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Monday, April 30, 2012

Bully For Me.

On face book some former classmates were posting about someone from our class that had passed away quite fondly. I posted too - but not fondly because that particular person had made it her mission in life to make sure I was humiliated every time our paths crossed - the more public, the better. It continued all through Jr high school - at that point in your life you don't need someone adding fuel to your fire and I had some  people at home telling me what a waste of air I was - I certainly didn't need it publicly announced. The bathrooms and locker room were the worst - what makes girls so much meaner in those areas than others? But I guess I was surprised that some people remember her quite kindly and having problems in her own way. Then I started think - people's perception of what I was in high school is pretty subjective too. Most remember me as a hard partier - I could smoke more dope than the best of them, there was very little I didn't try. But what a lot of people don't remember is - that was only  a year and a half - two years out of all my school years. No one seems to recall I was on the gymnastic team or was always on the Scenery Committee for our school plays. That I loved to write and thought the world of Mr. Osti, I hung out in the art room and home EC room. I knew how to knit and crochet and turned out afghans at an alarming rate.That I was a member in good standing with The Future Scientists Of America for almost four years and participated in Earth day every year.  No one remembers how troubled I was at times or that the reason I was gone for a couple of months in my senior year was because I was at a group home up the island getting the help I really needed. No one remembers that. So I guess perception is the part of a person that stands out - my quiet scenery painting or my science club was pretty nondescript, wasn't it? The girl that partied certainly wasn't - so I guess it's like that old adage of five blind men feeling an elephant and then being asked to describe the animal - and all the descriptions are different, yet all perfectly describe what an elephant is. We are all different aspects, we can only hope the one we think of as our true selves will be the one that everyone sees.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's Official - I'm In My Fifties.

 My favorite birthdays are the quiet ones - I've never had any need of large parties (large gifts of course are not included in that statement) - a lot of the time it's just me and David wishing each other well over a restaurant table, a BBQ, a dog snoring between the pillows.  I went up to Bloomin Yarns yesterday and announced my birthday intentions - I bought a Namaste needle binder with extra sleeves, Lobster Sox in Sky Blue ( sock yarn hand dyed in lobster pots on Cape Cod) and a few other sundry items. David and I gave up trying to surprise each other years ago, I buy yarn and he buys shotgun shells for his weekly range shoot - we are both happy campers. I had  also previously bought a few books for my Kobo ereader -  then Janet and Diane sent me a gift certificate  for Kobo so I finished buying the Christopher Fowler series. I KNOW I yammer on about my ereader on occasion but really, aside from my knitting it's one of the best things I've ever owned.I cart it everywhere I go - I take it outside when I'm running the hound dogs, waiting rooms, between patients. David occasionally will say something about paying attention on the stairs! Watch it! because if it's a particularly good book I cannot stop and this morning found me gripping the stair rail while sidestepping the above mentioned hound dogs (which go down the stairs in a whirling twirling hurtling geyser around me) and feeling the steps with my feet while desperately trying to finish Chapter 32. David did his part by refusing to watch or be party to all this nonsense. For my birthday we met our friends Susan and Roger at Ruby Tuesdays and I had a giant Margarita, a low calorie diet and a Blondie brownie with ice cream for dessert - it's all about balance!  I had a really good time and was so glad they could make it. Jackson called again while we were eating but the cell reception was pretty sketchy - after the second try he gave it  up and was going to bed. Time zone is at 2pm here it's 11pm there. He is getting ready to pack it in the near future and will be leaving the sandy shores of Afghanistan - I for one will not be sorry this is over.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Almost Happy Birthday!

