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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Your Opinion......Doesn't Always Count.

 I do like Facebook, don't you? I've said it before if it wasn't for that social media I would not have a quarter of the contact with my family and old friends that I now. I enjoy the postings, the news, pictures. What I do not enjoy is the sheer avalanche of political postings, opinions and other sundry items. I love to debate and actually years ago participated in an online debating forum. It was so much fun - there were moderators so if anyone started getting rude they would be privately asked to rein it in or blocked if they couldn't control themselves. But for some reason on Facebook people seem to turn into bullies, don't they? I have taken some people off my newsfeed as I can not take the constant and voluminous postings. If anyone cannot behave I just unfriend them. I unfriended the born again christian - I could take his obnoxious opinion on women, but could not take his constant sending me to hell everytime I disagreed with him. It was the same with a very prejuidiced african american young man - I loved debating with him, the back and forth really made me think and opened my up to an entirely different viewpoint that my own. However -

 when we were debating some point he had no comeback - so he took the lowroad and called me a stupid, fu**king bitch. Unfriend. Yes he did apologize but you know what? I have enough stress in my universe from REAL people and situations, I do not need pretend stress on top of that. People say a lot of things they would not say if they had to face you - in my job if there is an issue with a client I physically go out and discuss it, I do not do it over the phone. Because when people can't see your face and expression it's way easier for things to esculate out of control. And people online rarely give their opinion, they steam roll it - occasionally I will even announce that I'm voting for Trump just to see the hysteria that ensues. But - who decides on who they are voting or changes their viewpoint because they cyber trampled? And people can get wildly obnoxious about thier focused attacks on you - and here's a newsflash. YOUR opinon does not matter. It matters to you of course, but not to me. I don't mind hearing it and might even consider it but in the long run just because you think you're right doesn't mean you are.

Years ago, my very prejudiced grandmother invited me for lunch right before my wedding, the reason being is she wanted me- and I kid you not - to fire my flower girl and uninvite some people to the wedding because they were not white. Are you horrified? I was - but not surprised of course. That was the way she had been raised and was not willing to bend - I did not argue with her. I just simply told her if she could not accept the way things were I would miss her and would understand why she could not come to my wedding. (hang in there, there is a point to this). Needless to say she was not going to miss the wedding and be talked about, she dressed to the nines and attended, she thought the flower girl was cute and was nice to everyone. And she was like that - she may not have agreed with "those people" attending ANY function she was at("those people were actually a pretty large bunch - black, asian, hispanic, she covered all the bases), but you know what? She was gracious and kept her mouth shut, she did not share her opinion and kept it to herself. Even if she was wrong (and that is my opinion) there are certainly a few people that could take a lesson from her.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Clots Of Fun!

 So, I had my appointment with the hemotologist today - I had the bloodwork drawn two weeks ago as some of the labs were not the garden variety. No plain jane CBCs for me! Nope - lupus coagulant panels, ANA, etc - 11 vials of blood in all. Thank goodness for my amazing veins, I've had plenty of student nurses over the years practicing thier first blood draw on me - and not one has missed. The tech that drew my blood was amused to say the least at how efficiently I filled those tubes. So I was at the Cancer Center today because that's where hemotology hangs thier hat of course.  It's always interesting because as they do my vitals I get asked about my appetite, meds, any unusual bleeding, if I've fallen lately. The last one makes me crack up as I fall at least once a month - between reading/walking and not paying attention it's a frequent thing. Dr. Mag is amazing, she's one of those specialists you wish was your PCP. So. The results. Concerning. I tested positive for the lupus coags again so it is for real, there were a couple of other ones too. What this means is it will not make me form a clot but if I DO it will be a clot of the most epic proportions. It will form with super speed - heck, I'll probably be coughing them up like hairballs. So - well, that was pretty much it.
 I am still on a baby aspirin a day but now I have to REALLY take it. Every day. I did not mention that sometimes, when I can't remember the last time I took one, I will take 3 or 4 of those tasty orange candy flavored suckers. And yes, I do have a degree in nursing - that's why I can somehow weirdly justify such behavior.  If I have any surgery I have to call and will be aggressively be anti-coagulated for a week or two. I am not allowed to sit for hours on end on long trips, any signs of a clot - call and go to the ER. But I am not being put on coumadin, etc.. because once I start that it is for life and the doctor feels since I have had no problems it's not necessary at this point.
So once again I find myself in that familar yet weird grey area. Aside from having to lose weight I'm in excellent shape - no high blood pressure, no diabetes, don't smoke, social drinker, exerciser fairly regularly, I take calcium because I love it, a vitamin, and those orange baby aspirins which I've just about written poetic odes about - that's my entire medication list. I have glaucoma that like the coagulation issue it's there but just followed. A little laser surgery about 4 years ago and that's it. I've had two masses, calcification of the chest wall, a hysterectomy - all benign but I am predispositioned to tumors.But lurking in the background is my genetic demons - high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma. So in a nut shell - I'm a perfectly healthy genetic hot mess.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


I make a mean stew, really. I have few things I'm actually good at - I can knit well, excellent at baking, I can grow zucchini likes nobodies business AND I read like a fiend. This is not really bragging as the list of things I am NOT good at is a rather long and extensive list. If it was actually written down it would most likely cover a few pages. But I digress - I have made stew for years and yesterday was the perfect day. It was the last day of hunting, cold, rainy, damp and uncomfortble. It's not hard to make, just time consuming - stew is one of those dishes you don't want to fool around with too much. I dredge the meat in flour, brown it in oil and on high heat, add broth and seasonings. Once it starts to boil I throw in a full can of beer, turn it down and simmer for two hours. Turn it up, add your pototoes and carrots,cook on medium for half an hour and you're done. Over the years I've learned to streamline it a bit, I use little potatoes that don't need peeling and cubing, baby carrots that you can just dump it. Even though I don't eat it, there is nothing that smells better than a steamy stew on a winter's day. David and his friend Rich had  their last day of hunting so it was a perfect time - and it was finished with pumpkin pie of course. Speaking of pumpkin pie we had a great Thanksgiving of course, as we do every year we did the trek to NJ to see our friend Ray.  He is a creature of habit, but so are we - like a good stew, there is comfort in routine, isn't there? We ate at The Stack of course, a few trips to the book store, we sat and had coffee around Ray's table. We did take a side trip to Wegmans, I did not like the Poconos but that is one of the three things I miss about that area. The other two are The Knitter's Edge one of the biggest knitting stores I've ever seen and of course my old job and co-workers at the pediatric office in East Stroudsburg. But I digress - Ray enjoyed our visit as did we, we also did Home Depot and AC Moore - none of which seemed to be on the Black Friday hit list I might add. On Friday David did a few minor repairs, I picked up the trash in front of the house, we had one last meal together and off we went. It's a bit hard being so far from him - we have been friends with Ray for about 35 years, he used to come visit up quite often. During the warm weather we would see him every other weekend, every home we've bought has had a room for Ray to stay in. Where ever we landed he would be along for the adventure - we drove many a backroad to take pictures, did festivals and exhibits, ate at every restuarant you can think of. Back further on Long Island when Mikio and Setsu were alive we ate dinner out Saturday nights, brunch every Sunday without fail. We had other people come to eat - Alex, Ann, Pam, Pat ,and it would go on for hours. We spent many a meal discussing artists, politics, debating everything under the sun and then some. Both of my boys to this day can hold thier own in any political debate - what good days they were! I wish Ray lived closer, but we'll take what we can get, we are truly the keepers of his past - and ours.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Switch And Bait

