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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!