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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catch My Breath

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I last posted - where to start? It's been busy! A couple of weeks ago I had two consecutive conferences to go to so I spent a week or so trying to get everything done. I went to the first one on a Thursday outside of Pittsburgh - It's called Giving and Receiving Feedback but it's essentially Don't Be An Ass. After I snuck over to Harmony PA to cross yet another yarn shop off my list. It was run by a rather amazing young woman with dreadlocks down to her waist covered in a variety of crocheted items.I could have stayed there all week but I had Things To Do so I bought some yarn and vamoosed. Friday was a Run For It type of day, I finished up as much as I could and then Vamoosed again, this time in the direction of Janet and Diane's. My two day annual training for Bayada was Tuesday and Wednesday so I took Monday as a vacation day. I was going to stay overnight in a hotel halfway and wander my way to their house before dinner, but they had a birthday party to attend in NJ on Saturday. We had to leave by 11 am so there was no point to a hotel room, I drove straight through. On the way there David called to tell me they were moving the closing up for the Bridgeport house to Wed so I needed to find a notary and overnight the paperwork by Monday morning. Yippee. We did some stuff on Saturday morning involving Whoopie Pies and coffee and then headed for the Jersey Shore where I did not see the Situation, but I think his show was cancelled anyhow. I did see Diane's family and they are all pretty nice. Sunday we peeped a little at the Amish and mainly shopped, they were getting ready for their trip to Europe so it all got combined. Monday Janet and Diane headed to work, I headed to the do some Intense Amish Spying, since they live there year around the gild is off the lily for the both of them regarding the Amish. I wandered my way to the hotel in Philly and honestly - headed straight for my room and collapsed. Until I remembered I hadn't eaten anything and schelped over to the local Ruby Tuesday to eat, schelped back to my room and re-collapsed. Two days of 8 hours of training - yes, it's very helpful and I'm glad they do it, but when it occurs during the week and you have to drive 6 hours (after the 8 hours of training), go to bed around midnight and then be back to work the next morning - it's a bit wearing. To say the least. I called David on Thursday to see how the closing went - and it didn't. Seemed there was a weird glitch and the house not only didn't close, but the title was not completely clear as promised. We have title insurance BUT the house we are buying (which was supposed to be tomorrow) is now in jeopardy as it is a contingent deal. So the lawyer that cleared the title is frantically trying to fix it, the seller of house #2 is willing to give us a (little)extra time, we are holding off the vultures and I will be laying waste if this does not work out. And yes, we do have a back up plan so don't get your panties in a bunch - this is not our first rodeo and it's not the first time things have gone south at the last minute. We'll ride it out as we always do.This weekend has been thankfully quiet, we did our shopping on Saturday and went out to lunch, just the two of us. It has been so long since we've done that! This morning we loaded the Hooligans into the car and took them for their Sunday Jaunt to the gamelands down the road where they ran like crazy things for a couple of hours. I can't believe Monday is looming right around the corner, I wish I could rewind back to Friday night. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cooper's Rock

This morning was a day of no excuses. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, gas in tank and it's Sunday. I found my backpack and fired up the compass - we were not going for the day but I haven't been in so long this was a combination hiking/practice run. I only take Molly on these excursions, Reuben just wants to RunRunRun and it is super Not Relaxing. Not to mention he will be getting plenty of exercise in the coming weeks with hunting season right around the corner. So I put together my backpack with water and dog biscuits for Molly, a few dry items for me, and off we went. We did the main park first, it was early when we got there and not too many people. The trail we did gets rough at the end and you actually have to scale a steep climb of rocks. I could figure out how to get me up there, but Molly? As I stood there pondering something touched the top of my head and I started a bit - there was Molly peering down at me, problem solved. That was a fairly short path and it was starting to get busy so we got back in the car and headed back to the Henry Clay Trail. I took Molly off the leash when we started hiking, she's really great at this. She stays in view and comes back right when I call. I put the electric collar on her just in case, Cooper's Rock is 13,000 acres and if she bolted I'd be hard pressed to get her back. As we were walking I heard whining and looked to see a dog Molly's size heading right for us, crying and running. He ran up to us hopefully and then cried when he realized we were strangers. He had a collar on and I heard someone call faintly in the distance, he turned heel and ran back down the trail so I figured he was not lost. When we got down to the Henry Clay Iron Furnace we met him again with his owners who said he was uber friendly, he like Molly can walk unleashed.When I saw them coming I put Molly on the retractable leash and she put some distance between her and Mr. Overlyfriendly, but no panicking.  We hike for about 3 or 4 miles today, since we haven't really hiked in a long time, this was really a practice run. Walking by other people, going into the bathroom with me (I can't tie her by the door, if a stranger  walked by and she was alone she would freak), hearing people she cannot see - she did very well and once she remembered it was all good. When we got home she and Reuben went straight out to the woods and now we are sitting. I am going to work on the baby blanket I'm knitting for my niece to give to her cousin at her baby shower, I have to do a couple more rows around the edge, bind it off and then it's DONE. And then onto other projects. I have to make one more baby hat for someone in my office and then I might make a sweater. I found this great yarn at a clearance sale -  I got it so cheap and it's such an expensive linen mix I could cry! And it's more than enough to make a long sweater or cardigan so I think that will be my next project. I went to the yarn shop in Bridgeport yesterday, a little sad, After we sell the house there we won't be stopping by to check on it of course so I won't have a reason to go to Bridgeport anymore. But I'm sure I'll get out there again someday.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Green Acres Is The Place For Me.

