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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hump Days!

 Things have been getting a little out of hand around here you might have noticed. When stressed I'm not unlike a grape - if you squeeze me I'll produce a steady stream of whine. David has been doing well in his endeavors, we closed on our first Not Living In It house on Friday, after multiple delays and false starts. He's also handling the bills, his business of small jobs, the issues we've had around here - with my job being in high gear a lot was either getting done at 4 am or 10 pm - or not done at all. We ran out of things. So after looking into various solutions including PRN employment and paying for our own health benefits I talked to my boss and as of this week have reduced my schedule to 4 days a week instead of 5. My day off will be Wednesday so no three day weekends and I'll still be on call but with that I should bring in enough and will keep my health benefits. And being off on Wednesday means I'll be working on two days at a time which will hopefully make my stress much less. Today we drove out to do a little shopping and hanging out, but also to look at some more foreclosures. We haven't gotten one to start on - as I've said before it's not as easy as it looks. We have to stay on a very tight budget, every extra dollar that goes toward the purchase comes out of our profit and we need to make enough to make it worth David's time, gas and materials. So we spent the day peeking in windows, traipsing through weeds and carefully balancing our way up rickety steps. We looked at one that was pretty high priced for us - $90,000 but the RE said if we did a small addition we could resell for $200,000. We came, we saw, we laughed,we left. We did have some fun - out to breakfast, the yarn store and we found a dog bed big enough for the crew(and hopefully indestructible). I am moving along on the sweater, I have half a sleeve left to do, a little edging and then it's done. I bought the yarn for the dress I'm attempting,, Maybe. Not much else going on in the Land Of Lesters, reading constantly lately, still love my Kobo ereaders, especially the Kobo Mini. I use that way more than I thought I would and the feature I love about it is it will sync with my big ereader and go to whatever page I'm on - that is so cool!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Crawling To The Finish Line.

 Nope, we have still not closed on the Bruceton Mills  house. Apparently the lawyer for the buyers is unsure of what his function is in all of this  and has been dragging it out, sheet by sheet, form by form. I don't think we would ever use him - the most annoying thing is everything is the  fault of My Assistant.  My Assistant went on vacation. Then she came back and accidentally only faxed half of the paperwork, etc. etc... I'm glad I'm not My Assistant but I sure would like to have her around so I too could live a blameless existence. I'm not overly upset, this is not our first rodeo and it's normal for the lawyers to spend a great deal of time screwing things up and then blaming it on everyone and their brother.  In the meantime we're scouting, we have an offer in one and are plotting for another. I've become quite the shark - on my way home the other day I did a rather colorful U turn having spotted a potential. If you see a sheet of paper taped to a front door with a lot of printing on it that's usually  a process of foreclosure. I would not skipping up the steps if there were cars in the yard or signs of life but this had none so I happily pulled into the yard and - Eek! no camera. But I had my phone so I took some shots and took another of the paperwork - that I emailed to David for download and print. That one will be on the back burner for now as it still needs to move through the courts and we are scoping a few others. We can bid on a few but only one will pan out .We've already been shot down a few times  and will most likely get shot down again. It's not as easy as you think it is - it's not even as easy as I think it is. You have to work on a very tight budget using the comps for the area, what needs repair ( septic, heat and electric are the biggies), what it will cost you to repair and how long it will sit on the market. What this all means is someone can outbid you by 5 or 6 thousand dollars and you have to let it go. In other news it is raining again. My poor garden is growing weeds like nobodies business but the rest is slow going, I think we may be getting too much rain. I've only had one zucchini which I ate already, the corn gets ears and then the deer show up about five minutes later, snarffle it down and got back to their Den Of Inequity to gloat about it. I'm out on the porch right now and will be going inside to maybe watch another scary movies. I watched the Skeleton Key last night which featured a very rotten lawyer who was not doing his Stinking Job. Hmm. Art imitating life I suppose.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thunder Road