Pearl and Reuben continue to enjoy each other's company - as Reuben gets bigger Pearl seems to like him more. Probably because he's  still small enough she can outrun him, but big enough she cannot break him. We did tell her if she broke the friend we bought for her she was not getting another one and would have to make due with the cat.  I did not post a picture of the sock I am re knitting because it looks just like the one I frogged last week. Actually, it looks a little better because you know the second time you do something you have it down pat so maybe it's not a bad thing. It's an annoying thing, but not a bad one. Work was rough - but not impossible. Needless to say I'm glad it's Friday! I turn Old on Sunday - tomorrow for my pre-birthday I am going to Blooming Yarns to pick out the Perfect Gift and David is going shooting with Rich in the morning. We're planning on an early dinner with Susan and Roger, then will celebrate again on Sunday. They had a cake at work for me and Cheryl, her birthday is today so we share a cake which is nice.  I was up in the panhandle this week, I still enjoy going there - it is so beautiful but don't worry - I stay where I am! Not only is it my birthday this weekend but we will be here a full year. We bought the house last year on my birthday - remember? We bought a mattress and slept on the floor, I woke up the next morning with David. We watched a DVD on my 5 inch screen DVD player, drinking coffee made in our $8 Big Lots coffee maker - it was a perfect day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Few More Days To Go!

 Yesterday pretty much sucked. A lot.  First off, it was raining which was not the sucky part - the sucky part was Reuben, the Not So New Puppy is apparently a bit of a pansy. He does not like it cold or wet, or damp, etc.. and refuses to go outside to do his business. The problem is that according to the laws of nature Reuben is physically required to poop his weight every 10 minutes, what's a boy to do? Sneaky poop and run of course (like we can't figure out who did that....). I took him out. He ran in. I got my coffee and sat down. There was the smell of poo due to the poo pile by my chair. Reuben was sitting on the couch looking surprised about the whole thing. I gave him a talking to and took him out again. He ran in. Someone peed in the computer room and he swore it wasn't him since he was once again on the couch. He also sneaky pooed on the stairs which I don't even want to talk about. Today the rain stopped and amazingly he is housebroken again. Hmm. Also yesterday  - just in case I wasn't having enough fun already - on the way home too late I saw the hard plastic gas container in the road which quite naturally, I managed to go right over where it got stuck between my two tires.I pulled over and saw it was jammed up tight against the undercarriage - no way to get it out no matter how I tugged and pulled. And got covered in gas and dirt.  Amusingly not one police car went by - they were all busy hiding between trees and exits for speeders.I called David and he came and got it out - I had a headache form the fumes I was emitting and quick stripped off everything to wash  when I got home, I just reeked! I have Weight Watchers tomorrow, I am now going once a month. I've gained a couple pounds back but nothing to write home about. I'm trying to be super good this week because it is my birthday this weekend. And I will no longer be 50 - I will be IN my 50's. We'll also be celebrating ending our first year here, can you believe it?  50 has been an awesome year - there were some down things but for the most part it's been good. I hope the other nine years can live up to it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Did You Hear A Frog??

 I hate when you know you're doing something wrong - but not what you're doing wrong. Until it's too late of course. I knew there was something wrong with the heel even though I'd followed the directions so I stopped and reread - that was when I found the big mistake which is why  the heel was not fixable. I frogged it back to the leg portion but by then it was a lost cause because the cable had un-cabled and it was impossible to pick up the knit and purl stitches accurately. So I just bit the bullet and frogged the whole mess. It's not that big of a deal, socks go pretty fast and the second time around you have the pattern down pat already. I really hate taking it apart after putting all that work into it, but there's no point in finishing a sock that will be weird and uncomfortable. And then you have to produce two weird socks to boot.  Anyhow, we did the weekly shopping yesterday - we're bringing the expenses down. We only go shopping once a week now so no more trips "just for a gallon of milk" - very few people actually walk out with just milk, we usually end up with a couple of bags of things we didn't know we needed. We're buying more store brands, Walmart surprisingly has the best in house brands so far - and a large number of them are either identical to their brand name counterparts or better. Their no fat cottage cheese is not only lower in sodium, it's actually lower in calories. The coffee creamer comes in the same varieties, but it's half the price. It's not that we're having money issues but gas and groceries have gotten so expensive we're cutting corners where ever we can.  The new vet is working out well too - much closer and much less expensive - Pearl went for her visit yesterday and was busy amusing the office with her antics. She jumped up on the examining table from the floor landing perfectly, then got up on her hind legs and wrapped her paws around David's neck, peering at the vet from over his shoulder. David said the vet asked if he minded and he said no, so Pearl stayed like that for her shots and blood work. They clipped her nails and cleaned her ears, shots, blood work, pills etc for under $175, not bad. The weather has turned cool which sucks because I was out in my garden - and some stuff is coming up!! And it's not weeds! Our yard is blooming away, we have huge flower beds appearing - they're just beautiful. Reuben has discovered the tiger lily bed and enjoys bouncing around in there so we're putting up a fence so hopefully there will be a few survivors i the spring.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pittsburgh - It Was Okay.

