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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Snow Day

We got a little snow - about 2 inches - Reuben has been beside himself though. He bothers everyone all day to go out out out - we did put a sweater on him earlier but took it off as he not really needing it.  I had my second laser surgery done on the left eye on Friday. I took the day off as I'm not allowed to drive and even though it's not really painful, it's uncomfortable and it takes a few hours for my vision to clear up and to not be so light sensitive. David loaned me his heavy duty sunglasses for the trip home and then it was lights off for most of the day. I have to do the eye drops for 5 days and then return in 6 weeks but I've had no issues. It was the same as the last time, Dr. Fenghali tested the pressure in my eye, numbed it, did the laser treatment and then I sat for an hour in the office to make sure I didn't have any problems before heading home. I brought my latest project - a sock I'm knitting - and when I went to make my appointment to follow up one of the women showed me the sock she's knitting. I offered to get mine to show off but they both laughed and said they'd already peeked in my knitting bag with David's permission and they thought it was very nice and well knitted. I did end up having to pay my co-pay by the way as apparently, the Mayans were not correct. I got my Christmas cards out last week so I'm a little ahead of the game, it's been hard to get any enthusiasm started - David made the comment that once the kids grow up and leave, the magic goes along with them. I guess that's true. I'm not sure what we're doing for Christmas this year but I'm glad Adam will be here. He's a bit stressed about college - he needs to get some information - his vaccines, his W2, etc and its rough going. I did have a copy of his childhood immunizations so that is checked off his list. I've been having fun with my Kobo Vox, I've downloaded a bunch of books and did the set up - I can even access the Internet off of it! I know it's not Christmas but David said Go Ahead, so I did! I am still loving my TV set although we had a tiny to-do with Dish. We couldn't call out so David called them and it turned out we had not paid the bill. The reason was because it was being sent to someone else's house, David paid, they wrote down the correct address and everything is right with our world. Jackson and Brandi are here next week, then I'm on vacation for a week, then back to work, then we get our new dog Molly. Lots of stuff - but good stuff.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I love driving around West Virginia and Southwestern PA - sometimes, in my car, I feel like a marble in a shoot. I just go ping ponging down the road with all the other cars jettisoning along with me. I am still a little cautious- more or less. Well, usually less. I have learned around here you need to stay focused if you're on the back road - the guard rails are very sporadic if at all, the road goes up, down and all around. I use my GPS sometimes just to keep track of the road so I know when the next hairpin turn is coming up.  I took the back roads home today but was a bit annoyed, aside from forgetting my camera it was also raining cats and dogs so even if I'd had my camera it would have been uber yucky to get out.I contented myself with earmarking but then forgot where I'd been when I saw all sorts of cool stuff I might want to check out on any given weekend. I did manage at one point during the week to actually write down where one place was so I could come back but that was the best I'd done. I am off tomorrow to have my other eye done - I'm planning on finishing my Christmas cards early before I go -although the loss of vision would probably make it more of a challenge and more amusing for the recipient. Shopping is not much of a challenge either, most of it is cash and gift cards. Our friend Ray is just about the only person I really shop for and he's fun to give to, he seems to enjoys everything he gets from us. Or at least he makes you feel like he does. I have my main present already, it's a Kobo Arc which I have been wanting For - Ev - Er. I did peek. And I did charge it up. I am probably going to see if I can set it up just to make sure it works. Really. Then I will stinking put it back. After I peek at it again. Just once. Again. David just rolls his eyes and says to go ahead and peek, you already did it. I am super anticipating getting our new dog Molly in January - oh what fun that will be. I can't wait! She has some issues and needs some socialization but I'm sure she'll be fine once she gets settled in with Reuben The Rabblerouser. He has gotten a bit wilder lately but that's normal for the breed. He also has Adam to putz around with who is sort of the opposite of the Dog Whisperer. He is more of the Dog Winder because he can wind any vizsla up in a matter of moments, getting Reuben to race around the house like a rabbit on fire. But it's good for the dog to play. We have to decorate this weekend, finish shopping, get the house ready for guests. I am currently knitting a sock, I'm planning on taking it to my appointment tomorrow since I'll have to be there for an hour or so.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Sun Will Come Out Again.

 So despite the strum and strife, the drama....things have started on the upswing. A little - but we'll take it. We applied for a rescue dog in Ohio. I filled out the application and worried a bit - when David talked the foster home I was trying hard not to wave my hands or think he had said The Wrong Thing that would make them think we barbequed dogs on the weekend or wore dog fur outfits around. Because the dog in question - is a 3 year old female and she's a vizsla and we really want her. So today I called Rhonda, chairperson of the Miami Valley Vizsla Rescue to see if they got my application and was told to my delight - she had already spoken to the foster family and had reviewed my application  and we were in! We are picking her up after the 14th - we have a lot going on before then and it wouldn't be fair to start off our relationship like that. So happy! The end of the world is tomorrow from what I understand so not sure if any of this is going to pan out but we'll see. My eye surgery is in a couple of days, both peepers will be zapped and I will be done. Thank goodness I only have two eyes. Adam is busy jumping hurdles for college - silly thing thought once you got in that was it - haha. Start of the road. So this opens up a whole other can of worms - does he still have health insurance? Has he had all of his vaccines? Where does he find that? Acck! We need to get a move on for Christmas, we've been half heartedly moving towards it because we aren't really celebrating until everyone gets here. I am working towards the end of the week, it seems to never end, does it?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Little Break From The Drama.

