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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Home again

So, we stayed with Brandi and the girls for 8 days, that's longer than our usual stays, but since it's such a long trip to get there and it's not often that we do, we made it a bit longer of a stay. The entire time we were there it was rainy and cold with occasional sunshine - except the last day. That would be the one and only day it decided to snow. Our day started at 3:30am with the airline texting me a delay in flight. I called Orbitz and the guy said he'd call back, which he did as soon as I fell back asleep - the first flight was delayed but we would be able to make the connection. That is until the next text, and the next.... we decided to go to the airport early and would deal with it there. It had been snowing a bit before we left as Brandi pulled out of the drive it got worse, the road was starting to look messy - of course!! She needed gas so while David pumped the gas we looked for a shuttle service - success. And better yet the pick up was 20 minutes away and the next one was due in an hour. We hung out at McDonalds - we had to change the babies and took them in the bathroom. They had a changing table that made us laugh, ive never seen one so high up in the air. It was about chest high on Brandi, if it had been any higher she would have had to toss the baby up. One of the twins had an epic poop and thats when we discovered the wipes were still home so we had to improvise. As you can see, the whole day was slow going, but the shuttle showed up on time and off we went. 

We checked our bags and then got on The Stranded People Line which was long and crabby. We were near a woman from NJ and she was killing us - she was loudly complaining with a running commentary ("Did ja see that - he's flirting with them, FLIRTING - like we need this!"), she was ordering her husband around and had a bag big enough to fit a couple of bodies in - it did make the time go faster. SO, when we got up to The Flirter he managed to get his attention back on his job (and honestly, I would not want their job re-routing a legion of disgruntled passengers). We were given the choice of flying into Chicago and then not flying back out til 2pm THE NEXT DAY - no thank you! - or we could fly into San Francisco, hang around for a couple of hours and then direct fly to Pittsburgh landing at 6 am in the morning. We took the second option, we were up for the night either way. San Francisco was not bad - we had wifi and outlets to recharge, the food was GREAT, I had Spanish which I love, coffee and lots of seating. We took off a little later than planned but as long as I was heading home I did not care. 

I was supposed to have the middle seat but the teenage boy offered to sit in the middle so I could have the aisle, which was nice. Until he started fighting with the window passenger who happened to be his brother - I was VERY glad when they fell asleep. I knit for awhile, read, slept fitfully and since it was an 8 hour flight had to use the bathroom. I hate using the bathroom on the plane, it's so tiny and I'm always afraid will hit turbulence and I'll be sent flying out into the aisle - but nothing happened. I had called the parking place the night before to let them know we were delayed. We arrived on time, weary but home at last! Even our baggage made it which was amazing given how many people were rerouted. We collected our bags and called Globe who came and got us. Our car was warmed up (HURRAH!!) and off we went. What a long long drive home - we had been up for 36 hours, flown across the country and 3 time zones. I drove most of the way home while David rested and then when I started weaving he took over.. I unpacked and greeted the cats, got stuff going while he went and got the dogs - I fell into bed and slept for a few hours, boy were we a mess! But it was a wonderful trip and it was so nice seeing how well Brandi and the girls are doing. We'll go back out in the spring I think, I can't wait!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our Trip

We were at Brandi's for over a week, how fast it went! Our friends Kim and Steve had relocated a few years back to Seaside, OR and when they found out we were heading out there - they made plans to hang out with us. I'm realistic, I know part of Kim's motivation was the opportunity to play with not one but TWO babies. They only live four hours away and made it into a mini vacation for them too. Kim and I are lifelong best girlfriends, there no time or distance we cannot conquer together. Brandi had a good time I think, Kim is a hilarious story teller so the afternoon went fast. We talked about when we met - for those interested, I met Kim on a pull out couch at a slumber party thrown by a mutual friend - she was 13, I was 15. 

We ended up going out to dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant I'd found on Yelp which I'm a huge fan of. My cousin John introduced me to it and I use it all the time, especially when traveling as everyone writes reviews. It's easy to sift through the nonsense ones - someone complaining about the color of the walls interests me less than multiple people warning you off. But this place was as promised - the food was amazing and since we were there on a weeknight we were the only customers. The babies loved it, they're at the perfect age where they're not walking yet but old enough to be interested in everything around them. It was a fun visit, but much too short. 