 I've had a Kobo Mini ereader for years, I use it almost every day and it's one of my favorite toys. It's really, really tiny so it fits in my purse, pocket, etc... But due to it's constant use I've noticed the battery is starting to tire. Now, Kobo stopped producing the Mini a few years ago (it doesn't hold a lot of books) and I had given up hope. But a week or so ago they were having a 3 day sale ONLY, it was an updated version with a sleep cover, not badly priced either. I ordered it straight off of course and began to wait for the alloted 7 to 10 business days to be over. The other day I got a weird email apologizing for a order error that was caused by their shipping  software, I would not be getting the grey cover but a ruby silicon back. They would discount me $10 back if I took it - I thought about it and emailed back no, I wanted what I ordered. I got another email that they had recieved my "request for assistance" and would contact me when they knew something.
 That was just weird.
I emailed them again that I wanted what I had ordered and got another email stating they got my request for assistance - and they had refunded my money in full - emailed again stating I just wanted what I ordered. I got my Kobo the next day and not only was it the wrong cover, but there was a bunch of stuff blacked out on the back of the box. The Kobo itself was not white, but black and looked nothing like the one on the website. I went back to the internet and found an article about this - apparently EVERYONE got the ruby silicon cover. Because there were never any grey covers. The reason being was these were 3 year old Kobo Mini.... demos. The ones they use as displays I think when you go to the store. Which was what was blacked out on the back of the boxes - Kobo is doing frantic damage control and are still claiming it was some weird sort of error. But really? How do you "accidently" black the word Demo out on  every item you send out? Or accidently send out an entirely different cover and then admit the one you had promoted doesn't even exist? So, am I mad? Nope! Because in a novel effort to avoid lawsuits, reporting and disgruntled book worms (seriously - you're going to piss off an entire legion of science fiction fans - we're not right in the head to start with!) Kobo sent everyone that ordered a mini a letter that a) stated I would be getting a full refund including shipping costs and b) keep the Mini for free! Because you can't sue for a free item, can you? So, I have my money and my Kobo, sort of like having your cake and eating it too, isn't it?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Girl

 Our Molly is the original Sunday Girl - that's the day we usually take the dogs out walking since there's no hunting. We went to a different part of the game lands today, it's the first time I've been out walking since I had that fall and hurt my hip so badly. It's just been this week I can get up a flight of stairs using both legs instead of one stepping it like a little kid so I haven't even thought about going for any extended walks or hikes - but today was the day! Molly just knows she is going to go for a ride and starts twirling and leaping, she bounces into the van and bounces out, races up  the hill, down the hill, chases Reuben, in other words she gets her money's worth. On the down side she somehow managed to find and roll in a cow patty - yuck! But other than that it was a great walk, I love this time of year around here, it is just right for walking and hiking. Cool enough so you don't get overheated, warm enough for a light coat. Reuben flushed 3 pheasants while we were out, he's still a bit of a runner but is calming down as he gets older. Molly is starting to get the idea so maybe someday she can go too, but she's still so gun shy David is hesitant to take her. But like I've said before, if she goes it's great, otherwise she is my companion - whatever makes her happy.
 In other news, I finished my latest pair of socks and am now on the next project. I will be knitting baby things soon, my youngest son Jackson and wife Brandi are expecting - twins! I am so excited that I'm going to be a grandmother, what a wonderful thing. We don't know if they're boys or girls yet so I am putting off buying some things for now. But we have some time to get ready.
I have had a quiet sort of weekend, I didn't get the job I had wanted, not so much feeling disappointed as I am feeling sad and a little betrayed, but it happens and I will deal with it. I'm just stepping back and breathing deep, too old for knee jerk reactions. And right now we have so much going on, all these things running in the background! David continues to work on the house in Waynesburg, he's made good progress but we've decided no more two story houses! It's fine if you're working with a crew but him working by himself it is not fine. Everything has to be transported up and down stairs and ladders - sheetrock, plumbing, heat vents, all to a second story. The roof has been a nightmare, a 100 year old steep roof two stories up - for the first time he's worn a safety harness and hated it. He told me it was inconvienient but I retorted falling two stories might be a little bit more offputting! He has 2/3 of it done and also has to do the siding . He is just repainting the gutters, he had thought about having new but the ones on the house just need cleaned out and painted. They're original to the house and suit it. He's replaced all of the windows - they were dangerous single pane (old enough to have imperfections in the glass!) sash and weight frames, but don't get upset - he gave them ALL to an artist who does paintings on old windows. So they were not destroyed and will continue on. He's actually let the whole neighborhood pick through and a lot of it has been re-used or turned into art projects.  One of the neighbors made her Halloween decorations out of the old boards he took out. Some things will be offered free, others might be put on Craigslist for a low price - that way people come get it - and we don't have to transport it.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Daily Grind