 I was in Pittsburgh the other day - it was for more vent training and to go over AGAIN the MHMR paperwork. I will not bore you with the details of my job but since we all know I am in health care it means I'm slave to Xerox The Killer Of Trees and other Sundry Figures. A lot of our clients have funding through state programs and the one I am focusing on right now is the Hokey Pokey Of Paperwork - and one misstep and your out. ACCK! I drove up with the other manager from Uniontown Robin who has been in our establishment for a whole two weeks - she about my age, she KNITS and is very funny and friendly. We were up there all day and on the way back I had found a yarn shop near the main office of Interim. Two things went wrong - we were yakking and missed our exit and it was rush hour. This began a good hour of doing the Hokey Pokey through Pittsburgh where we circled about about deranged seagulls. The drivers in Pittsburgh tend to mean and surly and if you get in the wrong lane you're sucking wind but we needed to get into the next lane and I had given up hope when - I kid you not - Robin started knocking on her window to get the other driver's attention and I guess he was so amused - he let us in. We continued to sit in traffic until we came up with a game plan that we would eventually take turns driving and crying as you can't do both at the same time. THEN we got stuck in a tunnel. THEN when we finally got out my phone started going crazy - it was the Office. So  I weaved and made calls while Robin pointed out the exits - we do make a good team - don't we? I was glad to get home to David, the dogs and pizza. We're having a little problem with the sleeping arrangements lately - Pearl-een has always slept with us - I know I know - it's disgusting, unsanitary, yada yada yada - life itself is unsanitary, get a grip for heaven's sake. And since Vincent has made his Amazing Recovery he's back to sleeping either tucked up against me or on my pillow looking for Potential Targets out the window. I did say that we have stopped kenneling Reuben at night about a week ago  - he certainly is not going to be excluded  so every night it's like sleeping in a refugee camp. I figure once he gets older they MAY opt to sleep on the couch, we hope. David finally abandoned ship last night - it was super warm and we haven't broken out the AC yet, so he got the guest room and the rest of us slept upstairs. David is thinking about going to a king size bed or we might have to just sneak down to the guest room when they pass out - David may be king of the castle but this place is certainly going to the dogs!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Arsenic And Old Lace

Reuben fell on the stairs this morning - he immediately started caterwauling and carrying on, racing around on 3 legs with the injured one flopping in a most alarming manner. OF COURSE it's Sunday and it was about 8 am. He's OK - we think he just twisted it and the surprise of pain freaked him out. Once we got him calmed down and a couple of biscuits in him he fell asleep (he's like the cats - if things are not going well, take a nap. If you wake up and it's still not going well, take another nap).  A couple hours later after he was fine and harassing everyone again and trying to what was good to eat.  I recounted this while walking with Charlene at the park this morning and we were discussing the high cost of emergency vets when I touched on the subject that  David and I have, over the years, accidentally poisoned quite a few of our pets. They all survived and I have no idea how we manage to do it with such an alarming frequency, but we do. My first Chesapeake Bay retriever Argus was hanging about while David and a friend were fixing the truck and managed to drink antifreeze. I called the vet and he told me by the time I got the dog there it would be too late - the only thing I could do was give him Ipecac and when he was done vomiting - two shots of vodka (anyone reading this please note this is a LAST resort cure and rarely works and I called the vet first). Argus was as drunk as a lord and then spent the afternoon snoring away, we took him in  to the vet a couple of days later - and blood tests showed no residual effects. Claw got poisoned next which I  posted about of course - Yarns and Tall Tails: Tired Already:  -  we figured out later that she must have eaten one of the vermin we had been steadily poisoning. When we moved in the house there were barn rats and mice all over so we had rat poison all over, it never occurred to us that the dying mice would be easy pickings - so to speak. After $300 and a day at  the emergency vet (never forget the Sunday Only rule!!) her nasty self survived. Pearl was next in line but I'm not sure if that counts because technically she poisoned herself and of course I posted about it  too -   Yarns and Tall Tails: O Is For Overdose.    - I do have to give credit where credit is due, she did not follow the Sunday rule and survived regardless. Vincent is the latest victim - he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure but the past month has recovered almost completely. He has no blood in his urine, he's gaining weight and although he still drinks a great deal it's nowhere near where it was. David brought up the fact that about the time he got ill, we had been.....well, poisoning mice again. Hmm. So I guess David and I are the old ladies of the Arsenic and Old Lace set. Reuben so far has evade our crafty ways - and on the upside they DO all survive us.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This Week.