We took the girls out again to a waffle house - they had a cheese sandwich and fries which they pretty much just waved around. Too much going on! We got excellent service because everytime they spotted our waitress they would start smiling at her and then she had to come over of course....  I know as their grandmother I'm probably a bit prejudiced toward them, but they are really excellent babies. It's hard being so far from them. We video chat with them, but it's not the same as being there. We had such a great time - helping with baths, meal time, changing diapers, dressing them. It was great hanging out with my daughter in law too, we marathoned the Twilight Zone and she makes just as many comments as I do! We got to see downtown Whidbey Island - it was pretty cold but sunny. It reminded me a little of the Hamptons, small shops, local stuff, very scenic. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Time To Talk About Our Trip

I usually blog as I go, but I forgot to take my keyboard and I hate typing on the tablet. So, I'm going to be doing entries to cover our trip. We did great leaving this time, dogs were dropped off, I had been packing all along - at least trying. I had bought the girls so many clothes I had to unpack most of them and mail them! We made good time up to the airport - we parked at Globe parking which we will do again. It was half the price and they shuttle you right to your gate. The flight out was not bad, since you're turning the clock back 3 hours it's fairly decent - left at 8am and arrived at 2. Brandi got a little caught in traffic but not a big, at least not for us. The party with the 9 month old twins in the back of the van might disagree! The time change really affects you at bedtime, the clock says 9 pm and your head says MIDNIGHT, arrgh. But we stayed up and toughed it out. The next day we were still a bit floppy but it was so great seeing Brandi again. And the babies! They are growing like weeds, it's amazing the difference 5 months can make. When I saw them last they were super tiny, now they crawl, smile, babble - super fun

Since it's an island there's stores and restaurants, we stayed on the island as everything is a bit far and really, we were there to spend time with our family. We did find one yarn shop and I totally splurged on silk spun yarn - on sale it was over $100 for 3 skeins, Merry Christmas to me! I was a bit on the fence - the shopowner was really pushing it, but I'm sure during the winter things get a bit thin for her. Whatever, it will be fun to knit with.  We took Brandi and the girls shopping for a Christmas tree and stuff, I made two lasangas, one to eat and one for Brandi to have after we left. 

The island itself is impressive, so beautiful. The lakes and mountains, the sea - it's about an hour from Canada and it was wierd seeing signs for that. Jackson and Brandi are in military housing but wow! What a difference from Tennessee! They have a huge four bedroom home with catherdral ceilings and hardwood floors, it's really beautiful. The neighborhood is so nice - when David was putting together one of the cribs the neighbor came over because she heard banging and she wanted to make sure Brandi and the girls were alright. It's hard them being so far, but I'm so glad they landed in such a nice and safe place! More tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Molly and I did Friendship Park this morning, it's fairly close and she really enjoys it. She's gotten to the point she knows what park we're at, when I turn down the road leading to it she has her head out the window with ears blowing in the wind and tail wagging. The trails are not too rough,there's a bit of up and down but it's not extreme. We've ditched the electric collar entirely as Molly does not go that far from me. She was loving it today, romping around and flipping over leaves. David and I have discussed him taking her hunting - this past year she's seemed to have hit a good spot. While we were out they were firing at a range in the distance and Molly didn't like it, but she wasn't really bothered by it. And we're having a teeny issue with Revenge. For the past 3 weeks when David takes Reuben out hunting Molly wreaks Revenge On David. Yesterday she ate all of his bread, the whole loaf. And no I didn't leave it down, she looks for things to ruin of his. She ate a glove, ripped open a bag o QTips, tore up some junk mail.

When he and Reuben come back she follows the dead birds, you can tell Molly really wants to participate. Hopefully in the next year we can get her to the point that she can go too,otherwise David will have to say goodbye to his stuff. But in the meantime she will continue to be my walking buddy. I've been looking for some other parks for us to go to, but since we're in such a rural area I don't want to end up driving longer than I'm walking. Molly wouldn't care, she loves the car ride too. We have to keep the window open, even in the dead of winter. 

I'm hoping the weather doesn't get too bad this winter, Molly is really enjoying herself - and so am I.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Working Stiff

So - I went part time a couple of weeks ago reducing my work week by 8 hours. I mean it's part time but not too much of a cut in hours.  It is not working out quite the way I planned it, the vision of something and the reality once you implement it often tend to be two entirely different animals, don't they? The reason I did it was to reduce my driving a little, to be able to do things in our other house flipping universe that I can't get done on the weekends and to be able to start back walking and hiking. But it's had an unexpected side effect which is giving me anxiety like no body's business. I don't know why it's making me so anxious - and REALLY anxious. Middle of the night up for hours pacing, tight chest, I can't breath anxious which requires at least an hour of reading before I can go back to  sleep. 

