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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.