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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Grilling Season.

 The newest change I've made to my diet is I'm back to grilling again on the BBQ. The gazebo we bought is fantastic, I slid our patio set over a bit and  pushed the grill under it a couple of weeks ago so we can now use it year around. David was a little so-so but has gotten on the bandwagon and was out there flipping burgers last night. Of course since the weather decided to go back to spring for the first day of winter that's not too much of a hardship these days. The temperatures have gotten so warm a long sleeved shirt will suffice.  This morning I took Molly to the park to meet up with Charlene my friend and Libby who is Molly's friend. Molly has no issues with her at this point, she seems to recognize her and has relaxed to the point they walk together side by side. She will still not allow Charlene to pet her, but you can see she's starting to want her to. The rain was sputtering when we got there but we brought umbrellas and for most of the time it was just windy and damp, we ended up putting our umbrellas down as the wind was wanting to turn them inside out. So the weather was not the greatest but we both know these warm days will be far and few between for awhile so it doesn't have to be perfect for us to walk. When I got back I took both dogs outside and into the woods for about an hour, then they went in the house while I took the grill apart as it had reached a critical point in the Ickiness Factor.  I scrubbed the bananas out of it , that got done and I have chicken marinating  for tonight. Hmm, are you surprised after all I've been writing about factory farming that I would be marinating chicken from Sam's Club? I am still forging forward with that - I admit I've eaten a little cheese and had milk in my coffee, but it's greatly reduced and as I replace the dairy with soy based substitutes it will decrease further. David and I have started talking about the meat part of it and possibly looking into buying a side of beef from a local farmer - I'm not opposed to burgers and so forth, just the methods that are being employed to obtain them. Did you know that 40 years ago there were hundreds of slaughter houses privately owned and now there are 13? For the entire nation?  And that will be eventually reduced to one or two. That they can "process" up to 32,000 pigs a day? That a great deal of the workers have constant infections from the meat they work with and their hands can become so infected they lose their nails?  That all the beef and chicken you're eating has been rinsed with bleach or ammonia to keep the levels of E. Coli down - did you know that? Well, neither did I - and all of this is simply due to me trying to find a diet I can stay on. Now I have to find a diet I can live with.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like, Well, Rain Quite Frankly.

There is nothing nice about rain in December - oh I know I know! But if I hear one more time "At least it's not snow" I'll shriek! We HAD snow last week so now the ground has defrosted and it's raining on top of that gooey mess. I've been goofing off in the woods with the hooligans continuing in path clearing ,but it's slow going and wet to boot. Molly hurt her front leg this morning, she and Boo were running full tilt, she wasn't watching where she was going and slammed into the Rose Of Sharon. I have to admit she's come a long way though - instead of freaking out and not letting us near her, she stood on 3 legs and bawled loud enough to wake the dead.  Typical injury for this breed of dog, their long, skinny legs are prone to sprains - David escorted Boobins back in the house while I calmed Molly down and got her walking. She's fine, a little sore but nothing a couple of biscuits didn't fix. I'll keep her quiet for the rest of the day and she'll be fine.  I went to party for my knitting group last week, that was fun and we did more eating than knitting. Trying to behave food wise is near to impossible this time of year, but if I can just hold back the tide and then go full tilt in January I'll be more than happy. My group will not be meeting again until January 7th as both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve fall on Tuesdays. I'm on call for both of them plus the actual holiday so it's easier that way anyhow. I went out today to do some grocery shopping and a little holiday shopping - I did a little and came back home. I stopped at Old Navy and their computers were misbehaving so the line quickly backed up and it was not a very Christmassy atmosphere I might add. I got Jackson and Brandi's gift in the mail stopping at Star City and then back home to the sogginess we call home. I bought a very wee little turkey and a tofurkey for me while I was out, we will do the actual holiday when Jackson and Brandi get here. As we get older Christmas gets quieter and quieter, the decorations fewer, not much not much. I miss the Christmas of the past of course, when the kids were little and excitement level was high, the big breakfast you couldn't eat because of the candy you couldn't wait for, everyone busy exploring their new stuff.  Now it's just a quiet day for some reason.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When The Wind Blows.