 Poor Molly - this month has been very hard on her. The storms that have been rolling over the area have been especially violent and she is one of those dogs that freaks at the merest boom in the distance. She's gotten better - she's had to  - and we've discovered that she can tolerate it if we put her in her crate, door shut and a biscuit. So the gi-nourmous crate has been gracing the living room and she hides in there in a pile of her fluffy blankets until the danger is passed. That is signified by the Munching Of The Biscuit - she had been hiding it in the blanket for later but Reuben caught on and would sneak in and eat it, then sit on the couch like he knew nothing. So now we know to let her out when she's done, everyone has a system. Work has been a little less crazy lately - thank goodness. Not getting used to it of course, it seems to crank back up at the drop of a hat, but the past week has been not too tragic. I've gotten some reading done and the sweater is moving along, I'm a  third of the way done with one sleeve, then I'm putting and edge on the hood and the pocket. It doesn't call for it, but it's rolling pretty badly. I bought the new Vogue Knitting because of a pattern for a full length dress. I've never knitted a dress but I'll have to scout through my supply as it calls for about 2000 yards of weight lace yarn. Yes, you read that right - two THOUSAND yards. It says wool but if I actually did it make it I am thinking more silk or cotton. But we'll have to see - that's a lot of knitting. There are some other patterns that are not (too) overly weird they've been getting into a lot of odd shapes and giant bobbles for some reason the past year. And thing they refer to as "Asymmetrical" which means the sleeves are different sizes and the hem lines are up and down. I do that with some of my projects but it's more my pathetic attempts at clothing than a fashion statement so I guess whoever gets it will look deformed in a stylish manner. And of course to top off the look one needs to secure it with a stick or a spatula as opposed to anything common like buttons. So needless to say not too many copies of Vogue have been gracing the coffee table this year. David and I are going to see the latest Wolverine movie this weekend, other than that not too many plans. And I have to start planning for my sister - and sister in law! - to visit over labor day. I suppose being The Guests they will get to pick their activities, depending on what's open of course. There's a lot more to do here than people realize. There's the insane asylum in Weston, the prison in Moundsville, Frank Lloyd Wrights Falling Waters is about 40 miles from here. I don't think there's any plays at the performing arts center but I'm sure there's a festival somewhere!

Monday, July 22, 2013

I C U!

 So, I had the long eye appointment today - I took the day off as there is really no other alternative. I had considered moving it to the afternoon but that really never works. One my patients will develop a problem or I'll end up having to drop off something at the lab running late. Plus I would have to drive home and David would have to drive me back to Morgantown. So we dropped my car off at the dealership Sunday night  and this morning headed for Dr. Fenghali's. The news is VERY good. The pressure in both eyes is down considerably and with my glasses on I have 20/20 vision. There will be no medications for quite awhile and even though I can still not see people's underpants, that is good enough for me. After my appointment I put on heavy sunglasses - with the overcast skies this morning it was not too bad. We had breakfast out at Eat N Park - I resisted the S'More pancakes, two chocolate chip pancakes filled with marshmallow cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Even I can't justify that! We went to Washington after, since the skies were overcast and I had slapped on a heavy pair of sunglasses it was do-able. We went to Harry and David's for pepper onion relish and then to Gander Mountain so David could pick up shells for shooting clays. He came out announcing they were a dollar more a box than he wished to pay so I sent him right back in. We've been down this road a million times, he stands on his principals until Friday afternoon then ends up driving all the way back, wasting time, gas and 15 phone calls to various friends debating the subject. We came home to the usual psychotic greeting, one of these days I have to get Molly on video. She jumps straight up about 6 feet and repeats until you open the door. Sometimes we are Bad Owners and delay opening the door just so we can watch, it's highly amusing. So my sight has returned and my pupils are no longer the size of teacup saucers so I guess it will be back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


 Yesterday was better. Nothing really happened - nothing. No calls, no crisis no paperwork. Did a little shopping, little scootching around, little cleaning. I got a few things done, but nothing major. Today is the same as yesterday - no calls, no going out just hanging with my dogs and watching the rest of the episodes of LA Ink.On this episode they are building shelves and her cat might be lost. Sigh. After 82 episodes the honeymoon is over - I have two more and then we are parting ways. Netflix and Hulu are like my ebooks. On one hand you can rip through the entire series without having to wait. On the other hand you can go one right after the other of  the entire series until you puke. But I'm also reading, knitting and playing with the dogs at the same time so it's not so bad.  Poor Molly - it's been so long since I've just been home being not busy she's been like glue for the past two days, she's constantly in my lap or sitting beside me. At the moment I'm typing over her head as she is happily snoring away, tucked in beside me in our favorite chair. I finished the bottom of the sweater and if I say so myself - it really looks like a sweater that someone could wear and they wouldn't even have to be deformed to fit it. Of course I have to knit up the sleeves and that is my Achilles heel of knitting. I am not great at the sleeves because they never look big or long enough to me so I tend to knit extra. This ends up with my gifting people I actually do like with sweaters that are more suited to primates than humans. But I persevere and sometimes I actually end up with something pretty decent. David is off shooting clay targets with his friend Rich and Adam is working so I have a few hours to myself. After David gets home we're dropping my car off at the dealership so it can get new tires and an inspection. By the time my sight clears up after my eye appointment we can pick up car up later in the afternoon  - two birds with one stone. I hope. You know how best laid plans end up most of the time. I plan on spending the rest of my day pottering around, I've started scouting for a new project after this - I might actually do an afghan since I haven't made one of those in awhile. I have a ton  of chenille that I always meant to use and if I use big needles it shouldn't take that long. I might sift through my knitting stuff which I enjoy doing - sometimes just looking through the yarn will remind of why I bought it - most people that buy yarn have a specific project in mind when they purchase it. I have green mohair I meant to use for a beautiful floor length Victorian inspired sweater. I have bright orange yarn slated for a shawl, raspberry tinted for straight knit socks. Multicolored silk recycled from sari leftovers in India for a shawl, blue and white striped for a sweater. I could go on and on - I just need three things. To win the lottery, a bigger couch and more time.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Tipping Point