I am still sick if you can believe it, not contagious sick of course since I've been on Topedo Grade Antibiotics, but still the cough, exhausted all the time, etc... I've been running like crazy since I got back from vacation, one day just pours into another. I've been as late as 9pm, out the door at 4:30a, and just flinging paperwork as fast as I can. Of course as usual, when you're sick and can't move another inch everything becomes an ordeal, doesn't it? I think by the end of the week all I could do was sit at my desk and whimper - which didn't stop the flood by the way - arrgh! I was out early AGAIN today but got home early, took Molly out and fired up the vaporizer so after a couple of hours of Vicks therapy (while STILL fielding phone calls from the office) I feel a little bit better, but not a whole lot. David and Rich went out on their first hunt today - well, Rich's first hunt, David's second (or so he says).  They got three, David got one, Rich got one.....and Reuben who could not wait apparently went and fetched a pheasant before they shot it, so everyone got one. If he learns how to drive a truck he won't even need them! Molly would like to go, but cannot get over being gun shy - we need to work on her but with our busy schedules it's pretty hard. One person has to hold on to her leash while the other fires a gun  so she doesn't bolt and disappear. Maybe later in the season we can try. I am going to try to finish knitting my latest pair of socks, I have to pick up the pace and stop buying sock yarn. I have enough to knit into the next century but honestly - I cannot resist!! Hopefully this weekend will be quiet and I can actually take the time to get better. I am so sick of being sick!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Picture Day!

 I was not going to take the annual Halloween picture this year - I am still not feeling well and my hip is uncomfortable with random screaming pain - I'm better but not great. But we went out to check on the Waynesburg house and stopped at the tractor store. I went next store and found a set of Molly sized  fairy wings at the Dollar Store and I was of course, off and running. I've been asked about how I get the dogs to do this, cost, etc.. it's actually pretty easy. The dogs are used to it, they know what to do and there will be cheese handed out when we're done. First of all, every picture we take is done on the couch, their favorite place. The backdrop is nothing more than cheap plastic table cloths ($1), one is taped on the wall, the other tucked around the back of the couch. Decorations are paper or felt so they can be taped to backdrop. I buy that decrotive mesh from Michaels on clearance and pile it around them, since I've done this for a few years I have it in just about every color. Most of their costumes are bought at Big Lots or The Dollar Store since they will be used for about 5 minutes (although Molly did not mind the fairy wings and we had to chase her to get them off). And they are really good - since we've done this so often they'll both sit and allow us to adjust them, then will sit for the pictures. I know it's silly but I really enjoy it and they both come out so well, don't they?
Anyhow, today is the last day of my vacation, so to speak. I have spent the last half of it being sick which really was not much fun. I have a vaporizer at night that helps with the coughing, since I can't take a lot of medications that the best I can do. The antibiotic is helping, my glands are no longer swollen - I have another 5 days of that. My hip is better, but I still cannot push off that leg which makes going up and down the stairs an adventure. Every once in awhile I'll forget and see stars. So progress is slow, but it is progress. But it's been nice to be off for an extended period of time, despite everything I did manage to get a few things done.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


I have not blogged in a couple of weeks - I have been running like a crazy thing. I knew I would be off for a week so I had to cram all my clients into one week - I was out of the house by 5 am some mornings, other days not home til 8p, but I did it! We started driving toward Tennessee Friday, the game plan being we would drive as far as we could, then stay overnight. It's almost a 12 hour drive and there's no sense in driving through if you're too tired to see straight when you get there! So stopped in Bardstown KY, then were at Jackson and Brandi's by 11 ish.We discovered David had left his cellphone and charger at the hotel so he called, they said  they would mail it next week. He really needs a new phone but it was MY charger he left! Since it was such a short visit we hadn't planned on doing too much but we went to the  Memphis Pyramid which is also the Bass Pro, it was great. We rode the elevator to the top and it over looks all of Memphis, we were going to eat there but since it was Saturday the wait would have been close to an hour - so we went to a Mexican restaurant. Sunday we hung out, then went to a great graveyard - it was so cool. Full of old statues, angels, crypts, I was having a great time until I saw the headless angel. I got so caught up in getting over to take a picture that I was not watching where I was going and stepped on the edge of the road, turned my ankle and went over sideways. It happened so fast I didn't have a chance to  break my fall and landed hard on my hip- and of course I fell on the paved road not the grass. Sigh, always batting a thousand, arent' I?  I felt it move and boy, did it hurt, Jackson helped me up and I was able to walk, but it slow and painful when I put any weight on it.Since I've been a klutz my entire life David made sure I wasn't actually dying and we went out to dinner and then back to their house. It was hurting but I could still walk and after that fall, I would have been surprised if it didn't hurt. Aside from that - and the sore throat I was developing I had a great time, I seriously could not ask for a better daughter in law and I'm so glad to see Jackson so happy. We left Monday afternoon, Jackson had to work the next morning and Brandi left for work around noon - we headed towards Adam next. It was further than I thought it was going to be and we ended up at the same hotel after a 7 hour drive - they hadn't mailed the phone yet so we got it back. We got to Adam's around 9a and spent most of the day with him. We took him out for a late lunch - we ate at the bar and grille he works at which was very nice, it's pretty upscale and he really likes the people he works with. He's currently got one more year of school left and he is doing well, he looked happier than he has in a long time so we were pretty happy about that. (isn't it interesting that if your kids are happy  and healthy the rest is gravy?) He had to work the next day and by now I was really not feeling well so we left late afternoon and got home around dark. While David picked up the dogs I drove myself to the doctor's office - in West Virginia by the way, the jack ass doctor in PA can blow it out her ass - I'm done with DR BEABOUT in Waynesburg. They X-rayed my hip with the conclusion is it might have gone a little out due to the force I hit it, but it is where it is supposed to be and there is no fracture. So it's ice, tylenol and elevation. I am on antibiotics for the swollen glands and congestion and am already feeling better. I'm glad no one caught it, score one for fastidious handwashing!! So, I am spending the rest of my vacation hanging out with the dogs and an ice pack, I guess there are worse ways to pass the time. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

It's Been A Week.