 The weather has been back and forth lately - this morning it was crappy, cold rain but really not too bad temperature wise. I had to drive over to Ruby to get some pediatric test tubes this morning - I could have done it tomorrow but that would have taken  more time out of my day so I did it this morning. I had to pick up a few things so I left early, David filled the van with junk from the foreclosure so he'd planned on taking my car. I got back in good time but he got out there and discovered he'd forgotten the key so he shopped for decoration and came home. In the meantime the temps dropped again and the roads are a bit of a mess.  As long as it's done by tomorrow morning whatever. I cleaned out the fridge and freezer yesterday - everyone aside from myself just loves to stick things in there willy nilly. It looked like a yard sale and I had  no idea what we had for food. So yesterday I took everything out, sorted, threw out the Meats Of Mystery - some so discolored by freezer burn they were orangish - and put it all back in order. The Hooligans stayed underfoot hoping I would drop it on the floor so they could snaffle it up ASAP which didn't happen. Today I made home made seiten which I do once in awhile and then started a new list as I'm almost out of vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, etc... I am NEVER buying any more grain products from that place in Kingwood - honestly. The flax meal was so infested it stuck together, I just pitched it and used the old stuff. Eww. I'm onto the next round of charts for the shawl I'm knitting but am dithering around about it. It's a bit more complicated than I had anticipated so I keep reading the directions and will start again once I'm sure of what I'm doing. I think to have to frog it would be difficult at best, impossible at worst. So I'm being very careful. I continue to work on the woods, I have my clippers and grab them every time I head out there with Frick and Frack. I clear paths while they sniff and bounce, snacking on deer poo and racing off when I yell at them to STOP IT NOW. We've had to worm them once already and they don't seem to care a bit. Molly actually loves the medications, I think she would have happily taken off with the syringe I dose her with to chew on at her leisure. The vet was not overly upset, he gave enough to dose them both once a month for the next 3 months. I'm going to move my garden this year too, it will be way closer to the house so I'll be starting on that soon. I take a shovel and turn the earth while I'm outside with the dogs, it gives me something to do besides sit on the couch and eat.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Food Is My Religion

I took a test on religious knowledge once on Face book that Donna had posted and was very surprised to see how well I did. When I asked her about she said that atheists tended to score much higher because they tend to question and research everything. In retrospect that's true - I've researched Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Egyptian, etc. I went back in, read more, talked to people and have come away with the belief that makes the most sense to me after sifting through the chafe.As I've been reading and watching documentary after documentary (Vegacated, Chow Down, Farmmaggedon, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, etc)  researching on food and diet it occurred to me I"m once again approaching it from my fact gathering, sorting and figuring it out. It's a lot more complex the more I delve. I do not want to go back to Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, etc - do they work? Of course they do! I've lost 30 pounds on each of them. Losing is not the issue, not having to diet is. The problem with dieting is you feel like you're under house arrest all the time - when you eat out did you make a good choice? If I don't eat all day can I hog down donuts tonight? And then you add in my blood work that is okay but not great, my horror at watching how farm animals are treated including how they get dairy products, my lack of time - as far as I've been able to conclude my diet will now have to consist of lint, air and whatever dust bunnies I can scrounge up under the sofa. The vegan thing is complicated by the fact you really have to read the labels closely- some products are literally wolves in Sheep's clothing. - "Go Veggie" soy cheese you would think was vegan -NOT. It's actually made of out of casein, which is milk protein. And then there is the cost, 11 slices of Dayia soy cheese,a true vegan product is about $6 - it's expensive to behave.When you add in the rest soy, tempeh, fresh vegetables, etc it adds up very fast. The preparation time also factors in as you can keep the calories and cost down if you make it yourself, but that comes back to time and effort. And no, I'm not complaining, I'm turning this problem over and over, like a Rubik's Cube, hoping if I hit the right combination it will stick. I am not going on yet another diet, for crying out loud I"m 52 years old, I should be able to control myself. And that is what makes me a little angry and distressed - because I HAVE been controlling it and I feel better in a week than I have in awhile. I've lost about 5 pounds without even trying and if that's the result, why oh why do I feel cheated eventually? Why, when I finally lose the weight I should do  I then act like I've crossed the finish line, won the race and no longer have to do this? The reality is I can afford to eat a good, healthy diet, I have exercise equipment in the basement, I have an app on my Ipad that tracks my carbs,protein, etc to make sure things stay in balance, I may not have the time but I can certainly make the time to eat right and exercise. I guess that's the part that really I need to get my head around ,that it's not a punishment, or unfair or even some commie plot - it's me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some Days Are Better Than Others.

I'm never completely happy, I suppose very few people are - but the past few days have been very nice. That's not to say things are going entirely smoothly, they are not. But for the most part we've managed to muddle through in an acceptable way. David has been squirrelling around with the insurance on the foreclosures, he sent in the last of the information required and checked online his insurance account with Liberty Mutual. Imagine his surprise to find the insurance had been cancelled in November despite his getting emails requesting more information. When he called he was told they did not cover vacant houses even if they're in the process of being renovated, that he's there every day and he was very clear on why he owns them in the first place. They do cover second - and third homes if they're vacation homes - even if they're only occupied a couple weeks a year. When he asked why they'd insured the Bruceton Mills house and not these, they had no answer. Ditto on why no one had bothered to call to let him know there was a problem.  He had a couple sleepless nights - two houses completely uninsured with no letter letting you know will do that - but he's gotten it straightened out. My diet is going pretty good, but it's a little rough going. I still have not been able to do any dairy, after seeing Vegedcated, every time I think about it all I can see is that man shocking that poor pig that he called over to him, and while the pig is still twitching and immobilized dragging it over to the vat of scalding water and pushing it in - alive. Bacon, any one? I know not every farm animal is killed like that but the association is still killing me. Hopefully it will pass enough to allow  a little bit of cheese but in the meantime I've restocked on my vegan go to's and there is no suffering the house of Julia tonight. I had my 30,000 mile tune up today - the oil light came on in my car a couple of days ago inspiring me to call Dave the Supervisor at Subaru. He had me check the oil and told me if there was none on the dipstick to add some. I inquired as to where I should do that and he said maybe I should just leave it alone if there was oil on the stick. Good call Dave, good call. The weather has been very cold, the other morning on the way to work I was sitting in traffic wondering why we were going so slow. From the other direction a small black SUV came careening,sliding across right in front of my car, plowed down the bank just missing the telephone pole, ping ponged back on the road taking out the front of the car behind me and careening BACK to the other lane right before slamming into the embankment - all I can say is lucky girl! She deployed every bag in the car but lived to tell about it. I made her sit, called 911 and waited until a family friend showed up but everyone was alright thank goodness. Today we got our Christmas shopping started, thought about putting up the decorations and took a nap instead, played with Mollyann and Boo - their names morph on occasion - and that was about it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Things Of Which We Do Not Speak.