 I'm posting pictures of the shawl I finished - really, it did not come out even vaguely like the picture - I have no idea if it's me or the pattern. But it's an even triangle and as Reuben The Model is demonstrating, it drapes beautifully. Speaking of dogs we are (hopefully) going to be adopting a rescue dog after the holidays. It may fall through of course - the dog we have our hearts set on have other people that want her, but if it does, we'll just try again. We just don't have the time for another puppy and a full grown dog would be a better choice - so everyone cross your fingers please! Adam is starting to settle in - he's waiting to hear if he's been accepted by the local college (he's applied to three) and has a couple of job applications in. Jackson will be here after the holidays for a couple of weeks so we're working towards that, and I'm getting what I want for Christmas. We have had some not so good things, a very good friend of ours had a cardiac event - but he's on the mend thank goodness. David is heading off to Ray's tomorrow to do some more handyman stuff and to deliver gifts. We will see him again in a couple of weeks when Jackson and Brandi come down. Yesterday was busy - I had to do a nurse orientation but since the only day the nurse could come was Saturday - and in Wheeling, I was up and out before 8 am. I got there earlier than expected so I found a nice graveyard to explore and of course got so bedazzled I was almost late.  I finished up around close to 4 pm and decided to do a little shopping in Triadelphia - there's a bad decision for you. It was so packed it was awful and it seems the new thing now is to only have one or two cashiers - how frustrating is that. Two stores I just simply left - the book store I managed to stick it out but even then it was making me fussy. Getting out of the place was worse, traffic was jammed all the way back - good thing I didn't have the double espresso to go or I'd have been crawling out of my skin. The good thing is I get a day off after New Years so I can stretch out what's left of my vacation while Jackson is here. I am off on Friday but it's not a fun off, I'm getting the other eye done. But I only have two peepers so I'll be done. Thank goodness

Saturday, December 8, 2012


 Adam arrived yesterday around 2pm, along with my glaucoma, buying the second house, David and his never ending Saga Of The Van which is an entry all on it's own, Adam is moving back home for the time being. Things were not working out in Norfolk and we thought it would be best if he came back here and did a full on Do Over. We had left the back door open as David was with me since I was told I was not to be driving after getting my eye lasered - given the fact I couldn't even take the gloomy daylight with a pair of heavy sunglasses I was grateful he was available to take me there and back, even if it did mean hanging out in the waiting room for most of the morning. But I digress. It took a lot for Adam to make this decision and even though it's only for a few months, it was still hard for him. But he had to admit it's too expensive for him to make a go of it, especially if he wants to go to college. Reuben is beyond delighted - he parks his butt next to Adam and last night disappeared on us. Such a little traitor - the first pretty face shows up and off he goes. It is fun having him here - last night was cheesy movies and pizza night, we watched the Wrath of Khan and a few other shows - they are way more fun when there's someone to watch. Of course I was watching from my dark corner of the living room, but I got to see. But there's the other side, he is really out of his element right now, I'm sure he misses his friends, his house, his life. But on the upside he's been in contact with his best friend from high school who happens to live in Pittsburgh, not 60 miles away - how's that for karma?He's been in contact with WVU who is going over his transcript and is currently at a job fair. Once he gets settled with all of that we can start looking for an inexpensive place for him to live. In the meantime he's going to help David finish the house if Bruceton Mills which David is very relieved about - this mess with the van has really put him behind the 8 ball and with Adam here he can get it done and rented. Other then that - not much going on (ha ha). I finished the shawl and it's busy blocking upstairs on the floor - it didn't come out like I hoped but it's in the shape of a shawl so I can live with that. I'm going to make some socks next,then who knows. We went to Clarksburg again today and this time I got to buy stuff at AC Moores. I also went to the Nest and scored the last skein of Madelene Tosh lace weight in Mica. The weekend will continue to be dreary I think as per the weather so no walking tomorrow I think. Oh well if we don't walk I think we'll decorate the house for Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2012

There Will Be No Cheaters Here!

 I am probably the poster child of why you should NOT buy over the counter cheaters and skip  a regular eye appointment.  I was tempted but knew I would need bifocals, and really - the appointment was $75, I've dropped more on a good yarn sale. I had some changes in my vision which is why I made the appointment in the first place - and the optometrist noticed some hinky goings on. I was sent to and  diagnosed by Dr. Fenghali the glaucoma specialist and it was found in the very early stages - before damage has started. My first appointment he decided to not treat right off the bat as it wasn't even really treatable - but this week on my 3 month follow up the pressure was not so good and the glaucoma is progressing. There is no problems with my sight yet but the doctor decided to skip the eye drops and go straight to laser treatment. The other very upside is it will delay my having to do daily eye drops for two to three years and of course, stop the damage from progressing. Going to the specialist is it's own brand of weird - my eyeballs get numbed and then I keep my eyes open while various objects are pressed on them. I can see it, but can't feel it. With the laser, your eye is kept wide open with this big lens and the laser shot to the exact place. Then you sit in the waiting room for about an hour or so so they can check the pressure before you leave. The treatment can cause it to skyrocket. David had to take the day off too as I couldn't drive after my zapping. He amused himself by watching TV and visiting the vending machine downstairs. I of course brought my knitting, I'm on the last row and a half and I figured I would be able to see well enough out of the other peeper. Speaking of peepers I was getting very peeped at from the receptionist's window - turns out there are knitters and crocheters in the office so I had to hold up my project and answers questions as to the weight of my yarn and the size of my needles. I've always brought my knitting if I know I'm going to be sitting  - it's like bees to a flower, if there's any knitters or crocheters in sight they can't help but come over to see what you have good. I was released after a recheck and given a prescription for  prednisone eye drops 4 times a day for 5 days and don't mess it up. I have to get the other eye done in a couple of weeks and even though I don't want to, I'm so grateful to be treated well before I have to worry about losing my sight - a good argument for going to the eye doctor, isn't it? We stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond for a new footstool, Reuben has rendered the one I have not even up to Welfare Status so I was in the market for a new one. I had a coupon for 20% off but they only had really big ones which I don't need in my little house. I handed the coupon off to an instantly smiling person and got one at Target. I told a nurse I loved her scrubs too which made her smile. Why? Because when I was in Walmart the other night to pick up a couple things after work a girl and her mother were coming down the aisle. The girl pointed right at me and said really loudly "I really like that shirt you're wearing! It's really nice!" - she was totally serious and I smiled all the way home. I used to do that too to people, there is nothing so wonderful as an unexpected compliment so I'm going to try to say out loud when I really like something instead of thinking it in my head where no one can appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hooray For Donna!