This week started off a bit rough - I knew I would be out of town for the Bayada conference, then  visiting my sister and her wife so I had it tightly scheduled. Tightly Scheduled. Of course we all know what happens when you do that, don't we? Tuesday I had it planned to be at a client's house at precisely 7am, to the office to interview the HHA, finish paperwork, interview the nurse, go to my other clients, zip home. I did get to the first client at 7am - after that it all fell to crap. Traffic, tsunami-like rain, more traffic, A FIRE DRILL THAT INVOLVED TWO TRUCKS AND FIREMEN, more traffic.... by 5:10 I was a wet, sad noodle.  I didn't get home until after 7:30p and needed to send my resume out  - which for some reason was locked to editing. SO I had to re-write it - the whole thing - which was difficult as I was weeping copiously  by now and trying to make myself sound good. In the event you're wondering I'm not leaving Bayada but am looking into an interesting possibility. I don't think I'm qualified but you don't know if you dont' ask. THEN I went to submit my resume and of course I already had an old password, but could not remember it,  Of course. 
OF COURSE.  I finally got to get it to go through after multiple tries thank goodness. So, I went to the bed, then up before you know it and back to Pittsburgh to finish up my paperwork. I decided to go to the office as I actually drive by it
 on the way to Philly. I left around 11:30 and hit... traffic! But was sitting in a restaurant with a co-worker by 6:30, drinking margaritas and having fun. The conference d-r-a-g-g-e-d since I was waiting to go see Janet and Diane all day. But released in a timely fashion and on the road again by 5 and into ...... traffic...rain.... more traffic.... but there was wine and Pad Thai waiting for me when I got here so I was ok with that. It is still raining but I'm taking a real vacation day so I really don't care. I went out to Lancaster and went shopping, hit the pretend Amish shops, etc... it was raining and cold but I don't care. My car has heat and I have a jacket so we can adapt, can't we?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kim Davis who?

 I saw that Kim Davis was still trying to sneaky deny marriage licenses, even made CNN(again) and all I could think was ..... why is this idiot news in the first place?? The religion she follows is one of those run of the mill female oppression types - no cutting your hair, no make up, dresses, cover up those tatas, etc... I mean seriously, who wants to follow a god that insists you look like a wet noodle all the time? But I digress. It is perfectly fine with me that Kim Davis does not like gay people - I seriously do not care what floats her boat. She's kind of out there and if you have seen her, this is less about religion and more about her meeting famous people. I did catch her get out of prison shot and she was playing it up to beat the band, holding hands with Mick Huckabee, crying and praising the lord, but you could see she was thinking she was the Cat's Pajamas, couldn't you?

She is a small, mean narrow minded woman - nothing more, nothing less. This has gotten her attention and given the fact she was on CNN again, she will continue to misbehave until, well, until we stop paying attention to her. This is like the Duggars, isn't it? Everyone offended by thier anti-gayness, them holding themselves up as Devout Christians and then it comes to light that not only did thier oldest son Josh molest 4 of his sisters (one was FIVE!), but they allowed it to go on - and then had his victims try to figure out what they did to cause it, forced them to continue to live with thier attacker and let him continue - until it came out all big and larger than life. They are no longer in the media and honestly  - who cares what they believe - Holy Crap!
I only posted one thing about Kim Davis and then stopped - because she does not deserve any attention for behaving like a spoiled child. If she was that offended she needed to transfer - qui-et-ly. There are a few others that are trying the religious waters, there is an airline server that has become a muslim and wants to keep her job but will not serve alcohol - her answer is to have her co-workers do her job. And this was going on until one of her co-workers got fed up, who can blame them? If it does not work with your religious beliefs, that's fine - but find a job that does and don't expect everyone to accomodate you. I am a vegetarian and that is sometimes not a good thing. When they throw lunches at work I have a less than 50/50 chance of being able to participate and sometimes it's just annoying, I mean really - you couldn't have just ONE sandwich with no meat? But, being a vegetarian is my choice and as it is, I know to still bring my own lunch on days they are doing a luncheon and if I'm out at a restuarant I might have to figure out what I can have - but I am not starving and I'm used to it. In other words I have adjusted to the world, it did not adjust to ME. So this will be the last I will say about Kim Davis - and if we all stop posting about her - she will go quietly away and she can be as anti - everything she wants to be. .(But I do have to admit the memes are pretty funny, aren't they? )

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What a Differ-Fence!

David put in a fence about a month or so ago,  when he had some downtime I put it on the list of things that I really wanted done. He fenced in about half an acre, not a lot but enough for the two dogs to have room to romp. What a difference! We actually use the backporch now - this morning I dragged out my tablet, my bluetooth keyboard and a giant cup of coffee. While they investigated the grape arbor for birds, the garden for rabbits, etc I was able to do paperwork for work to get ahead for the week. It's no fun working on my day off, but at least I could do it in my backyard so it makes it a little less annoying. And with no office distractions it goes much quicker.  David was in NJ for a few days visiting Ray - he managed to get sick, not sure if it was from the heat or a migraine, but he recovered by the next morning and they had a good visit. They went out to dinner with Jackie, did the park and book store, David did some minor repairs that needed to be done. He was gone for about 4 days so I spent that time....well, cleaning the house of course. I don't know about you but I find it much easier to get stuff done when there's no one here but me. I cleaned out my yarn and got rid of all the stuff I bought on clearance years ago - the electric blue fun fur, the stuff that was just weird and  tatty looking, etc...I got rid of all the magazines I've collected, clothes I don't wear, the shoes that don't really fit, the books I don't read and are collecting dust. I got six bags all together. In the morning I  went first to the house we bought in Waynesburg, I had seen the outtside but had not been inside. I let myself in and just loved the fireplace. It's an antique mantel and so much more beautiful up close and not peering through a window. I spent the next hour taking pictures and looking everywhere with my little flashlight. The one thing I did notice is there is no bathroom on the main floor - and the one in the walkout basement is a former DIY project from someone with not enough talent to do those sort of things. The one on the second floor which was original to the house you need to walk through the bedroom to get to it - I'm sure when the house was built there was reason for it. But who wants a house that the main bathroom is on the second floor and whoever is in the upstairs bedroom has no privacy at all - not me! I went back to the main floor and noticed there is a large closet in one of the downstiairs bedroom that shares a wall with the end of the hall - that will be the half bath, and better yet it will look like it's always been there - problem solved. After I was done with that I took my 6 bags of stuff I don't need and dropped them off in Morgantown at the the Salvation Army. Then I dorked around West Virginia of course, what else would I do? The asian grocery wasn't open yet - boo - the co-op moved and I was too lazy to find it. I went to the fancy Krogers on Stewartstown road (oh get over it - you think it's fancy too!) and looked at all the little shops they've adding - and are adding. It seems like everytime I go there they're adding something else.  I wandered home , cleaned some more and just flopped.  The dogs have been bunking with me while David was gone and this morning I woke up and noticed there was something small,brown, and poo shaped on David's side of the bed. Hmm. It appears there was a tussle over a prize cat poo out of the litter box and the victor had brought it to bed to protect it from the Usurper. This was not how I planned to start my day, especially since I had already changed the sheets the other day.  I wondered if I could just Febreeze where the poop had proudly been displayed but then realized if the poo smell came back and I was outed, well, that would be ugly. Very very ugly. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Can I Be Experiencing My Second Childhood? I'm Not Done With The First