 I am struggling to get my weight - and more importantly my diet under control and yes, there is a difference between the two. My weight shows some of the results, but my blood work this year was far more telling. Most people would be happy with my results - but my cholesterol is up, my glucose sucks, Vitamin D is in the toilet and that is the first time it's ever been that way. I've found my fifties to be a midlife crisis of sorts, where I'm questioning how I'm going to live the rest of my life and that definitely plays into the diet and exercise. So I've been watching documentaries on diet and more specifically vegetarian as that is what I've been for a very long time now. The only thing I've never been able to give up is dairy and when I examine that, most of my dairy with the exception of cheese is substitutes (soy milk, nondairy creamers, etc) and that is going to be reduced further. I was watching "Vegecated" this morning while I worked out and at one point I stopped so I could cry. How do we justify what we do to farm animals? I've supported hunting for years and will continue to do so, I'm not against eating meat. Just because I don't eat it doesn't give me the right to tell others not to - and I don't even think it's wrong personally. I have friends that have small herds and those cows and bulls are treated very humanely - most of the cattle farms here are family owned and you see them out grazing the fields until their days are done.  But the inhumanities we practice with factory farming are beyond the scope of thought. Most people do not realize that cattle are skinned alive as it's more cost effective, pigs are dropped live into vats of scalding water, some even trying to swim to safety while they scream from the pain. Chickens are hung upside down and their heads are run through electrified water baths - it makes you wonder who we are calling animals, That was a very small part of this documentary, the focus was more on taking 3 people and seeing the effect of a full vegan diet had on them. But the impact of those short clips of film were enormous and supports my position on hunting even more. For years I've had to listen to people talk about how they're against hunting while they are happily downing yet another burger - I'm glad I don't eat meat and even though I doubt I'll ever be able to completely go vegan, it will certainly make me more consciousness in the future of what I put into my mouth. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Post Thanksgiving Post.

We've done Thanksgiving with Ray for about four years now - every year he thinks it's too much trouble and every year we do not. And it's not - it's a tradition. This year Adam joined us which worked well. We made arrangements to stay at the Hampton Inn down the road and Adam slept over Ray's. This year I also reserved the room with Orbitz over the Internet - the con is the room is non refundable at that rate, the pro is the rate was $160 less than we usually pay - with a discount like that, I'll take my chances. Molly and Reuben went to Dog Jail, it's Molly's first time being incarcerated and we can't pick them up til 5 pm today, I'm curious to see how she did. She actually went with the guy better than Reuben did, she has improved vastly over the past 4 months. I know that our intense socializing her has help a great deal and even though I hate to put them in the kennel I think this might actually benefit her further. Anyhoo, we arrived in Kearney about 3 pm, checked in  and ran off to Ray's. We had our dinner at The Stack as we do every year - well, except for when they got hit by hurricane Sandy and were down for the count. After we went back to Ray's and yakked. And yakked. The next morning we were back at The Stack for breakfast, then off shopping . We avoided the Stampede that was on the news, we were really just interested in the book store and a few other small venues. After back to Ray's - David was tired so I drove to Olive Garden where we met up with Jackie for dinner. Jackie and I are always laughing as we both have older relatives that spend a great deal of time sneaking off with silverware, sugar bowls and milk pitchers so we lament our small handbags that don't fit coffee carafes and we'll bring them next time. I don't think restaurants are as forgiving now - when I was a kid it was almost part of the meal to  sneak off with the ice tea spoons - I thought everyone had a set of spoons that had Howard Johnson printed down the front. On the way home Ray said there was a comet and we looked for it until David the Passenger loudly announced he was not comfortable with the driver scanning the heavens for a comet and would prefer I keep my eyes on the road which had us laughing all the way home,We left early Saturday, we usually eat breakfast out but everyone was still full from the previous day - and I seriously need to start cutting back on eating. You never fully realize how much weight you've gained til you post the pictures, do you? I had blood work done with my physical and even though technically it's normal I'm not happy with it so it's back to the drawing board for me. The funny thing about food is the more I concentrate on cutting back it seems to more I become obsessed with eating it. Maybe I need to think about something else - like yarn. We stopped at TWO yarn shops on the way home. The first one - The Knitters Edge is expected, the second one which is right off the stinking highway I might add was a bit much for the Yarn Hater. However, he was also a crabby pants from all the food and driving so I said when we stopped he needed to be a passenger as he was getting bit out of control cranky pants. We made it home in good time, Vincent did well and demanded Make Up Snacks but was fine. We pick up the hooligans at 5 pm and then it's back to work Monday, but we had a great time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How The Other Half Lives.