It's been an interesting week - the Bridgeport house is under contract - not as much as the RE agent thought it would go for but more than we did. Either way it's not over til the ink is dry and everyone walks off - one person with a house and the other with a check. Our record for selling one house is four times, once right up to the day. We've already put in a bid for another house, this one towards Pittsburgh - that one is contingent on the other one being sold so we will see at the end of the month which way the wind will blow. If it falls through we have renters lined up around the block so either way we're in good shape. We have half discussed if it all goes through moving up to the Pittsburgh house and renting here for a year, just to see. Being closer to work would be nice, but honestly, I can't see it sticking. Even though though we have crabby pants neighbors on one side - it's just one side. And if we make noise at the porch such as calling the dogs, they rather hilariously scamper back in their house, sort of like banging a pan before turning on the cellar light to make sure the mice are out of sight. The dogs are used to having five acres to bounce around on and are strictly trained not to go in the front yard to the road. We are not so strict about them sneaking into the corn fields,I do call them back but it's not an urgent issue. We are used to our privacy, the woods I sit in and read, the quiet. Not that this neighborhood is exactly urban - but it's more than we're used to. Oh well, no point in discussing it until it's all said and done. We've also been discussing the things we need to do around here, the bathroom needs serious upgrading, the bedrooms downstairs I'd like to reconfigure and of course - counter tops are high on the list. But there's so much more to do - work is very busy, we are having the annual Employee Appreciation Picnic, I'm visiting Janet and her wife Diane the weekend after that and then a two day conference. October I'm planning on going to Norfolk, David wants to go back to LI to see his parents for a week AND Adam is moving out next weekend and will be living in Ohio. We're excited for him of course, but it does change things around here. It's been easier taking care of the kitten Scout since he keeps him in with him while he sleeps during the day. Scout will not be a kitten too much longer, he's rapidly exploding into a cat - next month we also have to get him to the vet for a check up, shots and to get fixed. He has no fleas and no signs of parasites which really lead me to believe someone did just dump him on us. We are grateful for the cat, but it's sad someone would do that to a creature that cannot defend itself. David is getting ready for the hunting season, today was the funniest thing. We were talking about it on the way to Bridgeport and I mentioned he had wanted to get some pigeons to train the dogs with. I needed new boots so we headed over to the Tractor Supply Store - and wouldn't you know it - there were people selling small livestock - and pigeons! I told David to go TALK to the guy and when I came back there was large cardboard box on my backseat cooing and rustling, HMM. I am phobic about birds, clowns and puppets with teeth and they fell in one of those categories so we went back to the Fairmont house where they will stay in their cardboard box til David gets them tomorrow morning and brings them back here to put in the coop he's been saving. I told him I was not driving around West Virginia with a back seat full of pigeons, honestly - you'd think I was some sort of hick!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well, Happy Labor Day for what it's worth. It's been raining for two days straight so that kind of put the kibosh on any plans. The one nice day Saturday we did the grocery shopping and checked on the houses, if I knew we were going to have crappy weather I would have saved it til today. Adam is in Ohio til this afternoon, he finished enrolling in electrician school out there, he will be staying with friends until he gets an apartment and he already has a roommate lined up. For some reason a lot of his friends from the navy migrated out there near Cincinnati so he's pretty excited about it. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about it, as much as you want them to be independent and out on their own, it's nice having them near too. He won't be too far, only 3 hours from here, so not to traumatic. Scout the kitten will miss him, we still have to keep him in the basement when we go out and with Adam sleeping during the day it was company for him. But Scout is rapidly expanding into a cat and is almost too big for the dogs to swallow without a fight so it won't be too much longer. And really, as much as kittens are little, cute and fuzzy, they're also genetically engineered to survive in much harsher circumstances than a house with two dogs - we've noticed if the dogs get over-enthused he goes to ground pretty fast. When he gets big enough we'll also start letting him out during the day, right now he has to content with sitting in the window and watching the world go by. I noticed this morning that some of the leaves are starting to turn, I was a little shocked but it is the first of September. Where did the summer go? Where did everything go? Lately I've been mulling over this very subject, 30 years ago my entire family lived in one place, now we live all over. I think a lot of it is seeing my cousin's children, my children!, my lifelong friends and their kids on face book. Birthdays, graduations,weddings, jobs - all right where  I am not. I remember throwing my sister's 40rth at my house and having to move an entire BBQ inside because of the rain, we filled the kitchen and living room. Adam's graduation was held at a park - this was before we, and everyone else moved. Jackson's graduation 6 years later we held at a restaurant. Then we scattered further, we are so far away from each other. Many families are in the same boat, economics and opportunities drive us. Long Island has not been my home for years and honestly, I would not go back. The crowds freak me out  - and economically we are so much better off here. And that is not what I miss anyway. I miss the parties, stopping over Bette's for coffee, walking the dog and running into people I know. Dinner at Grandma's, the beach at the end of the road where we all had our spots and no one else sat there because they knew it was taken.  It would be nice to live near one family that I either know or am related to, but that is not in the cards right now, is it?