 Glad it's the weekend - work was super busy - but more settled - I got some things resolved and other things are in the pipeline. My charts got looked at and they were not half as bad as I had feared, they need some tightening up but not the major disaster I had envisioned. David said I always think I'm in trouble because if I do that, it will magically keep the bad stuff away. That I can never think well of myself or I did a good job - he's right and it will never change so there's no point in dwelling on it, is there? On the home front we did the grocery shopping and did some other shopping too - we are still cutting back but that doesn't mean we won't go shopping. And we still continue to spend less - I've much reduced my shopping during the week and when we do go - it's for what we need. I no longer go into stores between patients, if I have a little time I either do paperwork or play on my phone in a parking lot - not as much fun but I come home with no crap I didn't need in the first place. Pearl and Reuben are busy flailing around the living room - he's growing at an unbelievable rate and will soon be close to her size. We were going to try and leave him loose during the day but are putting it off for now - David is working close enough that he can come home at lunch time and he's in the Destroyer Phase (Reuben, not David!) so it's the box for now. Pearl enjoys playing with him - it's really done her good to have another dog in the house. I started knitting a pair of socks the other day - the first try got frogged. The pattern called for a 2.75 needle but I knew it was going to be too big - it was so rip it rip it rip it. I downsized to a 2.25 and it's rolling along just fine. I have to go to Pittsburgh next week so I'm thinking of swapping out to my Coach bag - it's not my favorite but I can sneak my sock knitting bag in it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Almost Easter To My Peeps.

 And I had a heck of a time today finding peeps. Word to the wise - looking for Easter peeps the day before the big event is not a good plan - we were out and about today to do some shopping with the idea I would be able to get my peeps anywhere. We have not been out in over a month just shopping  - I've been talking about how we've been cutting back on buying stuff just to buy it  but  it's good to do it once in awhile - just not all the time. SO I went to Bloomin Yarns first - today was the 5th anniversary so everything was on sale.  I also brought the  shawl up with me as the owner had asked me to bring it in when I finished - and yes, I'm very proud of this one. The shop took my picture for the blog and I got 20 - 30% off everything. Then we did Gabe's - they had some Easter candy, no peeps. Sam's for grocery - no peeps. We stopped in Carmichael's and I went to the Dollar Store - they HAD to have Peeps - nope. Save - A - Lot - nothing. I made one last desperate attempt and went to the Medicine Mine on the other side of the road - SCORE! I ate a whole box on the way home, Easter Peeps are here once a year and I only have a couple of days to eat them.  Even though I've been very good at Weight Watchers I decided I am just going to enjoy the holiday without worrying about it so its jelly beans, peeps and candy to go. We had lunch at Loafers today too, we had the special - egg salad sandwiches and a oatmeal raisin cookie.  When we got home everyone had to go OUT - Reuben has been doing well in the housebreaking department, he has an accident every other day but nothing to write home about - I am so glad we decided to invest in a steam cleaner when we invested in the puppy!!  He had us up at 2:30am this morning, I must not have closed the latch on his kennel right and at 2:30am he appeared on my side of the bed crying and poking me with his paw. David took him out and then we were done - he was hysterically excited to be up, he wanted to David put the coffee on. I love puppies - they're so cute and snugly, they do wonderfully cute things - but there is  alot to be said for the older dog. Who stays in bed as long as you do.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Fat Ladies Will Be Singing Today.

