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Sunday, April 20, 2014


Well, first off, Happy Easter. Not a big deal around here of course, we have no religious leanings,  other than the House Of Peeps. I take this opportunity once a year to eat myself sick on Peeps, an event I participate in yearly as that is all my stomach can take. We are going out to dinner later and then that will be that. I finished the blue shawl the other day, I now have four hand knit lace shawls of varying colors and weights rolled up in my closet - I am getting rid of them as they do no good sitting in my closet. I suppose they could be heirlooms but in my opinion I still have a few good years left in these hands to produce something of that magnitude. I'm making a pair of socks next while I think about my next project. I have to stop buying sock yarn, little sock knitting bags, sock books, etc... I'm up to my ears in that stuff and find it irresistible. I announced to David the other day my next intention was to knit all the yarn I own - that got me a big eye roll and snort of derision. I suppose I should stop buying all that stuff to start off with and it would probably be do-able. These days I can think about it though, I've been at my job for two months now and I have to say the biggest difference in my days is I have time now to read, knit and play with the dogs. Don't get me wrong- travel to and from Pittsburgh on a daily basis takes it's time but after doing the math -

My mileage on my car is exactly the same as when I worked as a visit nurse.
I leave 10 minutes earlier in the morning than I did when working locally, I get home about 45 minutes later so all in all, I've only added an extra hour to my day.
BUT I am no longer doing 1 to 3 hours of paperwork at night so that negates the aforementioned hour.
I am no longer on call so that means little to no weekend work. If I work late at this job - say I have to see a client at 6pm, those two hours are flexed into my schedule and I can take off two hours on another day.
I can work from home two days per month, so if my car needs to be serviced, etc I can schedule it for that day. We are given laptops so  I can do everything I need to from home.

So on my paperwork day I did drop my car off to the dealership, I was bit over on my oil change and I needed a new windshield. The glass got whacked with a rock from a dump truck a couple of weeks ago and got a nick in it. Normally, people ride around with those little dings forever, but not me. A day later we had a very warm day and the cracks just radiated out from that little nick, one all the way down and the other starting to snake across. Sigh. It has been a very expensive month I might add, we got a little Whack-O-La with the taxes this year since we did very well. Then David decided to wash the curtains in the living room that came with the house - they promptly disintegrated. My car. The dogs needed tick stuff, they still need to go to the vet. There were a few other bumps and dings so we've managed to spend my paycheck just about every week. But the Clarksburg house will be on the market officially next week, then David does a few things around here - and will be taking a few days to see Ray, then will start on the Fairmont house while we scout for the next project. The dogs are doing well, we took them both to the park this morning and Reuben is doing much better in the car. The only thing we can't do is back up into the driveway, that makes him blow his cookies for some reason. So, all in all, things are OK this week - Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.