 Yes there is a back way! I was really despairing about this blog, unbeknowest to me there is a limit on the amount of pictures you can post on your free blog. Then it's a monthly charge. Since there are hundreds of free sites I am not paying for this one. So Donna told me if I got another gmail address, then went to setting and invited myself I would be able to post pictures as Julia #2. Yes it makes no sense. But I'll take it, it's the first thing that's gone right all day. Things had begun to straighten up and now we're back to full tilt. Part of me just wants the whole mess to bottom out, sink the damn ship already, give me the life boat and let me paddle on. I miss my Pearl like a crazy person all day today, the rest of life is quietly imploding. Glass is breaking as fast as I can sweep it up, on and on, never ends. But I get up each and every day, get dressed and jump back in - there's no choice right now for me, none at all. I'm sure there are many worse off, just as I am convinced there are many people better off - what difference does it make? It's my mess and I'll cry if I want to. But it will go back up again - at some point. I hope.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dinner's Ready!

I have not moved the blog yet - and I may not if I can figure out how to get around the no picture thing. We had our neighbors over for dinner last night - we've been trying for a month but either they're busy or we are. But we found a weekend we could get together so yesterday was the day. We cleaned the house, put the extra chairs in the basement - I have no idea WHY we have never done this before - why we have seven chairs jammed in our little kitchen all the time. Probably because we have them. Anyhoo - I made lasagna which if you're my age is The Company Dinner. Why? Well, because it's perfect - you can do meat, no meat - it can be made ahead of time so when the guests arrive you're not frantically chopping and stirring. I made it in a dutch oven, my stepbrothers have been facebooking their results back and forth so I decided since I'd just bought a beautiful red Dutch Oven that was the way to go. I used my smaller one for the vegetarian version, the new monster one for the full on sausage version. I made it first thing in the morning, as I was stirring the scent was a I remembered we'd had a power outage and the date was a bit more then I had thought it was - David ended up running to the supermarket, better safe then sorry. And it's not a good idea to to play Russian Roulette with the company. Good fences make good neighbors but not dishing out the food poisoning does a better job. I made the sauce from scratch, tons of cheese, the dutch oven stacked it high - everything in the fridge til dinner. We did cheese and crackers for starters, another thing my generation understands. It was two kinds of cheese - one white one yellow on square crackers. We had plenty of wine, I had two chilling in the fridge - Jim brought white and red. They got the grand tour, Robin grew up next door so she was pretty taken with the upstairs, especially since she knows what it did look like. We sat down to start in the living room, Reuben was beside himself, especially when the cheese plate came around - it was hard to convince he was not supposed to be competing for it. All he knew was I had a big plate of cheese and he needed to get in there for his half! Arrgh! Back to school Reuben, back to school. I made sure everyone admired our $75 dollar chair and table set, yes we are still proud of that. I served a little salad just so we could say we did and then the lasagna and garlic bread. It came really really good- I was even a little surprised at how much more evenly it cooked and nothing dried out. We had so much fun - these are two of the people we wish we saw more of. After dinner was coffee, pie, baklava and they left around ten. Reuben did very well - I'm walking him again next weekend with Charlene to continue socializing him. And today I am doing nothing more or less. I cleaned out the dresser in the guest room since Adam will be moving here in the next week or so, but other wise not too much to do. We cleaned the house yesterday and the wash is done. Ahh.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Not me sillies - the blog! I went to post pictures the other night and much to my amazement I am out of free space. Google wants me to buy space for my pictures and I just can't see paying $5 a month to have pictures - especially with all the free blogs floating around in cyberspace. I'm not sure if I'll be linking or moving, I suppose it depends on how hard it will be to move it. It's pretty big, I've been blogging on this journal since 2004 - can you believe that?? I lost the pictures when I moved it from AOL to Blogger - I hate to lose stuff on it again. But I can't NOT blog - my entire life I've written it down. I had diaries from the time I was 8 or 9 until my 30's -  my first diary had a little tiny key and lock, I loved it like nothing else. I burned the diaries from my childhood and being a teenager, some years don't need to be relived. I have the ones from my adulthood somewhere, the rest is online.  So I need to figure out where I want to go, I have one set up on Livejournal which will most likely be the new home for me.
In other news our trip to NJ went very well, we left super early Thanksgiving, checked in to the hotel by noon and off to Ray's. We had dinner at the Arlington Diner - the food was great and our waiter was funny, but we wanted to give him a drink! I think he started going into the DT's midway through, people that are serving hot food should NOT be having the shakes. And I think he made my Tom Collins the way he wanted it, WOW is all I have to say. But we enjoyed it all the way through. The next day despite Ray's protests we went to see Civil war houses - Ray by the way cancels us constantly. He just doesn't like change so we make plans and he cancels. We uncancel ourselves, he cancels us again. Actually we just sort of ignore him - he stops as soon as we get where we're going. We had a great time taking pictures and walking - then we did Barnes and Nobles in Hackensack NJ which I know Ray loved, who doesn't like a new bookstore you've never shopped? After we tried to do the Cheese cake Factory but it was so crowded so we ended up at an unexpected seafood restaurant. It was beautiful, the food was top notch and the waiter had a steady hand, what more could you ask? Ray and I had the most amazing wine, I wish I'd asked what it was. We had a few glasses because quite frankly David was driving - too bad too sad! The next morning we went out to breakfast with Ray before leaving, making plans for Jackson's visit in January. On the way back we stopped in Bethlehem PA so I could go to the Knitters Edge and Wegmans. The only thing that sucked was when we hit Washington on I-70 the traffic backed up so badly it would have made the Belt Parkway at rush hour proud! It was killing me - we were overtired, dying to get home and we just c-r-a-w-l-e-e-e-d towards home, it must have taken an hour and a half to go about 5 miles - then it broke up and off we went. We picked up Reuben from the kennel the next day, I'm pretty sure he thinks he was incarcerated in a prison over the border but recovered quickly. So that was our trip - on Facebook I have about 50 picture posted so if you're that interested you can friend me. Otherwise you'll have to wait for the Big Move.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get A Grip

