because she's from Mannington. And people from Mannington know everything - so Susan said no and we can all sleep tonight. David and I have stuff to do this weekend, I have the sweater all pinned together and ready to go - I had to re-pin it the other night but hopefully will get it stitched and the collar done. It seems to be taking forever! As you can see from the picture I've started back skipping around the graveyards - what fun is that! We have heard from Jackson a couple of times, he sounds well and excited, very much ready for this big adventure. That sounds odd doesn't it? After all he is overseas in a war zone, but that's the way kids are. We see the danger, they see the excitement of it all. Oh well, they do what they do, don't they? We just sit back and hope they do it safely and come back to us in one piece.
Today at work we had an earthquake! It was actually tremors but since I've never been in an earthquake I fully intend to take credit for the event. However, to put the Dreadful Event in perspectiveI have to admit I didn't even get off the phone - since the other manager decided to take a vacation day I was left to man the phone calls and hunt stuff down, earthquake or no earthquake. I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment - it will settle down after I get a real schedule going and meet all the patients. The hard part of being a manager in private duty is you have introduce yourself to all sorts of families - all with a common goal of taking care of someone that cannot take care of themselves. I'll survive of course. Last night we went to a benefit for foster kids and it was great. I won a Christmas prize which I will picture at some point - but it was just fun hanging out with the office. It doesn't feel like I'd been gone for almost 3 years, things are pretty status quo. Jackson is doing well and sounds great - that's all I'm allowed to say and got a talking to about posting things. I'm being careful as I don't want to land in the "unfriend" pile again! I have yet another busy day tomorrow - I'm going to working with vents this week and of course Weight Watchers tomorrow. Last weigh in I didn't lose anything, but I didn't GAIN anything either and given I'd gone to a couple of BBQ's in a row it probably wasn't a bad thing. I have the sweater edges pinned and waiting to be finished - I should do some tonight and a little each night. David will be back on his job next week I think - he's been working on our bathroom too of course, he replaced the toilet this week - or as it's called here, the commode. David kept going on how there was something wrong with the toilet /commode - it was the same thing that's wrong with us - it was old! It used about 15 gallons every time you flushed it and since were used to the low flush and "green" toilets it was a rather lazy trip downstream. So to speak. So that's been the past two days - we are already plotting the weekend - we have a ton of stuff to do already and it's only Tuesday!
We didn't know if Jackson could see us before he left for Afganistan until the meeting they had at 4:30 pm on Friday. In anticipation we had incarcerated Pearl thinking we could pick her up Saturday if it was a no go. Jackson texted me at 4:31 he not only could see us but he could leave the base and at 4:35 Janet texted me they were going over to Fort Dix to get him and we should head out ASAP - of course when I got home David was in the yard going "here kitty kitty...." - ARRGH! But Tammy had let me leave work early and we found both cats - we were packed and out the door by 6pm arguing for the first 20 miles from the stress. But we have gotten better over the years, we just argue as we go knowing we will run out of steam shortly - dysfunctional multi-tasking I suppose. We arrived at Janet and Diane's about 11:30 pm. Jackson looks wonderful as you can see in the pictures, all excited and a bit nervous about going to Afganistan - we're so proud of him! All of my parents arrived the next day, mom and Fred, dad and Maryann with Rhiannon so we ended up having a very nice send off for him. Diane and Janet had a BBQ with cake as there is no point in heading off to war unless there is a cake involved somewhere. Our family seems to have a cake for every occasion - if we were ever in a hostage situation I swear a cake would show up from Wegmans or Shop N Save with the appropriate saying inscribed in icing ("Sorry you got kidnapped - Good Luck with that!). Diane and Janet also took him to Best Buy to get the Ipod he's been saving for - he bought the ipod they bought the rest. Part of the day was spent with him loading up with music, I sent him a gift certificate for his Kindle so he's loaded up with books, David gave him money for the trip. We left about 5:30 - Janet and Di were bringing him back to the base around 6pm. I hugged him tight but I've gotten good over the years about waiting to cry after I leave them. I know he's doing the right thing - he is a big believer in serving his country and because he volunteered no one ended up being made to go. But we will miss him and be a little scared for him - it will be a long year.
I am finally almost finished with the sweater - but the last sleeve has been dragging along. I make myself do a few rows each night hoping to be done with it - it's just taking too long and I keep casting my roving eye in other directions. But I refuse to start a new project as I know it will just linger, making me feel guilty every time I come across it. This weekend was great - David and I did some fun shopping Saturday morning with a lot of browsing involved. I bought an outfit with two skirts for the fall that are a bit stretchy on clearance so I'll have a couple more outfits that I can wear while I (hopefully!!) continue losing weight and that will fit after I'm done. I have my weigh in tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed! Tommy came up from Fairmont on Saturday evening, he brought the wine and we provided the pizza - we ate outside because the weather has cooled and gotten wonderful. Sunday Robin and Jim from next door came over to our house for a BBQ, they brought sangria and stuffed peppers, we did the rest. They brought Gabe who is Pearl's favorite neighbor dog with them and tried to make Max who is no one's favorite neighbor dog stay home but he came anyhow. We got rained out but we were done eating so we just moved to our front porch which is uber comfortable and has swanky wicker furniture we bought off of someone else for $50. It originally included a beautiful arrangement of fake flowers but I threw them out when David wasn't looking. Work has been going well too - we did a lot of driving today to do an admit but it was fun and we spent part of the ride laughing over some of the funny things that had happened when I worked at Interim previously. David continues to hurry working on the master bedroom upstairs - fall is coming fast and so is hunting season!