 We bought this hardtop gazebo back in September, it was a floor model and marked down a lot - less than half price. I thought it was so swanky looking with it's little curlicues and draped curtains all around - and it matches the fancy outdoor dining set we bought to boot. It's a year round hard top and I'm hoping we can use it that way. So the store disassembled and David brought it home - and there it sat. It came with no instructions was the main problem, peering at the picture I'd taken at the store did little. So a couple of weeks ago I hit Google and- if you know how to look and I do- found the instructions online and printed them out. Today we got it put together and it's finally done. It came very nice, we're putting the curtains away til spring but it will protect the furniture at least. Molly and I took a stroll around Friendship Park this morning, it's pretty chilly but very sunshiny and Molly really loves her walks now. We're past the worst of it, she most likely will never get to the point that strangers can pet her, but that's ok with me. She's able to walk by other people and dogs without getting upset and enjoys hiking just as much (more) than I do. While I was out walking I  strolled into cell service and my phone announced it had voice mail - from work. Arrgh said my Pirate Heart. I have to talk to them about this on call nonsense before I blow a gasket. It is beyond me that I can be assigned an "afterhours" visit at NINE IN THE MORNING - REALLY?? Apparently I am just being given the option of doing it during my day off instead of after four.. Given the fact that the 70 mile round trip involved would have sucked up most of my day "off" I was a little annoyed to say the least. I suppose it's a little better than it just being sprung on you after four, but really? If I'd been called and asked to do it I would have grumbled of course but I think it would have been easier to swallow. Acck. They managed to cover the visit so I didn't end up having to go but it was more than enough to get me ranting in the car after having left the park early to get home to go out and do the visit and it convinced Molly she will never want to work in home care. Actually, Molly is quite happy in her position of Favored Pet and Chief Couch Occupant so I doubt she's ever entertained the idea of going into home care.  Enough of that.  I went to my knitting group last night and my one finished sock was widely admired - a lot of people showed up, so many we had to get more chairs! The room was filled and it was so nice sitting and chatting while knitting. The group encompasses a variety of women so there's never any lull in the conversation. We discussed Sons Of Anarchy (I'm not the only fan!), Dr. Who, the school system, Christmas, out of state drillers, etc.. We're having a Christmas party on the 17th which should be fun. I'm so glad Dolly invited me to join and my Tuesday nights are looked forward to. Since I have time between work and the group I've started doing the grocery shopping after work and that way on my day off we're not always spending it at the grocery store, what a great deal.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our Daily Bread

 I had fasting blood work yesterday - and I really really hate that. A Lot. I woke up and announced to David that life was no longer worth living, what was the point of getting out of bed? He felt this was the lack of coffee talking and ignored me. My doctor's office has it's own walk in and is open 7 days a week which is wonderful. Dr. Mitchell had told me if you show up about 8:50 they open at 9 and you can be pretty much in and out. I left in good time despite being on call and some one calling at 7:40 am and wanting to have a conversation, but I wrapped it up and  got there before 9 bu still had to hustle to beat out all the senior citizens that know this too. Even though my Ninja Skills have diminished over the years I  managed to be first on the list and only had to wait 10 minutes. The person doing the blood work was very nice and appreciative of my big, blood spurting veins - I have the type of veins that you could dart from across the room and be successful. I've been practiced on by new nurses over the years because they have a success rate of 100%, you would have to be blind and drunk to miss. I also had to give a pee sample which I thought was a bit nervy since I was told not to eat or drink anything - humph! As soon as I was done I bunny hopped over to Books A Million that makes the BEST coffee in the universe. I didn't know if I should drink it or hold it whispering "I missed you". I drank it. I did my shopping, forgetting the requisite two items (no matter how hard we try we ALWAYS forget something!) and came home to drink more coffee. Yes, I am addicted and I super do not care. While doing everything short of infusing my coffee  I watched another gazillion episodes of Sons Of Anarchy, my latest obsession - David says he can only watch it so much due to the extraordinarily high body count per episode.  They are constantly shanking, stabbing, shooting, exploding, hacking, biting, slapping, kicking, running over and pushing people off of buildings. One of the characters is a pediatric surgeon and I wish I had her schedule since she has more than enough time to run around with the bikers when she's not being kidnapped or accidentally offing people herself. I sit and knit while I watch all of this, I've got one sock finished and started the other. I've pretty much given up the dress idea for now and will revisit it if I ever find a yarn that would work well. The yarn I had bought for that project I've found is just not practical. The weight and material (raw silk) are right but in order for it to be a tight enough knit I would have to use size 1 or 0 and it would take a million years to do it. But I can use the yarn for shawls so it's not a waste. I'm still  clearing paths in the woods, Molly and I will not be walking today as the weather is too iffy - we've already been rained out once today so I think this Wednesday will be our walking day.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Being Old Takes A Lot Of Time.