 You would think that being in my fifties, been around the block, learned my lesson, etc I would be used to the ups and downs of life. We all have times where the end is near, all is bleak and barren - one more thing slung across your already overburdened shoulders, why me.  And yes, we are going through a spell - I think sometimes it seems like it happens to me more because I write down everything that happens, pretty much. Adam is having to move back home, the new car I got had to go in for a recall, the used van David bought has broken down not once but TWICE, my dog is still dead and Claw the Evil Cat lives on. Because David has been without a vehicle he's behind on the house, he forgot to make the reservations at the hotel near Ray which is full full full so we have to stay at one we are not familiar with. Work is it's own stressor, my weight is stalled. But after I write it down, it is not so bad. Adam has already been in contact and transferred his transcripts to WVU - it will be nice to have him near for awhile. And since we're so close to Pittsburgh I think he'll eventually like it here. I still have a dog - Reuben Boobin who had his first real walk with friends Charlene and her dogs Sophie and Libby. I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would, I miss Pearl and I kept thinking about how much she had loved our walks with our pals - but Reuben really enjoyed it too and I was glad to see how well he did as there were a lot of other people in the park. My car was fixed and so was David's - shit happens. Work will straighten out - or it won't - my weight is my own fault, no one else's. I have very much strayed off my diet, these pounds are no mystery no matter how much I like to pretend I don't have any idea how that happened. It happened one brownie at a time. I am taking time off from going to meetings for now - too much going and honestly, I'm a little bored. I am going to keep the etools for a while longer, they're only $15 a month and do really help keep things under control. I'm looking forward to our trip to see Ray, it's only for a couple of days, but it will be nice to get away and to see him - I  know he's excited about seeing us too. When Jackson comes home with his fiancee we will be returning to NJ to introduce her to him. I am currently working on my garden, I have half the soil turned and when I'm done with that I'll be raking it and clearing out the roots. My compost pile is a favorite of the deer, I just turn what ever they don't eat. It's getting cold and I don't begrudge my leftovers to anyone. So all in all, that's it. I have about 20 more slow going rows to my shawl, then it will be socks for awhile!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Love My Phone. And My TV Set. And My Ereader

 David was being very prissy the other morning, I wanted to show him how to switch from Roku to Dish and he very snotty said " I don't have to watch TV all the time like some people". This would have had more impact had he not been surfing Face book. But I am not shy about admitting it - I LOVE having Internet on my phone, my ereader app, Netflix and You Tube. I  was trying to turn the sound on for the voicemail and somehow managed to turn on ALL the sounds so now my phone twinkles, zings and bingles when someone face books me, emails, makes a word, calls, updates or texts - I think it even makes a noise if an angel gets their wings. My TV set is my other obsession - LOVE IT! I am watching ALL the seasons of the Biggest Loser when I work out in the morning, the Fab Five grace my presence at dinner time, Science Fiction Mystery Theater 3000 is still super funny. We watch Frasier every morning skip the stupid episodes, movies whenever we want. You can also stop it if you need to run upstairs for something. I still am using my ereader of course, I've cut down on buying books since I can't read what I have now. Really like buying the bundle books - the whole series in one shot. Don't like looking for them though because if you put the word "bundle" in the search you get the series bundles plus a lot of bondage books. Somehow it's very strange to see my Debbie Macomber Cedar Cove books next to Stepbrother's Little Secret Fetish trilogy. But I manage to weed through. I haven't had too much time to read lately, we've been busy dancing around outside, I do love the fall. I've been turning the soil in my garden by hand - it gives me something to do in the morning while Reuben makes his rounds. Next year I am going to have the BEST stinkin garden anyone has ever seen and I will grow recognizable things too.  If it's nice this weekend we will be walking with Charlene and Libby at the park, that will be a little sad without Pearl - how she loved her walks with her friends! - but it will be nice to see Charlene and for Reuben to be a friend. Live changes, on you go. Reuben continues to grow and be funny - I'm so glad we have him, I don't think we would be handling Pearl's death as well if we didn't have Reuben to distract. My car has to go back to the dealer this Friday for a minor recall, oh well. Such is life.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Budgeteer