David has taken to not making eye contact with me when we go past graveyards - he can see me pressing my nose against the window and squirming in my seat but drives on. He claims we'll never get anywhere if I have to skipping down Burial Drive every time we leave the house. But it's not like I insist on stopping at every graveyard I see, I am picky about my bone yards - there has to be something to catch my eye or be weird of course, but I have plenty of time and on occasion The Yarn And Grave Hater will accede to stopping so I can snap a few pictures of my favorite subject. I haven't made a visit to the Reverend John Corbly yet - I was going to try today but the rain is pouring down and I'm stuck on the front porch. And yes we do have a real front porch with furniture and All Weather Carpet. Pearl is currently hiding behind the little wicker couch as there is lightening on occasion and she prefers I be in the line of fire which will give her a chance to find a better spot to hide. She's sort of like Lassie's evil twin - if she was a person she would be called a jerk but we are what we are. I had my first week of work, a bit overwhelming but do-able. My patient population here will be more high tech including vents, trachs, and other assorted things so there's a lot of learning to be done plus authorization and meeting the families and clients that will be mine in a few weeks. I have not touched a trach in about 10 years and I've never done a vent so I'm a bit freaked out but will get over it, I'm supposed to work a couple shifts with someone and after I get comfortable I'll be fine. It's just when you start doing anything you're all thumbs for awhile - even doing the admissions this week you'd swear I'd been working in Wal-Mart the way I've been acting. But I tend to hang back and observe - then do it myself, then I'm fine. The other issue for us is David and I both went back to work and with the longer drives there is no time for anything. We ran out of bread, fruit, milk, etc during the week which led to a bit of You Get It, No YOU Get It, etc. I ended being the chosen one but not a happy chosen one. I get home first so I'm hit with a wall of Hysterical Animals who have been in all day lying on the couch with nothing to do. They all have to pee, need to be fed and are dancing racing howling things. It got better at the end of the week but the first couple of weeks when we are rearranging our schedules is the hardest. I'm waiting for the David to get back from the dump and then we have a ton of stuff to do including a bank run as I actually have a total of 74 cents left in my wallet. I think we invited the neighbors over for dinner tomorrow, I'll have to go over later and ask - David did ask but can't remember what they said so if not this week, next will be fine too. I'm almost done with the second sleeve of the sweater I've been knitting Forever and a Day - the upside is I've done the pattern so long I don't have to think about it but the downside is I've done the pattern so long it is B-O-R-I-N-G. I am continuing with Weight Watchers, my weight loss of course has slowed down but as long as it continues I'm happy. I have to 2/10th's of a pound to have a 10 pound weight loss, I like the way they break it up so it's not overwhelming or feel like you can't do it. I did my 5% weight loss, now I'm working on my 10% so it's a bit at a time, not this big, huge undo able number.
Since I live in a unique situation - 4 miles from the border of the next state and actually work in both I have the opportunity every morning to leave one state (Goodbye From Pennsylvania!) and a few miles down the road enjoy a warm Wild and Wonderful West Virginia greeting. In the afternoon I say good bye to WV (Come back and see us again!) and it's back to You Are Now Entering Pennsylvania, the state Of Independence. It can get a little silly! But I have my camera ready and will be back on the road as soon as I'm done orientating. Work is fun, there's only a couple of people I don't know and they're very nice, I've spent the past day or so catching up on Who's Still Here and Who Is Not. The weekend before work was nice, David got home Saturday and Sunday he finally got to go to Cabela's, we had a great time just looking at everything and all the taxidermy. We didn't make it to the White Tail room but we did do the gun library, the African animal display and ate at the restaurant upstairs. We did the bookstore and stuff, then hit the grocery store on the way home. David has started work too so Pearl is having a little adjustment issue - she went from everyone home to no one home, that sucks in her world. David is home tomorrow awaiting Atlantic Broadband - the remote STILL doesn't work. I had called on Saturday and went through the paces, the girl on the phone said oh, you're a VIP customer and promised someone would be out that day. I am assuming VIP stands for Very Irritated Person since no one showed up - and nor did I really expect anyone to. Whatever. David is planning on working on the house so it's not an issue. So things are getting back to normal - well, as normal as we'll ever get!