Spring has finally come to town - and of course we have zipped from the mid thirties to the 70s, par for the course around here. I'm not swapping out my clothes quite yet, next weekend if the temps remain stable I'll do it. I did thin down the winter stuff though to get a jump on things. I took Molly for her first walk of the season at Friendship Park, it's funny how fast they regress. When we got out of the car her tail was firmly tucked, she approached the path in a crouch, flinching when I stepped on a branch. But with in half an hour she remembered, tail up and trotting right along. We've been out in the yard quite a bit, doing some more clearing out in the woods where we spend a great deal of time these days. There's plenty of stumps for me to sit on and read while they sniff and dig holes pursuing imaginary prey. Our backyard is still a bit uncomfortable, our neighbors next door stopped talking to us because of all things - a ditch. Last year we had heavy rain and the ditch that runs in front of the houses also goes to a French drain that keeps our basement from flooding. With the constant rain we had  it ran in the front of the neighbor's - the neighbor announced to us it was coming from our septic system. David and I went to look, there were frogs in it and no smell, so we told him it was most likely just from the rain, if it continued after things dried up, we would address it.  I did a dye test just in case and David scoped it - it was coming from the French drain. In the meantime the neighbor sent a sample to the water company - David asked if he'd told them where he got it and he said he did - but when he gave us our copy it stated "from neighbor's leaking septic system". Sigh. David called and spoke to the company, when they were told it was from a ditch they said the fecal levels were actually low. Since we had had about enough of this nonsense David dug up the drain on that side of the house and cemented it off so if we do have heavy rains the one furthest away from their house will drain.  David called him and left a message - and that was that, he and his wife are never EVER speaking to us again. I actually didn't realize this for a month or two, one day I waved and - I kid you not - he turned his back and marched into his house like an irate 5 year old. Part of it is funny, I have to say there are times when I go out with the dogs just to see what he'll do. If his dogs sneak over here he frantically starts calling them, one day they got loose in our yard and I grabbed them since I didn't want them to get lost - that was a bit of a kerfuffle for him! He had to come over to retrieve them since standing on the property line and yelling at them (while trying to not to look at me) was not working, since they were dancing around me and my two. He came over, got them and left - no thank you or anything! Since we only saw them to occasionally talk to with the rare dinner it's not like we lost real friends. But it's just annoying since the second we come out he starts skulking around his yard and makes a show of how he's not talking to us. Honestly, it's a bit weird. Oh well, nothing I can do about it. Work continues - I've been pretty much on my own for awhile so I'm just getting into the rhythm of things. I go for a week of training over my birthday in NJ but David and I will celebrate when I get back. I ordered a new ereader, that's all I really wanted. I have to Kobo Vox which is more like a tablet - I really want a new reader. So I got the Aura HD. I do use my ereader constantly, since I've gotten it I read every day. The shawl is coming along, I'm halfway done with the border, then I'm done and on to the next project! Which will be socks - I was putting some yarn away and I have so much sock yarn I can't even talk about it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


One of the things everyone seems to focus on with my new job is the drive. YES, my job is a little over 60 miles away - that's 120 miles daily just for the commute. And yes, it does take about an hour and a half each way. But as I 've said before one of my many talents is to amuse myself endlessly in the car -  I obviously enjoy driving since I've done it for years. When I lived in NY my commute to the hospital I worked at was about 50 miles each way, I've dorked around  the country and have been in home care and on the road for over ten years now. So, what do you do in the car for about 3 hours a day? I have CDs of course and being alone I can sing my heart out. There's no one in the car but me! I listen to public radio, are you surprised? The topics are beyond interesting most of the time, occasionally I'll take a break because they'll be focused on one topic and there's only so many reports you can listen to. I eat - I have a nifty little container that has a center for dip so it's usually carrots and hummus on the way home. And I found a site for audio books on my smart phone, the classics are free so that I listen to. I spend way too much on books in real life and with about 30,000 free books to chose from there's always something I can listen to.
I sight see a lot, I take a different route still just about every week as long as I stay off the main drag I'm fine. I could take the highway all the way up which would of course be faster, but once I hit the city it backs up and I can literally lose an hour sitting in traffic. Which I'm getting much better at I might add. Working in the city is so different but the traffic doesn't bother me as much as it had previously. I've learned to add an extra 20 minutes or so if I'm heading across town so I'm not freaking in my car. My new GPS is working much better too, one of my co-workers had told that Garmin works the best in the city and she was right. I do have one on my phone but the problem with that is if you don't have cell service you're sort of screwed. Directions from people still remains hard, if you live in Pittsburgh you say things like "it's on the south side" or "they're downtown Pittsburgh". I know where the Pitt Bridge Tunnel is and the Blvd Of The Allies, anything after that I have no idea.
And not to mention I've managed to hit ALL of the yarn shops in Pittsburgh, I think there's five. I got to the last one this week, it was OK, my favorite one is in Shadyside. I still have not found a decent Asian market so I'm heading to WV today to go to the one in Morgantown to stock up. I don't need anymore yarn thank you, I have slowed down (a bit) believe it or not. I'm on the edging of the shawl I'm knitting, it took me about 5 tries to remember how to do it. One of the knitting stores I like to stop in when I'm in the area asked me if I'd like to teach a lace knitting class. I am still thinking about it, but the problem is I would be obligated to do it for a few weeks and until I feel like I have time I don't think I can. But I'm beyond flattered someone asked.