 We're getting better at it - I think. We still feel like we're spending too much - and probably are - but I think we were spending a lot more before we started keeping track. Like I've said before, when you have to write down every dime you lay out, it makes you think before you do it. I did the shopping today - David is working on the Bruceton Mills house today - we do seem to spend much less if we take turns doing the shopping instead of going together.  We've also stopped all the during the week shopping, it all gets done on the weekend and we buy enough to make through the entire week.  I now have Hulu Plus and Netflix for the TV and we invested in a second Roku for the upstairs TV. It was about $60 but well worth it - instead of going up a couple tiers on the DISH we spend a total of $16 a month on all the TV shows and movies you can watch - including all the ones they don't show anymore. If you're not familiar with Roku - its an Internet streaming device you hook up to your TV set - you can stream TV shows and movies for a fraction of the cost of cable - all you need is wireless Internet and you're in. The basic unit is about $60 and the set up is essentially taking an HDMI cable and attaching it to the TV and the Roku - nothing to it! I am totally thrilled.  We have budgeted in $25 a week for things we want - and we're sticking to it. Bloomin Yarns closed this week but with all the deep discounts  I only spent $16. I can not tell you how much I'm going to miss that store, the people that work there and the yarn of course. But it comes at a good time as I really don't need anymore knitting stuff. So I say of course. Need and Want are two different things but sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. We've heard from Jackson - he's a happy camper these days and looking forward to moving to Tennessee, we're happy he's happy. He and Brittney will be here for a visit after Christmas so we're starting to plan for that. So many changes! Adam will be moving back here soon too, Norfolk is just not working out so he's coming home to begin again. With all the colleges and job opportunities here things will be easier for him but it will be hard for him to leave the place he's called home for the past five years. . And for us, we have things brewing too, all sorts of adjustments and changes. Reuben is more "our" dog - I still have my moments, today has been hard for some reason. We probably won't even start to think of getting another dog until the spring but I do miss having two dogs dreadfully, Reuben just seems like one half of my crew. I'm still working on the shawl, but moving towards the end, the pattern is completely buggered up but I don't care - it's just a different pattern now. I REFUSE to frog it and start again, I refuse! I'm reading of course, Feed by Mira Grant - a zombie novel , very immature I know - thank you for noticing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Go A-Weigh!

Well - that was an unwelcome surprise. I went a half pound over my goal weight at Weight Watchers - and had to pay. Ouch! If I lose it at weigh in next week I go back to being a Free Bee, if not it's back to the bleachers. I wasn't surprised by the way - I know I've been sneaking towards weightness, one Little Debbie at a time. I think the hard part of keeping it off is it's not like you won the Heisman Trophy and put it on your shelf for smug looking at. You don't ever get to be "done". I had lost about 8 pounds below to give myself a barrier between here and not there. The barrier went by the wayside awhile ago, over the wall time now. So, it's back to the beginning I suppose - less Little Debbie's and more salad. It's other things too - stress, worry, changes, potential changes - but getting fat is not going to solve those problems, is it? And really eating crap only makes you feel good, well, while you're eating it. Then it's all Regrets and Bellyaches. In other news there is not much to tell. The power is back on at the other house and David has been busy ripping things up and out, scrubbing the thick gooey nicotine off the walls, pulling up the rugs and painting the walls. He's been cruising Craig's List for appliances  - half of the rugs for the larger areas have been bought on clearance - 16 cents a square foot baby! I'll be glad when it's done. David also traded in his truck for a utility van that gets over double the mileage. The truck had reached the point where it was starting to cost serious money - and with over 200,000 and getting only 12 miles to the gallon it was a money pit. October was a rough month, but now that we're heading into November I'm hoping things will start to look up again.