After a few months of wishy washing it, I finally picked a new GP. or PCP. Or MD - pick your poison. One thing about being in home care is you do get the lowdown on who's naughty, who's nice and who you shouldn't sent your cat to, let alone a human being. I had three doctors that got the big raves but one was out of the running because you can never get in to see him. I requested the other two and let the girl up front pick (well, technically, I said I'd like either Dixon or Mitchell and she said "ok, you have an appointment at 2:45 on the 13th and did not tell me who so it was sort of like a Game Show Like Atmosphere). Anyhoo, it was Dr. Mitchell and he was just as nice as all his patients think he is. I did well except for the bit where I Have To Lose Weight, that lovely 30 pounds just likes to sneak back on when I'm not looking. My vitals were good but we did do an EKG which I have NEVER had - you will be pleased to know my Zombie Heart is still beating away, more or less. I've been a member of the Brady(cardia) Bunch since I can remember so I hang out in the 50s while I'm awake.  When I'm asleep it probably beats once a minute but I figure at the very least I'll never wear it out - I'm sure there are certain people that would claim it's because I never use it - la la. He signed me up for a mammogram (sigh) and I have finally been forced to stop evading the Dreaded Colonoscopy where we didn't even entertain comments or excuses. My reflexes are not as good as he would like so there goes the Ninja Moves and he thinks my thyroid needs a blood test, along with a fasting glucose so that would be no coffee tomorrow morning, sucks to be me some days. As I get older I feel like a walking house of cards - my family history has breast, colon skin cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, gout, glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts - it's a wonder I get out of bed each day. But I do and my diet starts on a daily basis, I exercise every morning and I try to eat right. They're supposed to call me with appointments for the further testing, I'm trying to not let my Wednesdays off turn into Medical Mayhem Day - I mean it's easier to schedule things then so I don't miss out on work but it kind of ruins the whole day. I had scheduled it in the afternoon so I could take Miss Molly for her Wednesday Walk. Reuben went hunting - or at least his version of it where he runs around like his hair is on fire and and David yells at him. Yes, he needs a little bit more training, since Pearl is not around to teach and keep him in line he's been a wild thing and David is not appreciating his Mad Scooting Skills. Molly and I went to the park nearby, the next time we'll drive the extra 10 miles as I found the Warrior Trail is actually Walking On The Road and that is super NOT fun. Waste of my time as I spent the whole time thinking it would lead to the actual trail and I had to keep hauling Molly up short to keep her out of the road. A fun time was had by no one, the next time we spend the extra time so it can be fun.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Buried In Clothes

 Like everyone that lives in an area with all four seasons I'm faced twice a year with the switching out of the clothes routine. I put it off as long as possible, hoping perhaps that it will stay warm enough for tank tops and Capri's, completely  bypassing the entire fiasco. And it is a bit of a fiasco because I have no idea what possesses me to buy enough summer clothes to outfit an entire camp. Really. You figure you actually wear summer clothes for 3 months. Then reduce that by the amount of time you work - I should be able to get by with a couple pairs of shorts, skirts, etc. and with them being lighter and smaller be able to contain it to a couple of drawers. You would think that. The bed was piled high with two weeks worth of shorts - and out of those  the ones I wear the most are two very tattered, comfortable pairs a hobo would cast shame on. The rest were still sparkly new with the creases from the store still intact.  A rainbow of skirts, about 30 shirts and then a few dresses. Enough shoes for a chorus line - dresses I love and do not wear, dresses I want to wear, all stuffed tightly into two very large containers to spend the winter in the attic. In the spring I'll haul them back out and wonder why I have so much. The circle of life and all of that I suppose. We turned back the clocks early last night - fifty two years old and I've finally figured out if you turn the clocks right after dinner and go to bed later (or earlier) according to the time change it's not nearly as big a pain in the ass it is when you turn the clocks the next morning. The dogs stayed asleep too since I adjusted the coffee pot. Ours goes off automatically and the dogs consider the little beep something like the noise that means you need to come shooting out of the gate. The second it goes off they start jumping and dancing around frantic since they're awake they must have to pee RIGHT NOW. It's a very nice day out today and they've been out a million times already, Reuben is being retrained to come and sit, again and again until we get it down pat. We've been very lax with that lately and now we pay the price as he will come unless there is something more interesting, then he comes when he is good and ready to. David will be getting a tracking collar - it's all well and fine to say if the dog doesn't come back when called then you don't want it back - unless it actually doesn't come back. That's a whole other can of worms, isn't it?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Call Of Duty

 I am on call the third Saturday in a row, arrgh says my pirate heart. I was on call the first Saturday because one of my co-worker's spouse had an accident (he's OK) and they needed someone to work it. . Then I was on call. When we did the on call schedule last week  I accidentally scheduled myself for this weekend because I forgot October ended on a Thursday - I thought I would have a week in between. Which I don't. So I did an admit this morning  and was home by noon. I could have been home sooner but I was noodling about on the back roads which I cannot help. I honestly feel like I need to drive down every back road I see, that there might be something extraordinary and I'll just drive right by it in my hurry to get nowhere faster. And I do usually end up finding something  David and his friend Rich were getting ready to leave with Rueben for pheasant hunting. They got one, Reuben scared up a half dozen and then wandered off. David found him with a couple of farmers - so someone will be wearing a tracking collar from now on until he's old enough to know better. I have no doubt if he got lost someone would take him as he's obviously a purebred hunting dog, but he's likely to find himself staked out behind the farm house as opposed to his cushy little bed next to Molly so you think he'd have better sense. Since I'm tied to the house this weekend Molly and I headed out to the woods where I've been making paths and fighting the stinking briers, some of the vines are almost as thick as a snakes and pretty lethal. We're making pretty good progress and it gives me something to do when I'm outside with the dogs.  In knitting news I frogged my sock!! Yes I stinking did!! I've been trying to do a new type of heel and it was not working at all, it was rather lopsided but instead of just pulling the heel needle and frogging that back I pulled all the needles and lost my place completely. That will teach me not to frog and watch Will and Grace at the same time.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Don't Forget Your Lunch Money