 We are, once again in that annoying state of Almost There. The closing for the house has been delayed by a couple of days due to the seller's lawyer not having their stuff done. I signed off my power of attorney the other day to our lawyer so it won't be an issue if I'm not there. I was upset but having been through this so many times it's not unexpected - just about every house we've sold has been a marathon at the end. I feel bad for the buyers though - they ran out of leave time and had to return to their base before they could take possession of the house. Speaking of houses David got the drainage system, it backed up again and he was out there digging and the neighbor Ed saw him. Ed threw on a pair of boots and came over with a shovel and the two of them dug, ran the hose, etc and after an hour or so got it clear. The basement drains cleared out and we have not had a problem since. I have to say we lucked out in the neighbor department - we always have help when we need it - and we rarely have to ask. It was a relief as a new french drain system could run into the thousands if it totally fails. I am off of call as of 8 am this morning, still batting that one around. To me it's just so stressful - especially the fact you're loaded with visits for Saturday and if it rolls over to Sunday you end up working two weeks straight without a break. I'm getting a handle on the computer thing but I'm still spending anywhere from 2 to 4 hours after work doing paperwork and add in calling patients and setting up the next day I go to bed and get up. Period. Going back to being a visit nurse was a good decision, I don't regret it. But I am going to have to figure out where to go from here as the reason I stopped being a manager was to decrease my stress, not increase it. I know a lot of it has been bad timing for being on call - the basement flooding, the drains failing, delay in selling the house, etc.. I don't know which way to run most days. And of course the Big Eye Appointment on  Monday, a two hour - or so - extravaganza which involves eyeball tapping and flashing lights. I took the whole day off as the last time I tried to work after one of these appointments I spent the day in sunglasses with my head down. One of my co-workers thought I was either very ashamed of myself or suffering from the world's worst depression. After that I found the best way to deal with it was go home pull the shades and hang out for 4 or 5 hours. But that's another stress - being proactive on the glaucoma is a good thing but thinking about why I have to be proactive - that one is hard. If I had to pick a sense to lose it would not be my sight and that is a worry all on it's own, isn't it? One of the bad things about being in the medical field is you're constantly being reminded that it does not always happen to these amorpheous "Other People". That no one wakes up and says "gee - I hope I go deaf today!"That try as you might, sometimes it does happen to you and you just have to deal with it. But you also get a good view on the people that didn't take care of it, that just sort of skated along hoping it would be ok and tried to ignore it until it became too late. So I wear my glasses and go to my appointments and do whatever Dr. Feghali says. But I still have my sight and lots of it so  I 've been busy reading in my tiny bit of spare time, I have to slow down on book buying though! Kobo had a huge sale of Sue Grafton books so I bought the first 15 to stockpile - I know I know! But they were only $3.99 apiece as opposed to 7.99 to 9.99 so I bought them all. I have some more I want to buy but it will have to wait. In the sweater department I have the pocket attached and now need to knit up the bottom, then the sleeves, edging on the hood and the pocket so the edges don't roll - sort of almost done. We are not doing too much today, we did a little shopping, went to the bookstore and bought coffee. LOVE coffee from the bookstores - it's always so good! I'm sure the calories would horrify me but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