Monday, November 5, 2012

All Tricks, No Treats

 Did anyone have a good October? Anyone? It was just one of those months wasn't it, not little bad things - BIG bad things, stressful things, weird things. Halloween was the holiday that wasn't - they tried changing the day but who feels like trick or treating 3 days after the fact? We are hoping in a couple of weeks we can breath a small sigh of relief. Our Thanksgiving trip is a wee bit up in the air - Ray is fretting there is nothing there, he only has half a tank of gas - his favorite restaurant, the one we spend holidays in and he shows off us, his family to his friends is no more as it was on the water and then was full of water. Sad. We shall see.  The weather is getting cold cold - I'm turning the soil in my garden as next year will be the Year Of The Super Stinkin Garden as hopefully I'll have a better idea of what I am supposed to be doing. The sunflowers made me laugh, I waited til the heads started to dry out and went to collect the seeds. What seeds? The birds had picked them all clean! What little there was left was not worth saving, I cut the heads and threw them on the ground, they might as well have what's left. I took Reuben to Cooper's Rock this weekend, I gave him his carsick medication so he didn' throw up. There was a lot more snow on the ground than I had anticipated so we only did the woods for a short time. The road was snowy too but parts had melted off so Reuben could walk - he did enjoy it and I didn't cry (too much). He got to wear Pearl's old harness, I washed it so it looks all new - it doesn't even look the same. I am on call this week but the weekend after that Charlene and I will be walking together again - Reuben needs to be socialized badly.  We might do Cooper's Rock one more time, we'll see. This time of the year they close off the park so you have to park all the way up front and the good stuff - Raven's Rock, The Stone City, etc  is a 3 mile walk just to get there. We shall see. Not much else going on as you can see - we are super enjoying our new TV and Netflix. We saw Captain America last night, Thor, Blitz, Iron Man 2 before that. David traded in his truck today, it was getting to the point of costly repairs and the gas was seriously killing us - living in a rural community and getting 12 miles to the gallon was not the way to go. So he got a work van - 30 miles to the gallon which will make a huge difference in our budget. We are still working on that - Bloomin Yarns closes forever this week so I'll probably make one more trip before it closes it's doors forever - I will very much miss going there on Saturdays.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weirdness, Thy Name Is Reuben

 Although we miss Pearl, dreadfully at times, we still have Reuben and typical of his breed he's turning into one strange dude.  He still refuses to walk to the truck, goes limp at the first sign of danger and has a very odd relationship with Claw The Evil Cat. He sneaky licks her ears and darts away, a life of danger for him. He's so big we forget he's actually only 9 months old so he has this big adult dog body with a puppy's trepidation and full out excitement - the slightest movement in the morning brings spasms of joy and General Leaping About.  He developed a rash a couple of weeks ago, got better, got worse, went, came back. It came back very itchy this week so David took Reuben to the vet's, who said he's probably allergic to something, may stop on its own and gave prednisone to make it better. David gave Reuben one in the morning and then after mulling it over - gave him one before bed. Bad idea. Reuben bunks in with us now so he's not lonely - in the middle towards the bottom.  Here was the problem - Reuben is a big puppy which means he still piddles out his weight daily. Reuben, when not awake sleeps hard, you could probably sneak him up on the roof without him waking up. One of the side effects of prednisone is well, it makes you pee. A lot. Hmm. He must have woken up at some point because when David hysterically rousted us both out of the bed he was no where in sight. Who could blame him, since the bed just about floating down the hall, cold and wet - heck, Reuben was in the guest room leaving us to fend for ourselves. We were laughing later because he obviously had no idea who had wet the bed and kept giving us the hairy eyeball - someone needs a little bladder training in his opinion. He was thrilled that we had decided to get up around 3:45 - heck might as well put the coffee on and let the dog out! Fortunately it didn't get through the mattress so it was a lot of laundry this morning - the blankets are washable, Reuben is washable. He's doing wonderful hunting, for a 9 month old puppy he's a powerhouse now, he'll be amazing next year. He's getting over his carsickness too, growing up. I'm hoping we can do a little hiking tomorrow, every time I plan on it a hurricane springs up, it snows, rains thunders. The temperatures are still down, but not too bad. David is going to the rental house tomorrow, due to the snow and lack of electricity he has not been able to get any work done on it for the past few days but plans on picking up the pace. I continue to slave away on my shawl, I have one more repeat of a chart but it's 24 rows and is just about killing me. I don't think anyone has ever died though, from overdosing on Chart Five. Hmm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dish Dish Baby.

 Part of our budgeting was redoing our TV watching - we got rid of the cable package and replaced it with the DISH package, saving over $100 a month it turns out. We got the "basic" package of 120 channels which sounds great until you start scrolling - because there are only about 10 to 15 we will watch. It starts to get expensive the more channels you order and you run into the same problem - you're paying for hundreds of channels and watching only a tenth of what you pay for. So we got a little device that streams Internet channels (Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, etc...) for a fraction of the price. I signed up for Netflix first and am encountering the same problem as we have with the channels - a lot of stuff but not everything I want. Hulu has the programs but not the movies, Netflix has the movies but not the channels. BUT they're only $8 a pop so we are going to get both. Of course the Budgeteer was chirping but I pointed out if we get both instead upping the channels it's WAY cheaper and really, for everything we want it's only $16 more a month, not to mention we  can cancel if we find we're not using it. We're enjoying the Netflix because of the action movies - we've been happily (especially David) watching everyone getting kicked, chased, exploded and chased again. We're getting another Roku for upstairs and we'll be set for the winter. Speaking of which, the stinkin snow melted here, where we bought the house not so much. It's still snowing. Eww. Reuben has recovered from his outing yesterday - it's all superficial scratches and so forth - the breed is built for it. It continues to rain and be very cold, not cold enough for more snow but enough that you're chilly chilly no matter what. We got in touch with everyone back east which was a relief given all the dire hurricane news - Ray finally checked in today after his electric went back on  - two day with no phone no heat. But he's fine and we will be seeing him over Thanksgiving again this year. I am taking the after off again which gives us a little time for traveling. Since he's only 5 hours away it's doable on a weekend.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Budget - What Budget?