 I've recently become obsessed with Bob's Burgers, a cartooon show that I  could watch all day. I love the cartoons for adults - I've watched Archer, Sea Lab 2000, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Moral Orel to name a few. And nothing makes me laugh harder. I have no idea why I find this stuff so funny, maybe it's because as a child of the 70s you never really get over the Saturday Morning cartoons. Remember that - we'd be up and ready by 7 am - parked in front of the tv for hours, never moving except to get up for another bowl of Cocoa Puffs.We'd lay on the couch and on the floor with pillows and blankets, getting dressed around noon when the last one was done.  I can still sing the theme song to H.R. Puffinstuff and was always on the fence about the Banana Splits, loved the New Zoo Revue and who did not love Scooby Doo? So now as an adult I have rediscovered my Saturday mornings, coffee instead of Booberries, nonfat cottage cheese instead of full on, whole milk.
 My down time is pretty much the same as when I was a kid really - I read like a fiend, always have and always will. Thank you mom for that one - best thing a parent can do is read to their kids and have stacks of reading material around. In our house it was not frowned upon to bring a book to the table and to this day I still love to read as I eat. My ebook makes it easier - I have a literal roomful of books in that thing, I am first and foremost the biggest science fiction fantasy fan EVER - followed by mysteries of the Sue Grafton type. My reading is all for fun if it's not for work, I love to lose myself in a book.  I play scrabble when I'm not reading, I love playing with strangers on line, what a challenge. I play about 10 or more games simutaneously so it's almost like actually playing a game. When we played years ago, we would play into the wee hours of the morning, cup after cup of tea. We had all sorts of rules - we had the Shopping For Words Rule in which you could only word shop as long as it took the other person to get back from the bathroom. You could use the blank over again if you had the matching letter to exchange it for, we were not playing competiton so why not? We would laugh ourselves silly over words, zaftig bint, pyx, stowp. We'd make the BM (Big Move) and someone would declare themselves the Grand Pobah (that only makes sense if you know what the Waterbuffalo Lodge is).
And of course there is the knitting, knitting and more knitting. I've been knitting since I was about 7 I think, learned from my Grandmother Carter in the traditional aluminum needle/acrylic yarn style. I would have the stitches so tight you could hear them squeak in distress. My scarves would start off tiny and by the end would balloon out into great acrylic sails. I knit off and on, but crocheted like it was going out of business, curtesy of my Grandmother Hendrickson.I made hats, toys, dolls, afgans by dozen. I even hoarded yarn back then, something I will most likely do until I die. We did tons of other stuff too -  I learned pot holder making from Mrs. Wourgola next door and of course Mod Podged everything with the Palominos. We all made candles and paper-mached balloons to make masks that smelled of wet newspapers and flour. I am soley a knitter now, but sometimes thnk of all that fun stuff we did - do kids still do that? Never mind. But my knitting is of course an intense hobby now, I have a room devoted to the craft and could stay there forever. As long as I had access to cartoons and my books of course!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

House For Sale

So, we are back to square one. Again. The house we were under contract for fell through after 3 extensions  of the contract due to issues with the deed. It was not a huge deal - we had the same thing happen with the Bridgeport house in which someone had not written the deed correctly., Same thing here - we feel terrible for the home sellers as we were in that position not so long ago and we know they were counting on this sale.But our lawyer told us not to do it until it was fixed because it had the potential to become a huge problem when we resold it. We were assured it would be fixed but it just kept dragging on and on with no end in sight . After almost a month no one ended up filing any corrections so we picked up our toys and left.  This buying, fixing and selling homes is not as easy as HGTV would have you believe, is it? It's almost like the perfect storm in which you need to find a short sale/foreclosure in a good neighborhood with the potential to be fixed with a small budget and it be in a place that the neighbors will not be walking off with your construction supplies. 

 So, we did not sign the last extension and off we went - David found another house which was more money, but it's closer so his commute will be under 30 minutes this time and the other homes in the neighborhood are much higher priced. We will hopefully - planets align and all of that - be the owners by next weekend. David has met the crabby pants neighbor already who came over when she saw him to ask if we were buying it. The first thing she announced was the garden was HERS - it's a weird six foot wide strip that runs along the backyard - so not to think it was YOURS. David noticed she had to use OUR backyard to get to HER garden so he is thinking he will take up the occupation of Bridge Troll if the sale goes through. He will have a jar for the dollar he's going to charge everytime she comes into the yard. Then she asked if he knew someone had DIED in that house. Apparently some "mean old guy" had gotten up one morning, took a shower, laid down, and well, DIED. Seriously lady, you need to work on your ghost story - I mean, really? So I should expect a boo-ghosty type voice in the night going....
"Whhoooo..... I need a towel, I need aa tooowwweellll.......". And then she added that college students used to PARK in the driveway (it's down the road from the local college), David told her anyone that wanted to would be welcome to park there - nothing like a little chain jerking, is there? So, all in all, not a bad turnout if this actually goes through, we have all the supplies that we had bought for the other house stored in the garage and if it doesn't go through there is another property nearby that we can buy. It's a duplex and the bottom is rented to an elderly gentleman who has lived there for over 30 years and he pays $350 a month - which he announced several times in case David was getting any ideas of charging anything other than $350 a month. Apparently he does not know that David is not married to Little Nell, but more like Snidely Whiplash......I'll let you know what happens!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Work, Little Play.