 About a month or so ago I was at Michael's and stopped to talk to a woman who was doing a crochet demonstration. Her name was Dolly and when she found I was a knitter invited me to join her knitting group at the Hotel Morgan down in Morgantown. It's on Tuesday nights and since I have Wednesday off I figured that would be a good fit with my schedule. This would be a nod to the phrase "the best laid plans". The first two weeks were covered by my vacation - from Tuesday to Tuesday. Then I was on call Tuesday. And then on call the next one. Sigh, a whole month of Tuesdays. Yesterday however, I was determined to make it and brought my sock bag along with me to work in the car. I also planned on going to the walk in clinic after work since I've been flirting with an ear ache the past week and since the group doesn't start till 6:30 I would have plenty of time since I'm usually done by 4:30. SO we have our weekly meeting at work, they forgot to give me a schedule I DO have a student to take with me on the visits I don't have, I get a schedule and end up spending the next hour trying to get my patients in a line. We head out about 10 - or so - and despite my racing don't get back til 4:45. I went in to drop off some paperwork and ended up of course yakking for a few minutes. I soldiered on and got the doctor's about 5:45 - and of course it's packed. I thought about a minute, made an Executive Decision,got back in my car and stopped off to buy Excedrin. I can go to the doctor's today, can't I? I got to the hotel a little early and then vacillated. Don't you hate doing anything new and unknown like that? I was worried - what if they weren't meeting tonight? What if it was the wrong place? What if I walked into this swanky hotel with my loud little knitting bag wearing my Halloween scrubs and couldn't find them? Honestly, no matter how old you get it's always the first day of kindergarten somewhere, isn't it? I sneaky Pete checked my email and found I had gotten a reminder, I double checked the address and got out of my car. I had to ask at the desk, standing behind some out of town business man waiting, but the desk clerk knew exactly what I was talking about and told me they were where they usually were on the second floor. I went up the marble steps and from the landing I could hear them, I went down the hall to the right and  found about 8 women of various ages knitting away, eating candy and laughing. I sat between Martha ,retired from WVU Athletics and Joann, displaced from Hurricane Katrina but decided to stay. I was a little nervous of course - it's hard when you're in a room full of people that know each other and you know no one, but they were so nice and welcoming I got over it very quickly. We're going to be making baby blankets for the babies that don't survive for Ruby, they also do charity work at this group. I was glad I made the effort to go and am very happy to be back in a knitting group. I suppose I should go the doctor's now, that ear is not going to fix itself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


 Lately, people have been debating back and forth gun control and Obama care. The website for the new health insurance apparently is a nightmare but highly amusing as the President assured us that the experts were working diligently to repair it. Why wouldn't you have the experts make up website in the first place? Did we hire Budget Geeks or worse, let some low level government interns handle it? And yet another school shooting - so we have the liberals and the pacifists shrieking to abolish all guns and the NRA is quietly stockpiling everything in their underground bunkers, far from the prying eyes of Big Brother. I think our big problem is the usual - no middle ground. At all. Ever. As far as the Obama care - I'm not entirely opposed to it, but let's face it - the track record of the bureaucrats is a bit less than stellar, isn't it? Massachusetts I believe a few years ago came up with a plan that all the uninsured had to vamoose - scat if they didn't get insured. They were tired of footing the bill for the uninsured. They came up with a plan that people would have the option to  buy state catastrophe policies at a reduced rate - the upshot? The middle class had their own private, Medicaid and Medicare covered the poor and elderly - and the working poor, who barely scrape by got slammed. I would be easier with all of this if we could do a trial run of ALL the big issues. Can you imagine how much easier Obama care would have gone if they took say, 20,000 volunteers who agreed to be covered for a year before rolling out to millions? They could have worked out all the bugs, tweaked the insurance to reduce waste and maximize effectiveness and even done multiple trial runs of people signing up for it before parading around the final product that actually might have worked. They could have made sure the insurance was good coverage too without some one ending up with no medical coverage due to a loop hole or an error. Same with gun control - why not try out laws to see what a broad range of people can live with - and what works. We have plenty of laws on the books - but they only apply if you're a law abiding citizen. If you ban all guns you kill all sorts of industry - hunting, guiding, trap shooters, and yes, people that have guns to defend their home. I grew up in a home with guns, we all knew where the keys were kept, ammo was separate and no one ever got shot. In high school it wasn't unusual for the seniors to have shotguns as they went hunting right after school before it got dark, never thought a thing about it. But that was then, this is now, things have changed and honestly, we didn't have the fire power back then. If you attempted a school shooting you'd better be super fast on the reload because a 22 only holds two shells. So - yes we do need to look at our laws again, things have changed. But we need to stop having a knee jerk reaction, use our common sense. When they develop a new drug they don't just give it a name and stock the shelves, do they? Nope - they test it in the lab and when they're pretty certain it will work, a small controlled group that's monitored closely and they make changes as they go along until they the final product is safe and usable. Why can' we use that thinking for everything else in life we'd like to be safe and usable?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

They Won The Battle But Lost The War.