 Well, the first week of budgeting we did not do so well. We spent, including gas, groceries and a little bit of yarn $49,397.95. Hmm. And we didn't even go out for breakfast - not even once! But we are not planning on buying a house every week so hopefully this week will go better. Of course we're laying out for repairs, heat, etc but David is busy scoping - he's managed to hit two clearances for carpet so not including installation he's coming in under $200. Paint was clearance too and he's Craig-listing it for the fridge.  He has a couple little jobs but nothing major until the house is up and running. But we are doing well with the budget over all - it's a good reminder of what we don't need. And I'm having fun with the DISH and the Roku - I'm doing a free month of Netflix and then will do Hulu Plus to see which I like better. I was going to sign up for both at once but there's only so much TV I can watch at once. Well, that's not true but I do have to work and sleep at some point. I'm off again this weekend, then on call again. I was glad I wasn't on call for the storm but here it's not been too bad. We had snow in Morgantown - how weird was that!  but not much else. A lot of rain here in Pennsyltucky, a lot of rain. It's very cold too and I hate that - it's like you just can't get warm no matter how high the heat is. Reuben is currently laying on the couch wrapped in a blanket - since they closed I-68 David couldn't work on the house today he took Reuben hunting. Poor boy, his face is all skun up and he's cold, wet - he'll feel better tomorrow. He loves going and does well, but since he's so big sometimes we forget he's really a 9 month old puppy - and behaves his age. But it's good for him and his nose will toughen up. Pearl and her predecessors were always a mess the first couple of weeks, then they were fine. Did you realize tomorrow is Halloween? I can't believe it either. David is not sure if we should buy too much candy because last year we didn't get one trick or treater. So we'll pick up one bag and leave it at that. In knitting news I am on chart four and almost through it. Thank goodness.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leap Of Faith

 This has been a work in progress - buying this house, renovating, having it reassessed and securing a higher line of credit. David did a great job - after one year our house in PA is now worth $50,000 more then we spent - Hooray for David. So - we are older and wiser and as of Friday, owners of two homes. David is going to renovate and we're going to be landlords again, but this time armed with knowledge. After the experience with the Freeloader in Lake Ariel we swore never again  but we all know never to say never, don't we? We did get past the Freeloader, although I hope her cardboard box is leaking on her head when it rains stupid useless bitch - OK, maybe I'm not all the way over it. But David knows the eviction laws now and we will no longer be doing any Pity Rentals - no more trusting everyone to behave either!  Anyhoo, the house is ours and David is happily employing the Art Of Destruction and then will reassemble. I'm sure Ron will make a few more visits and he thinks he has someone that wants to rent it already - he also has mentioned a couple of other houses but I told him to wait until we're through this one. I really had to laugh at the bar in the back - apparently it's legal to sell beer out of your house and this guy had a forty foot bar! David is pulling out the bar but will be saving the Men's and Women's bathroom, too funny not to. The rest of the house needs work of course, new septic, new heat, plenty of elbow grease and a new fridge maybe. I will be going over tomorrow after walking in Cooper's Rock with Reuben unless it rains, then we'll go straight over. I have decided to use Pearl's harness - I was in Petco today and couldn't find a blaze orange one, then realized it was silly to buy one that looks exactly like the one I have. And I know it's not the harness that will be difficult, it will be that first hike without my hiking partner of six years. They're talking rain tomorrow so we'll see. In other news the budgeting is going OK. We spent a lot of money this week, well buying a house and all (which David carefully noted in our budget book right between Oil Change and Cleaning Supplies) hopefully we can decrease it over the next few weeks. The Dish TV is helping - we're actually saving $100 a month! We got the basic - 120 channels and there's only a couple they don't have that I like so I suppose I'll live. We're still debating between Hulu and Netflix but it's not high on the Things To Do List. I did go to Bloomin Yarns and blew not only this week's allowance but next week's too - how ten years old is that! And I have to stick to it even though I personally feel yarn is a necessity, not a luxury. But I have been good, I did the grocery shopping today by myself, I think for the time being we will be taking turns, we seem to spend way more when we're together as I've mentioned before. If I'm by myself I'm not tempted to go out to lunch, I went right by the bookstore and  Old Navy. Before I stop anywhere I ask myself if I really need anything there or I'm just stopping to see if I want to buy something. I did buy a pair of black pants today but that was all I bought - no funky shoes, no pocketbook, nothing else. Pants, in and out - back on the road.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tightening Our Belts.

 What a test of strength! We officially went on  budget on Monday - the same day I got a flyer in the mail that my favorite yarn shop which is  going out of business, will be slashing everything to 50% off starting this week.  Hmm. David and I have agreed on that we'll allot ourselves each $25 per week for play stuff - yarn, shotgun shells, magazines. so I may have to borrow against my allowance. Already. Three days in. Rome was not built in a day. So there. We've started a book that we write down everything we spend- even a milk run to the local convenience store goes in there so we can see where our money is going. Although it's main purpose is to keep track the thing it really does though is makes us think before we buy. In the past couple of days I've had to make myself drive by CVS when I have a little time on my hands for things I need or stopping at the grocery store for just one thing. When I was coming home from a supervisory visit I passed a little local market and found my car smugly sitting in the parking lot. I was about to get out when I asked myself WHAT did I need? Or was I just looking - and then buying yet more food I cannot possibly eat. It's the same thing with CVS, I go in for Tylenol, I come out with two bags. We've cut back on the grocery buying too for the past two weeks and the you can see what's in the fridge instead of everything just jammed in there. We're hopefully get DISH tomorrow which will cut our bills a bit more. The new furnace we put in last year helped a lot with the heating bills. I am not making my own soap or making my own clothes, although given my inability to sew that might have some entertainment value. It doesn't mean we will stop buying things but we are just going to have to be more picky. I need to buy Reuben a harness for walking, I'm planning on doing Coopers Rock pretty soon - I still have Pearl's but I think it's just too soon for that. I'll have to see if I can find another one in Blaze Orange, I have the dog wear that so if someone is hunting they won't be mistaken for a deer. We are adjusting to Pearl not being here, Reuben is quieter and you can see he looks for her - I find myself looking for her in the morning when we go out and I call Reuben to come back. It takes a minute for me to remember and to stop waiting for her.  I will after awhile and so will he, but it does take time. We'll get another dog after the dust settles, we go to closing for House Number Two - I'm signing for David to be me at the closing as I don't have the time or patience for those sort of things. When we did the initial paperwork I signed and sighed my way through it, stopping short of laying my head on the table out of severe boredom and impatience, knowing Burger King was 50 feet away and I had been promised dinner. I will do anything for Burger King.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Budgeting, Grieving, Walking - All In One Spot.