I know part of it is I had not expected such a drastic change in my benefits, paid time off, sick time, etc... after all, it's just one day,right? Nope. The company I work for is wonderful (why else would I be willing to drive 120 miles daily round trip?), but they are not fond of part-timers. I thought I had read the policy and done the math, but when I looked again it at the policy some things are simply not mentioned. Part of me thought I should have asked more questions, but in reality I would have had to known what questions to ask. The whole thing is moot of course, my boss had told me at any time I can reverse my decision and right now we're in pretty good financial shape. We owe over $50,000 BUT we also have all the cars paid off, no credit card debt and own three houses, one of which we're holding the  mortgage to so that payment pays the loan each month. But..... that one day reduction........

All of my sick time got taken back - almost two weeks worth. Gone. No more paid holidays, no more personal time. My vacation has gone from 120 hours a year to 40. My medical insurance payment has quadrupled. I sort of knew that, but it's one of those things, until you do it you really don't know how you'll feel. And I don't think that's the whole of it, I come from a legion of Rainy Day People, you know, those annoying people that are always walking around with their own potential  Apocalypse trotting right behind them. We hoard it like dragons and their jewels, we blow it once in awhile, then worry and regret it. Should I have bought that new car? Did I really need a new laptop when the DOS system is still working on my IBM computer? I come from Bargain Hunters, we can never buy anything unless we are assured that nowhere in the world is that product even one dollar less somewhere else. I do have my hobbies, I'll pay full price for any knitting supplies and of course my beloved books, but lets face it, even going all out there's a limit on how much you can possibly spend. SO, I'm giving it another week or so and if I can't tolerate it I'll have to go back to the drawing board. On the upside I've finished 4 books!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


So, I was hiking Coopers Rock today - the weather was perfect in the 30's, cold and sunny. I got Molly and my backpack - it was a short 5 mile hike but after my experience in the Delaware National Forest I always have it for anything over 2 miles. Not to mention you can pack everything in it quite easily. So what's the big taboo you're wondering- I'm getting there. And please note I'm a bit on the fence even relating this story as it involves potential humiliation. Of me. Because it's a problem all female hikers have and we don't ever talk about it. 
It becomes a big issue when walking for more than an hour, you need to stay hydrated.....but you don't want to pee. The alternative is walking with a bursting bladder which is the equivalent of driving with no rest stops, you can do but it's pretty uncomfortable. 

In the winter the pit toilet open is at the beginning of the trail, but that's it. Earlier in the year I came across some interesting items, they are - for lack of a better description, sort of a woman's urinating device - to make a long story short you can pee not only standing up, but without half naked gymnastics. I ordered two different ones (they're pretty cheap), both of which suggested practicing a little at home. Nah, I didn't even read the instructions, how hard can it be? When we arrived there were a few hunters, but it's a huge park (thousands of acres), Molly was in her orange harness and I was wearing a white tee to prevent being harvested, we were fine. Did great hiking, we did about 5 1/2 miles today, yea me, but problem #1 with the GoGirl - where do you go where no one can see you? You don't want to get too far off the trail, it's easy to lose sight of it. But when I went to take a picture of a funky tree I saw a big dip off the path - perfect! So we went off the trail, I put the GoGirl in place and it worked perfectly, at first. It's silicone so you can roll it up for it's container, but you know what happens when silicone gets a little wet - yep, it gets VERY slippery. Lost control of that little sucker and it flipped, hit my pants first - in the crotch of course, emptied and fell on the ground. It was great. At that point I was a 55 year old woman in wet yoga pants and pee shrieking at her dog who was darting around, not my finest moment. Fortunately my pants were black, my tee hit mid thigh and I was only a mile from my car. It was an uncomfortable walk. 