 The Hundred Year Flea War raged on for a few days longer - David tries very hard not to give into the conventional method of calling the vet and getting the twenty dollar pills. He prefers to waste a moderate amount of money on herbal potions and sprays, gleaning the Internet and emailing fellow Voo Doo Practitioners.The end result always is we spend twice the amount of money, the house and dogs smell of a variety of things ranging from camphor to cedar and Reuben goes from Science Experiment to Hot Mess. THEN we buy the pills, Reuben gets a couple more doses of benedryl and life goes on. He finally broke down on Monday and called Dr. Hyde and everyone is flea free and the house only smells mildly of a weird concoction. I remain on call for the week which is a stinking hot mess to boot - no it's not that bad, I just tend to make a mountain out of a mole hill and remain in that camp until the end of the week. I'm off today so the dogs went for their weekly walk in the park together. The weather is notsogreat so we did the close park. Molly is a super walker, Reuben not so much. Molly has completely changed in the past month, she's really getting into the getting out into the world and seeing new things. We'll be at Coopers Rock again this weekend and will most likely hike to Raven's Rock or the Henry Clay Furnace after doing a little turn around the main park for practice. Our walk with Charlene went extremely well and Molly had no problem with walking with Libby the Labrador. David continues with the foreclosure, the wiring has to be all redone so that will be the next project. His friend Morgan is an electrician so they'll do it together and he figures it will take about 2 or 3 days. The outside is almost done at this point and he's started on the upper deck. I finished the dog sweater I've been knitting and mailed it off today for Cooper The Recipient. Since we were doing a run to the PO I also mailed off the second sweater I made for my cousin John to replace the first sweater which was more suitable to either a very long armed woman or a fancy pirate of which he is neither. I frogged the dress I'd started, yet another hot mess in my string of Hot Messes this week - there was just no hope of it every fitting a human being unless someone knows a preschooler who's over five foot tall and weighs about 55 pounds. Hmm. SO my new plan is to start with a lace weight sweater, make a waist band and then add a skirt knitting it from the top down instead of the other way around. That should work. I'm clearing out my knitting closet too, the shawls have won all the awards they ever will - the large green one was donated for a raffle for a person in need, the little yellow one was tucked in along with the dog sweater. John's sweater is gone, there's a few more things that need to go but that does not all have to be done today. One thing at a time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Vacations are always a bit of a stressor no matter how much you're looking forward to it. We went to Ray's first, we got a late start because I was still trying to finish up paperwork from my job. We arrived and checked into our favorite hotel in that area. When we were there last it was closed after Hurricane Sandy - I was relieved it was reopened. We spent a few days with Ray, going out to dinner, to the museum and I finally got to meet Jackie, an old friend of Rays. We are facebook friends  but this was the first time I met her for real and she is as nice as I thought she would be. We left late morning for LI and of course got screwed up when we hit NYC due to David telling me we should follow the GPS which I did. It took me right through the Lincoln Tunnel and deposited me in the middle of the city, then decided to glitch about 50 times so we drove around in little tiny circles while trying to avoid jaywalkers, delivery men, etc... David was busy alternately telling me what to do and then announcing he was Not Talking To Me Anymore. Sigh. We finally made it out of the concrete jungle and made it to LI -  what a busy trip that was! I actually managed to see pretty much everyone. We went to the Italian festival on Saturday and I saw our former neighbor Dot that had lived across the creek from us when Adam was a baby. She and John had just gotten married too so we had a lot of fun yelling across the creek and visiting each other. David's sister Maryann was up from Florida, Andrea was up too and between David and I we saw all of the Bobs. There is Bob Sr., David's dad, then Big Bobby his nephew, little Bob who is son of Big Bobby and the littlest Bob who is the son of the son of Big Bobby. We had dinner at David's brother Kim and his wife Grace, the long house looks completely different, they've raised it 10 feet in the air and added a garage underneath. My mother had my cousin  Amy, her husband Jim and their two boys over for dinner - as usual I cant' believe how much the boys have grown. I saw Richard, Liz and met her boyfriend Bob (yes, another Bob..........). On Monday my mother and I went to see Grandma Hendrickson who's 96 this year and is very pleasantly confused. But she did remember me and my mother and we had fun talking about the old neighborhood. I did have to laugh because while the aide took her to the bathroom  Mom said she couldn't believe how clear she was today. We heard the aide ask Grandma who her visitors were and she replied "I have visitors?". After that we went to see Dad and Maryann, I didn't get to see Rhiannon because of course she goes to school - already in 6th grade, can you believe it? We had dinner at David's parents and then left for home around 8:30 am. I drove through NYC again and of course we got into yet another fight - we ALWAYS get lost at least once. I have no idea what it is about NYC as we've driven through many other cities with no issues, the second we hit the border it's like we put on our Moron Hats and go at it. David will not drive but enjoys giving useless advice which makes me (not so) secretly homicidal. We stopped at the Knitters Edge in Bethlehem which we always do, aside from my co-workers at Bayada that is the only thing I miss about the Poconos. Oh, and Wegman's, I miss Wegmans too. We arrived home around 6:30 to be greeted by our two flea ridden hounds which were previously discussed. And that my friends, was my vacation.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Dog Has Fleas