I'm currently sitting in my backyard with Molly next to me on the wicker couch. Reuben is doing all sorts of Sneaky Dog Things and is checked on quite frequently as he got out of the new fenced in yard yesterday. Iwas quite horrified to see him doing a victory lap around Mrs. Kravitz's backyard - the neighbor who hates us - and of course he was home. But the new fence is working just fine and it's nice to be able to sit outside with the dogs. Of course the downside is I'm doing work, trying to keep up as we lost 3 managers and then have been acquiring more clients. The world did not stop turning, thank you for asking. Since I can access my files on my tablet I've bought a bluetooth keyboard to use. I do not like working on the weekends and after work, but it's a bit more tolerable doing it with the birds chirping and windchimes chiming. I have to put up the hummingbird feeder I suppose - they've been feeding off the numerous hostas but they are about done for the fall - so the hummingbirds hover at eyelevel, wanting to know what the deal is. I took in the last of the zucchini this morning, a bit undersized but edible. The pumpkins are  turning orange but I think they' ll be pretty tiny, they do not seem to like growing in the little hammocks I made for them - they're growing in the air. I'll have to start composting, I think the soil where I had my garden this year is just very poor, it's where the shed was for years. David moved the shed to the back of the property and the neighbor tilled the already bald spot. Not much else going on today, I started another pair of socks, I took out the half done sweater a couple of days ago, it's been there so long the knitting bag was covered in dust. I just cannot figure out how to fix it, Darlene from my knitting group said I should bring it in and they can look at it, I just might do that. But before I do that I think I'll sit down with the pattern and see if I can't figure out the ratio of decreases to the stitches that I have on stitch holders on the back piece. Or I'll just continue to ignore it by knitting wools socks. Works for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adventure Time!

Today we drove out to Ligonier - one of the women in my knitting group had said there were a couple good yarn shops out there - and that's as good a reason as any. It was a hike and David had to go to Lowes first to pick up his clearance haul. The other day he was in and they sold him an entire clearance cart which included a $600 special order french doors with those blinds inside the windows. He got back around 9:30 so we got a little bit of a late start but not too bad. It was a really, cute touristy sort of town with a big gazabo in the center. And better yet, they were having a bit antique fair - every inch of sidewalk covered with vendors. We didn't buy much but it was fun to look! There were old paintings and postcards, school desk and quilts, books and toys. We were in and out of stores too - all those quaint shops with handmade soap, jewelry, second hand items and used books. We found both yarn shops - one was right on the circle - the other was frustrating. My GPS found it but could not pin point it. We walked a little then ducked into the library for directions. Sometimes old fashioned just asking directions is the best way to go. Both stores were nice, I bought something in each of course. After that we went to Fort Ligonier which is a historic recreation on the actual site of  the civil war site. . It was interesting - for me at least. David hates stuff like that, he made snarky comments about how this was not the REAL fort, and it hot, and this was not very interesting - he is not a museum kind of a guy and I usually don't take him. But we were there and it was there so David was a trooper. On the way back we needed to get a few groceries so we stopped at a grocery store we've never been to. There was a tractor store which David went to - I went to the mall next door that they have turned into a giant flea market. Good concept, sad reality. It was like acres and acres and acres of.....crappy stuff. 70's furniture, dirty toys, a lot of things that looked like they would break ten minutes after you got it home It was weird - the old stores that formerly  housed shoe stores and clothes, now were filled with junk stores. There was some worth while stuff but nothing I needed. It had a funny, depressing odor to it, you could almost smell the hopelessness. I put my head down and made no eye contact with any vendor, worried my guilt would talk me into a Holly Hobby figure just to keep from feeling bad about not buying anything. We went to the grocery store next - that was wierd too as it had a full hardware store attached to it. I have no idea, one one side were groceries and the other side people wearing workaprons and DoIt! shirts amost the paint and bolts. It was shabby - but clean and had an amazing variety of things. After we stopped at a farm stand for vegetable and then home. By the time we got home I was exhausted. It was a long day with a lot of walking - but it was fun. David unloaded his haul from Lowes, we did quite well by the way. I am picking the last of my zucchini tomorrow, I think the plants are finally all worn out. We went out to dinner on Friday night after looking at the house we have gone into contract for. The one we were buying they were not able to clear up the issues with the deeds and we had to move on - we've wasted way too much time on it already.  Two weeks and hopefully we will be ready to roll again. David is almost done with our living room, it just needs a carpet - I want it done now because once we get the next house I go back down to the bottom of the list.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dog Days Of Summer

So, the saga with the house we're under contract continues - I'm giving it a couple of weeks and then we might be yelling Uncle, we'll see. But that leaves David with a couple of weeks to finish projects around here - I had asked him to specifically do two things. He gets edgy because we're between houses but we will spend money on these projects at some point, either now or later. Won't be any cheaper so might as well get it down. The livng room is coming out great, it will be double the size of the original when he's finished. Reuben has finally made peace with it - for the longest time he would not go past where the original wall had been. We did manage to coax him over, but then he'd Scary Pee and bolt so we let him be. He finally figured it out a couple of weeks ago and joins Molly on the bench to spy on the Potentially Dangerous Neighbors. We actually peep at them a little as there are two fighting over a property line. One neighbor has lined up 2 x 4"s and the offended neighbor sneaks over and  tosses them in his driveway. Then he puts them back. Rinse, repeat. Our next door neighbors continue not to speak to us over the ditch that he told everyone was overflow from our septic system - when it rains there is about a quart of water in it. He was wrong but cannot admit it so when we go outside I wave at him and he creeps back in his house. And yes I do it on purpose, it's funny to see him turn himself inside out pretending he does not see us. I do really love our neighborhood. Anyhow, the other thing I asked David to do was fence in part of the yard - we have 6 acres and two side butt up against farm land. When we let the dogs out we have to go with them, if you're doing anything outside you have to constantly keep an eye on them. It is not very relaxing to be reading(Molly - come!) or BBQing (Reuben - get over here!), or watering the garden (NO! STOPTHAT!). We have a lovely backporch with wicker furniture that we never get to enjoy. So David fenced in about a half acre, not a lot but it's plenty of room for Frick and Frack to run around. He is putting a gate in the back so he can get the lawn tractor in to mow and I can still take them out to the woods. But we can let them out in the morning without having to go out with them and it's nice to sit and not worry if they're running off. David did have to agree it was a good idea. My garden is starting to stall, I brought the last load of zucchini into the office - but I grew so much I was able to zucchini an office of almost 20 people. There are a few left but they will be for me, David would like some zucchini bread so I'll make some next week. And the pumpkins are doing fine, but still a little disappointed they are not watermelons. I guess I'll have to work on my gardening skills. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Enough Time, Too Much Other Stuff