 A month or so ago we had decided not to treat Vincent for his chronic kidney failure anymore. The medications didn't stop the bleeding, the infusions traumatized him. We thought for sure last month he would slip away from us, growing thinner each day, sleeping forever and a day, huddled by us at night. But last week David asked me if I'd well, noticed something different about Vincent lately. And I had - he's been eating like a horse since he got ill but lately, the weight has started staying. His fur is back to being glossy and he was busy doing Secret Cat Maneuvers that are only secret to him (the birds can see him a mile away) last night in the yard. David strongly recommended to him that he stop prancing up and down the pillows and purring at 2 am - Vincent took it under consideration and continued  - he knows there will be no consequences of his actions. We don't know how, we certainly don't know why - but he appears to be, well, recovering.  We'll take it and just be grateful. In other news Reuben is growing in leaps and bounds, David swears every time he stretches he grows another inch. He can make it up and down the stairs and another inch and the couch is his. We are going to start leaving him in the kitchen this week during the day - the floor is laminate so if he has an accident it will be easily cleaned. Work has been busy but is calming - a little - I don't expect that to last. We don't have much in the way of plans for Easter, it will just be us so I'll eat Peeps til I burst and then out to dinner. I plan on avoiding Weight Watchers for at least two weeks until I can run the bunnies off and then back to work. My garden has yielded nothing so far, but it has only been two days. I'm giving it to the end of the week before I start to worry. I"m 2/3 of the way around the shawl edge, it's slow going but I'm getting there - I can't wait for it to be done!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On The Main Stretch

I'm about halfway done with the edge to the shawl, it's very slow going however, for every 2 stitches I bind off I have to knit 6 rows.  There are 640 live stitches along the edge - you do the math.  The other thing that is slowing me down is The Two Rotten Dogs. As you can see from the last picture we have a lot of shenanigans going on here - Pearl has discovered a playmate with boundless energy. The point of getting another dog was so they can occupy and entertain each other. What has happened is I now have two dogs following me around, they play with each other but wish to do it right next to me. My coffee is rocking, my laptop in danger as they roll, flail and race around my chair.  But they are fun and I'm glad we did it - Pearl cries and whines a lot less these days and Reuben is a good puppy. We took him to his first vet appointment for shots, poor Reuben did not do well on the car ride and barfed in the parking lot. There was Schnauzer that wanted a piece of him, he got shots - it was not a fun day for him. But he survived.We did the grocery shopping yesterday - no bookstore, no yarn shop. But when I got home I did buy some books off of Kobo that I had seen at Sam's Club - but I never said I would not ever buy another book and I only got the ones I intended to, not a bunch of magazines, etc. I use my ereader daily and I have to buy full sets of books, I love trilogy and series, the great thing about an ereader is you can buy the whole thing in one fowl swoop - is it "fowl swoop" like a chicken hawk or is it is "foul swoop" like you did something underhanded? Hmm. Never actually thought about that, did you This morning was the Big Day,  David had to keep an eye on Frick and Frack  this morning so I could plant my garden - even with 20 packets of seeds I still didn't have enough to plant the whole thing!! It took a good chunk of the morning, I did the whole thing in one shot (I've been making the rows all week) - it's supposed to rain tonight so I thought it would be a perfect time.  Neighbors said not to water the garden or I won't get good roots and considering the farmer next door doesn't water his fields that does make sense. I have to get a mammogram tomorrow that I got signed up for during my physical. I personally don't like to go looking for trouble but my MD is not of the same ilk, so off I go. When the assistant was signing me up for it she asked if I had breast implants who completely cracked me up - I told if I did I wanted my money back!