 I have not been posting because our Mac Book is dying - that's a pain. My Ipad will not post pictures on my blog so I'm forced to use the Dell computer. It was easy to download our pictures onto it - but then I couldn't find them -ARRGH. So I'm super behind in my blogging. I'll be out of order, I'll write about our vacation later and other assorted things. We came back from vacation to find both the Hooligans infested with fleas and I do mean infested. We have not had fleas in years and neither these two have had them. Poor Reuben has had issues in the past with allergies and this was no different. So in addition to fleas he has hives and is a most unhappy camper for the time being. They had their Pet armour for fleas but this was a super invasion and our uninvited guests just ran right past it and hopped on the Dog Buffet. So my last two days of vacation were spent spraying, washing, and washing the dogs again - Reuben is being dosed with benedryl until he can stand being in his own skin again - and I'm not kidding. He's red, raw and full of bumps. The carpets have been sprayed, steamed, vacuumed, the furniture  and beds stripped down as far as they can go, the cat has been sorted out too - and as of today we are almost flea free. Reuben is a bit better and no longer looks like a science experiment, but we'll be continuing until they're all gone. They've been having a good time, with the lovely fall weather we're out in the yard a lot getting ready for fall. Davids' been buying plants and planting, mulching the leaves. I've been clearing paths in our woods and Molly has made it her personal mission to keep us safe by rolling in deer poo to keep us under the coyote radar apparently. My neighbor Hazel came over today to collect the Hated Rhubarb - I tease David that's the only reason she talks to me. She has managed to sneak it into conversations and I've noticed she worries about it's health and what it's been up to lately. David had taken down the little fence around it and mowed - I could have shot him! We were out there forever chicken scratching trying to find it again. I told him if we didn't locate it HE had to go tell the neighbor that has been waiting since spring for this moment that he lost the frigging rhubarb, I was really annoyed since I've been protecting since spring so it can go to it's rightful owner. But we did find it and she took plenty, I told her if more comes up she's welcome to come get the rest. I'm walking the rail trail with Charlene and Libby tomorrow, it will be Molly's first walk with others that she does not know. We can no longer go to Friendship Park - on Thursday we headed there with the dogs for our weekly walk to find it gated shut! And no, you can't sneak in either.  I was pretty upset but I understand Coopers Rock is still open, the park about two miles from here is too so it's not like we have no where to go but still it's annoying. Adam is currently in Ohio where he has met up with friends and will be there for his 30th birthday. That's right I will have a THIRTY YEAR OLD CHILD. I'm glad he's spending it with friends- he actually has good friends from the navy that have all moved to that area so I think he's considering moving there too. Today I've not done too much, just a little here and there, mostly hanging out with the dogs.  I had a rough day yesterday, I left the house at 7:15 am and didn't get home til 9:30 at night, then had another 3 hours of paperwork since I'd been running all day. I finally crawled into bed around 1 am and all I could think was really, I am getting too old for this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rainbow Bridge Again and other Sundry Items.

So I still cannot figure out how to get the pictures from my Ipad to my blog so when I'm on it you have to see the old pictures. What ever. It's been a tough couple of weeks, hasn't it? Work continues to see saw, some days it's great others it is not so hot. The government shut down and Obamacare  has every one's panties in a knot. David thinks we all have to sign up for it and I thinks it's only if you don't have any at all. Whatever. I've lived through Kennedy Nixon carter Reagan bush - I'll survive Obama. Anyhoo  we had another candidate for the Rainbow Bridge, Claw has been ok but the past week started to decline. She could no longer jump up on the cat section of the counter to eat which was ok. But she fell off the couch the other day and had a lot of trouble getting up. Yesterday I woke to her sitting next to me in the bed, struggling to breath after getting up on the bed. Her vision is almost gone,we're not sure if she can hear, she is not even making the effort to harass the dog, one of her favorite hobbies. It was time. David took her to Dr Hydes and she passed on quietly. I'm sure the rainbow bridge will be in chaos from now on as soon as her furry little paws land on the other side. I called Jackson to let him know - Claw was his first cat and the last pet we ever have cremated. I was surprised by how upset I got - but she's my last physical contact to Mikio,and Setsu and those wonderful days. All things must pass but some are harder to release. Jackson will release her ashes, along with Copper and Mr. Lee at middle beach where we'll find our final resting place someday. We're not getting another cat we are trying to downsize. Adam is currently home holding down the fort David and I are currently in NJ visiting Ray then will head out to LI for a few days. Adam has school so he got elected Chief Dog Wrangler and Cat Servant. We haven't been home in about four years so it should be interesting.