Many people complain they don't have enough time - that's not my problem. I have tons of time, but most of it is taken. I don't think I've been angry lately, more sad and depressed I suppose. Last Tuesday for the first time this summer I was going to be able to make my knitting group twice in a row. That may not seem like much but I'm out of the house between work and travel 12 hours a day - if I'm lucky. If there's anything after hours it can  stretch into 14 or more. That's pushes everything back so most weekends are spent shopping for food, cleaning the house, getting my stuff ready for the week so I'm not spending what little time I have in the morning ironing or trying to find two matching socks. So anyway I told David multiple times I would be late, I went to the my group and came home after 8p.... and he forgot again and had only gotten home about 45 minutes before me. So, I was upset - because now the one thing I have left that I can do, I will probably have to stop even that because it's not fair to the dogs to be stuck in the house for 14 hours.  It's almost halfway through August, I have been swimming zero times, I have taken no vacation, and today - for the first time in months I actually got out to walk in the park with Molly. But the only reason for that was because I had to take Friday off for a doctor's appointment and we got a little ahead on the shopping and cleaning.  I feel like I used to have a life - I used to hike on the weekends, I went to the gym, I had time to do things. Now it feels like I can't get done fast enough, going out and doing anything just makes me anxious - I'm constantly clock watching or calculating how long it will take me to get back home so I can do the rest of what needs to be done finished before the week starts up again. I wake up in the middle of the night mentally shuffling my clients around, stressing if I've missed anything, sometimes I'm exhausted before I get out of bed. I did finally get to the park today, Molly was so excited about going and I actually walked 5 miles, taking my time. Everytime I started to think about my Never Ending List Of Things To Do I reminded myself that list will always be there and it's not a crime to take a little bit of time for yourself to get lost in the woods. Hopefully I will find a way to balance out my life again. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Take Me To The Mall

I had a cancellation between clients yesterday so I saw my first one and then took my lunch hour. There's a mall near the client that I've been wanting to stop in, so....I did. It was kind of sad - some malls are still thriving but I've been noticing more and more the mall is starting to slowly dissapear. It was large and clean with a fountain in the center, but there was maybe a handful of people, so quiet! Some senior citizens were sitting or quietly conversing on the benches scattered by the fountain, a lot of the shop owners were standing in their own entrances chatting with each other. About half of the stores were closed, empty racks and scattered debris - the third floor  abandoned. The food court was the busiest, but you could tell the people there were meeting for coffee or simply out of the hot weather - no shopping bags. There was a beautiful carosel with a second tier, no children to ride though. The person manning it would spin it once awhile, the lights and music, then it would stop again. Part of it is my fault, I'm just as guilty as the next guy of shopping on the internet. Let's face it - years ago I had shelves and piles of books for instance, now I sit on the couch and if I see a book I want, it's mine instantly. I hit the Buy It Now button and it takes my credit card and downloads the book - or the whole series. I no longer needs those shelves either, my entire library weighes about 6 ounces, give or take. And clothes - there are so many outlets and discount places now - why pay 40 dollars for a shirt from Eddie Bauers when I can get it at Gabes for 8? But I miss the mall -  I miss going in all the little stores, trying on the clothes, the food court, the movies. And they're not all dying - we stopped at the one in Morgantown because I wanted to pick up one thing after my doctor's appointment and it was it's usual, noisy busy place. The food court was full, kids were all over, the school clothing sales were in full swing. All the stores were open and I ended up buying more than I had planned on. And it was fun and not sad. So I guess some malls will be staying open - and some will not survive the Internet. And speaking of the doctor - my appointment with the glaucoma specialist went very well as usual. My eyesight with glasses is 20/20 and that is with these glasses that had the strength reduced - and I'm going into year 4 with no eyedrops or medication, the pressure remains the same. So I don't have to see him again for 6 months. I'm very ok with that!

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Conservative Liberal Right Wing Greenpeace Point Of View

I had posted about Obama flying the flag at half staff for that drug addled Whitney Houston and not the five soldiers that were gunned down in Chattanooga. I was of course, instantly corrected - and I was wrong.The governer of NJ flew the flag for that waste of space, not Obama. My fault for listening to AM radio, I should know better. But I was asked if I was a conservative since I hate Obama so much I actually voted in the last election just to make one more vote against him. And I do hate him, I could not believe he was re-elected. But that does not make me consevative. Obama has complete disregard for our military - he will allow illegal aliens to collect benefits and stay here if they have "family ties" (pregnant criminal that managed to give birth over the border). And yet he's cut our military - you know, the people that keep America free. And yes our military is overblown but I'd rather be up to my ears in military than illegal aliens. And yes he did sign for gay marriage, but seriously that was coming anyhow, wasn't it? Just like civil rights and women being able to vote, you can't stop change. Saying he was responsible for the enactment of gay marriage would be the same as taking credit for the lake filling just because you're standing at the head of the stream. Gonna happen no matter where you stand. His health care is a mess, he managed to raise the insurance rates in all but six states and yet I think Obamacare covers, hmm, not many I believe. And most doctors won't take it. I don't disagree with everything he does, equal pay, paid for birth control - but most of what he has done is ineffective at best, destructive at worst. But all of this - is usually why I rarely post anything political on my facebook page. Because it does nothing but irratate others and well, me. You end up fighting and making Grand Statements to a group of people that do not want to hear it. Which is fine because I don't want to hear anything you have to say either. There. I said it. I have no interest in your politcal view and no matter what you say, you are Completely and Utterly Wrong. Which is ok because I heard you say that about me. Yes you did. Did too. Did too. Shut up. See? Fighting already. Your politcial view is your own, just like your opinion on god, abortion and Coors Light - and nothing anyone says will change it but you. I have changed my opinon on some things just from reading and hearing what the candidates have to say, but never from getting lamblasted on Facebook. So I will continue to make snarky comments about Mr. Obama and you can choose to ignore me. Free country and all of that!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow

I have always been a bit of weird gardener - not intentionally of course, but there it is. I do have a green thumb but it's pretty selective. The neighbor rototilled a garden for me smaller and closer to the house - the original one was way too big to manage and it was right near the edge of the woods. There was too much to fence so every night at sunset the deer would pop thier sneaky selves out and it was a free for all out there. They even ate my cornstalks to the ground, nothing had a chance. So this garden is fenced and it's close enough to water when we get no rain. Perfect you say. Hmm. First of all only half the garden grew - it looks like someone drew a line straight down the middle - on the right half 4 Mystery Plants that are obviously not weeds is all that has appeared, and that is all. The rest are scraggly weeds and clumps of grass, dirt abounds.  The other side - is growing so big, so thick you can't even see between the plants, the leaves are about 8 inches across, the blossoms are huge - I've been joking that the bodies must've been all buried on the left. So - what am I growing? Zucchini is my secret weapon, all of it came up and it's been producing like something out of a science fiction movie. I've eaten it and have taken two loads into work, yesterday I counted almost a dozen more. It poops out a zucchini every hour I think, but my saving grace is my big office full of people that want it. I brought in a bag full and it was gone in the time it took me to go to the bathroom and sit at my desk. If I run out of recipients in my office, the next door office is full of takers too, I'm in a strange position for once of possibly not being able to produce enough as I have a waiting list going. The plants in the front I had no idea what it was , I never mark or remember what I plant so it's always a big surprise. The vines grew up the fence and looks very fairytale like, I loved it untl the mystery was solved. It is watermelons and I have 3 or 4 so far starting to appear, at the top of the fence of course. I cannot unwind it as they will not fit back through and eventually(soon) the weight of them will either pull the fence down or it will fall off from sheer weight. So I have to figure out how to support watermelons in the air. The other plants might possibly be pumpkins which would be fun. There is a tiny rabbit living in the garden too, I have not addressed it as he is very tiny and does not appear to be hurting anything, he might be living in there for the safety factor as he's small enough to squeeze through and the dogs are not. They peer into the garden with malvolent intentions which is too bad for them, the rabbit is not coming out. Ever.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Home Again.

I get asked on a fairly regular basis about flipping houses - David has done it for more than a decade now and although we are not setting the world on fire, we do ok. But it's not as easy as it looks and the reason David makes a profit is because he's able to do most of the work himself. I help - I've been trash detail, I'm not bad at reconfiguring to get the most out of the space - I'm often astonished at how poorly a small house can be laid out and how you can increase the usable space just by moving a few walls. I check every clearance pile I see, you'd be amazed at the things we get at a fraction of the price simply because no one looks - or because it's not perfect. I got a $350 tub for $40 because it had a small - and very fixable crack in the corner. We have to make every dime count so David scours the classifieds for building materials,  we reuse whenever we can, scratches can be buffed, dents can be hidden. And the house itself - finding a foreclosure is easy, finding one that you can fix, will make a profit and the denizens of the neighborhood will not be walking off with the construction materials, not so much. Buying a house never goes smoothly, there's delays, glitches in the title, crazy relatives that are super pissed off about the way the will was read. We bought one house that sat for 3 years, surrounded by relatives who would not take over the payments. Instead they waited for it to go into foreclosure, refused to pay what was left on the mortgage and then got mad when we bought it! They harassed David until he called one of them - she kept hollering about a Dirty Deal, David just told her they'd had every opportunity to buy it and he had nothing to do with any of that, if he hadn't bought someone certainly would have. That shut it down thank goodness. And finding one to buy requires scrolling through house after house on the internet, going out to look,then meeting with RE if it's viable, crawling through moldy, dirty and sometimes rather shaky houses. Some of them flat out stink, the East Stroudburg house was referred to as The Cat Pee House, the one in Bridgeport had such thick nicotine we had to wear masks to spray down the walls with straight Greased Lightening. We've made few mistakes along the way, financial and otherwise, but all in all, it's not a bad way to go. And it is fun buying yet another house, standing in the wreckage imagining what it will look like when it's rehabbed. The neighbors will often give you the history and David finds them often relieved he's there fixing it up, the old eyesore being turned slowly back into a home again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Home Alone

Before David left we were talking about vacations , we both agreed one of our favorite things to do - is stay home. Which is what I'm doing tomorrow, just me and my dogs. We have never been big travelers, I'd like to go to Ireland or Iceland, but the actual chore of doing it - nah. I think part of it is we worked so hard to have this place. I trudge off to work 5 - or more - days a week, I leave at 7 am and usually hope to be home before 7pm. We cut the grass, shop, do laundry,etc on the weekend. When I get home after work I take the dogs out, some more house work, flop into bed, roll out of bed, off to work, rinse,repeat.We have a beautiful home that David spent months on -  bedroom with a soaring ceiling and recovered antique doors, tile floors,full exercise room in the basement, gazabo out back, all sorts of fun stuff. And when do you get to enjoy it? Sometimes you even hope to be sick don't you - not puking sick of course, but sick enough to stay home, but not so much you can't enjoy it. I've been running like a loon for the past two weeks so I am taking tomorrow off. I am planning on doing a little shopping and Need To Do Stuff, but also reading, knitting and watching movies I've seen 3 zillion times that David swears he'll vomit if he sees it one more time. I've also been taking personal time since there is no one to take care of the dogs. When we had Pearl we had a dog walker - they had a mutual love of each other and it was great not to have to worry about racing home. Reuben could do a dog walker of course, he is the Dude Of Dogs, but Molly - not so much. It would be sort of like the stand off in Waco, so no strangers but it kind of leaves me in the lurch. But knowing that I saved my time and it is nice to get home at a decent hour, even if it is only for a week. I do have things I need to do tomorrow but it's nice not to have to run through it. I've already mowed the paths back in the woods - yes, they are matured enough that I can actually mow half of it. I finished clearing a large area in the center and that will be it I think. I don't want it to get to the point I work on it more than I play in it - that would defeat the whole purpose. I take my ereader out with the dogs, they race around the paths and bother stuff while I sit and catch up on my reading. It's nice because I can relax after work and take the dogs out at the same time. David is having a good time back on Long Island, visiting family and what's left of our friends. Just about everyone we know has left the area, not much left. We discuss possibly moving in the future to be nearer to family, but it just sort of dissapates after a couple of minutes. I still have a problem leaving here - just thinking about it makes my chest tight, so we are staying put, for now.