God Willing And The Creek Don't Rise

 Apparently, that old idiom means you've done all you can and now you need to sit back and let things play out, dealing with whatever floats your way the best you can. It is appropriate for this week I suppose. We've had horrendous rain for the past two weeks, it rolls in, the skies darken and the rain pours in sheets, buckets, cat and dogs - take your pick. We discovered two new things this week - one is this house has a french drain system. We know this because of the second discovery which would be about an inch of water in the basement because the french drain system we were oblivious to failed. Whee. David has dug, snaked and pumped - this week he'll rent a scope to see what - and more importantly - where the problem is and fix it. It could be as simple as something is blocking it or we need to install a sump pump and be done with it. I can. no longer use my beloved prison shower in the basement and we now have traffic jams in the morning as everyone is rushing to get to where they need to be. David is still scouting for a new project, the foreclosure we were going to bid on went to closing and the one in Hazelton is under contract pending inspection so it's back to the drawing board. He looked at one the other day that he came saying all it needed was a match and it was way past fixable. We still have a few weeks for looking and I know we'll find something. So of course with all this running around in the background I am on call again for the week just to see if I can skirt the edge of the Spontaneous Combustion. Sometimes it's not even what happens but the stress of what could - I'm usually given a full day of visits and admissions so if anyone calls with an actual emergent need I'm screwed. It's only once a month but I dread it so much - I know I'm making it a bigger deal than it is so I'm still hanging loose - back to the God willing and creek don't rise thing I suppose. My other option is going per Diem for a couple of agencies which I roll around on a weekly basis. It has it's pros and cons of course  - pro being you can take off when you want, you have total control of your schedule and no on call of course. The con is you need to pay for your own health insurance, no paid time off and if the agencies are slow you're the first person lose your visits. But you make more money which covers the insurance payments  and there's no advantage to having paid time off when every time someone takes a few days off it's like the apocalypse is looming over you. But until we go to closing we can not afford to go without. So there you go - volley, return, volley. I continue to work on the sweater which is looking pretty champion so far. Of course it has never covered a human body and hopefully I will not have to scout around looking for someone hopelessly misshapen to fit into it. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Forgive Those Lord That Trespass Against Us.

 A little more done on the sweater - I've never done one quite like this so it's interesting to say the least. The pocket is knit back and forth, then put on a holder. You pick up stitches behind the pocket to go back to circular knitting and when the length is the same you knit the bottom in with the sweater.Weird  huh! Anyhoo - David is still scouting for the next project so today on our way to the yarn shop we had the address of a foreclosure he'd found online. We had to look for it - the road name was not correct but after a couple bobbles we found it. Everything was padlocked shut since it's a foreclosure, that is to keep people from sniggle fritzing about where they should not. Bad little trespasser, get back in your car! My camera as usual found it's way into openings and so forth - the outbuilding were in much better shape than I thought they were. The barn is old - but sturdy and clean inside. There's an in ground pool which is probably not a good thing. It's covered well but that probably means that whatever is lurking beneath is, well, most likely lurking and would give you nightmares for years if you fell in. There was also what appeared to be where the pool pump was - or is - covered in rotting tarp and pieces of wood to anchor the frayed wires and PVC pipes attached to nothing.  The deck was rotting in some parts, painted peeling off in the noonday heat but overall nothing we haven't seen before. David had called the agent but she wasn't able to come out right then - which is fine. We like to look at the house on our own so we don't waste any one's time since so many of them turn out to be a no go,  so he can schedule later. I really wanted to get a peek inside, the windows were so blurry it was hard to get a good look. We were standing by the garage door, next to yet another padlocked entrance. But the garage door,hmm......well well well. The handle looked loose so I gave it a spin - and it did. So I grabbed the handle on the bottom and it slid upwards - grudgingly, but it went up about 3 feet and after putting David on look out I ducked under the tarp - and I was off with my trusty camera. There was a point of negotiation in the basement with the standing water, the tile work in the kitchen was great but the appliances were a step below junk. The decor was as usual, funded by the Sight Impaired Club - a glimpse in one bedroom rewarded me with a sighting of blue and brown flocked wall paper. David yelled to Hurry Up - it's a pretty good bet if the house gets looked at it will be on a Saturday afternoon so I got one more of the kitchen bypassing the bathroom that has no window. But I really REALLY did not want to see that right them - if there's a ghoul lurking in a foreclosure it was will lurk it's heart out in the bathroom. We've seen some hideous  things in some of the houses we've bought and always involve water somehow. Pools, bathrooms, kitchens basements.  Ack! We headed off to the yarn shop where the owner admired my Penitentiary T shirt I got last week. We were talking about good places to go and I mentioned I needed somewhere to top this year's tour when Nancy comes back. She suggested the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston and yes they give tours. Whee is all I can say. Whee. I bought a couple of skeins of yarn and very neat-o little project bag by Chico. It's a super tiny sock bag  that has a clip so you can attach it to your purse or a belt loop, rear view mirror.........