 This week has been a bitch, weird stress, bad stress, elation and grief. It will be awhile before the grief of Pearl is past but it's not an all encompassing thing, we are good most of the time. And we had 5 months to get our heads wrapped around it, that this would happen. We  are glad we made the most of it for her - we owed her so much. She saw her Jackson, went hunting, ate chicken and fish every day, we turned a blind eye to the stolen cat food. But it's that sneaky grief that hits you in the back of the knees when you're not looking - one picture, one accidental call of the dog that is no longer there and you're down for the count. We are waiting a little while to get another dog - we will but not right now. We do have some good things going on, we were able to get financing to buy a foreclosure - hopefully will be closing within the month and David will be self employed again. It's a little scary, but we've done the two house thing before and we're a lot wiser now. At least I hope we are.  David has been working with Ron and Lisa of Howard Hannah, so it's been very enjoyable and pretty hilarious at times. They were the ones that sold the last house when we lived here - it's great when you can find good, solid dependable people. David is plotting and planning with a few backups in the event this falls through - we're no strangers to the Eleventh Hour and it seems to chime at least once during the course of events. Now we need to start budgeting a little -we redo that anyhow on occasion. Our biggest downfall is weirdly enough, grocery shopping. We love to do that, you'd think we'd both weigh about 800 pounds but we don't. We make a list, don't stick to it, come home with enough to feed an army and the next thing you know it takes both of us to shut the cupboards. Then we don't eat it because we can't get to it - or just flat out forget we bought two of them last week. So David went solo this week with a limited list and that is that.  Because the other problem is we don't just grocery shop. We book shop, clothing, eat out, etc - it runs away from you quickly. David is also getting rid of the cable company, we are going back to Dish - its literally half the price. They have to make sure we can get a signal but I think one of our neighbors has it so hopefully it won't be a problem. We're also going to sign up for Net Flix because we have 400 channels and at the end of the day actually only watch about 25 of them, if that. And starting Monday we are each keeping track of what we spend on a daily basis because it's probably a lot more then you think it is. I'm going to start walking with Reuben next week, I'll probably do a solo walk first, I'm not subjecting anyone to my grief - I have not done any hiking this year as I knew it would break Pearl's heart for me not to take her but I miss it. I miss the solitude of me and my dog, the trees and the sun. I know the first couple of times will be hard - the memories are already making me cry. But you know what - someday I'll pass too, hopefully be missed. But that void will close and life will go on, I will be a pleasant memory too. I like to think Pearl is not in heaven, but  she's racing around the Elysian Fields, sun on her back, pheasants bursting up. I know that's not the way things are but I hope to make it there too.  And that's where I'll leave my blog today. I know I'll go on about Pearl but writing is my way of working through the grief, giving me a way to work it out for myself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sit. Stay. Please Please Stay.

I don't blog on occasion for three reasons - either there's nothing going on, too much going on or nothing likable is happening. Pearl has been holding her own up until now, we had decided to keep her comfortable and not suffering. And right up until yesterday afternoon we had succeeded. Last night she had started acting a little off but was alright, we've had a little downtime before but she is always better in the morning. But this morning she would not come out from under the bed - I won't do details but at noon today our beloved Pearl, my hiking buddy, catfood stealing bossy pants dog finally succumbed to what we have been fighting. She went the way we wanted, comfortable with David and I there holding her, sitting on the floor on a blanket. Her vet Dr. Kenny who has  been her vet since she was a puppy did it quickly and painlessly, she really did just go to  sleep. But oh how I miss her already - we have had dogs before, but Pearl was truly special to us. She was Jackson's first real dog to raise and train, she hostessed more people in our home then Jackie O in the White House (whether they liked it or not), she hunted with David and hiked the woods with me. She never complained as we moved her from house to house, she slept on the floor with us on occasion and was always happy to ride shotgun. There is no such thing as Just A Dog, she gardened with me(well,actually she dug holes and ransacked the corn stalks but it's all in the interpretation), we've spent many happy hours sharing the chair Pearl snoring while I read. The days ahead will be hard, Reuben is already looking,knowing things are off. He will look for her outside, in the morning, no way for us to explain. On the way home I had to pull off, I was driving through Pearl's favorite area, the game lands  oh this is hard! - I just cried and cried. As I pulled out and started down the road a pheasant erupted out of the bushes on the side of the road, flying over a field towards the meadow. I hope Pearl you are where you're happy, that the game is plentiful and you never stop running free.