I did have to laugh, I technically didn't lose control of my bladder, just control of my pee. The only thing that would have made it worse was one of the hunters coming over to see if I needed any help which thankfully didn't happen. Oh, wait, there was one thing that made it worse - I had to stop at the gas station. Of course I did. I got my gas as discreetly and as quickly as possible. My pants were not really that wet, but enough to seriously annoy me and to maybe make me actually read the instructions.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Day In the Life

So, we had to take Bob and Molly to the vet this Saturday, actually David was supposed to take them to the vet and I fake offered to go. You know, where you offer to go but in a way that discourages the other person - "I can go with you if you really need me to go with you. I need to finish up some paperwork but if you REALLY need me to go I can". Unfortunately, David is well versed in the fake offer technique and will quickly take me up on it. We are probably going to change vets soon, Dr. Hyde is rarely there anymore and they overbook worse than an airline. We arrived at 8am, I sat in the car with Molly and Bob, David went in. They were fairly quick, everyone got weighed (Bob weighing in at 9.4 lbs) and into a room. The tech did the vitals, then took Molly to have her blood drawn, returned her and there we sat. And Sat. And Sat. 

At one point David was going out to see if they had forgotten about us. The vet didn't come in til after 9, Molly and Bob got injected  much to their annoyance. So -an hour and a half later I took Bob and Molly out to the car to wait for David to get the paperwork. And wait. wait. Sigh. Around 10 we finally got moving, thank goodness. Poor Bob did not tolerate her booster shot well and spent the rest of the day (and night) curled up on the foot of our bed. But she's better today - David said she is no longer a free cat since she has cost us. But the vet told us she's free of any diseases, she been vaccinated and is ready to roll. The rest of the weekend was fairly quiet. We went grocery shopping like a pair of morons - no matter how hard we try we always end up back at the store for all the things we forgot. We ended up back out today as one of the items was toilet paper and we can do with out a few things, not that!

I spent the rest of the day cooking for the week, I try to cook anything that takes time on the weekend so during the week I can just reheat it. I had gotten out of the habit but what happens then is tacos every night. I'm officially part time as of this week - which led to a massive anxiety attack - don't you just love waking up around 1 am with your heart pounding so hard you can't breath? I finally got up and slept in the guest room so I wouldn't keep David up. Of course I was quickly joined by Molly& Reuben which is ok. There's nothing like a dog to hug to calm those nerves.  I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll stay that way. Knee jerk reaction is to email my boss to take it back but I'm going to give it a  couple of weeks before making any decisions. Not much else going on, work tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Things That Go Trump In The Night

In psychology there is a behavior called power reassurance - this is the guy that assures you he's safe, will joke around and challenge your sense of safety by making it seem like you're being a hysterical woman ("I'm just going to help you carry these groceries in, why are you acting like that?") - then he attacks. I'm not calling the Trump administration gentlemen rapists, but boy, there are a lot of similarities, aren't there? His followers are constantly posting recently about how "ridiculous" the protesters are, "spoiled, over-reacting, why are you crying" - hmm. There has been no other election that the presidential elect has been pretty much hiding from his American subjects, that there are as many marches and protests planned as there are parties for the inauguration. I did not agree with everything Hilary said - far from it, she had some policies and ideas I was not on board with, along with Sanders. But the big difference was I was not afraid of them. The morning it was announced that Trump had won, I felt sick and scared. Since I've lived through Carter, The Bush/Reagan war machine, Nixon, that says a lot. And it it's not Trump alone - he's assembling a terrifying crew.

Our vice president Pence is anti-abortion and has already made a previous run at de-funding Planned Parenthood. He signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 which is a fun law which allows discrimination of transgender, gays and bisexuals for religious reason - remember that asshole that was refusing marriage licenses? She'll get her job back. The state made some quicky amendments but it should not have been passed in the first place!  Your incoming White House Strategist Stephen K. Bannon  is trying to distance himself from the Breitbart News, his website. They have published such charming articles as "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Ugly" (supporting that we need to keep breeding to fight against the muslims), "Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber, It's Time To Get Back In The Closet" and the all around favorite " Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew". And last but not least, Jeff Sessions as our new Attorney General who once joked that the Ku Klux Klan was ok til he found out they smoked marijuana. which is only slightly more charming then when he called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "a piece of intrusive legislation" - I won't go over how he feels about women, immigrants or Africans Americana, we all know. And that's so far. You're probably wondering when I'll start comparing him to Hitler. Right now.

Hitler did not start off with concentration camps and running his ovens. He started off with propaganda against the Poland citing "polish atrocities, with reference to real or alleged events (substitute Muslim). He mobilized the country against Poland before even one shot was fired. With the Jews he actually started off with positive articles, he was putting them in vocational training, putting them to work, let's all work together!! Hitler did not build his war machine in a day, it was a carefully orchestrated attack - by the time it was stopped six million people were dead. No, I do not think Trump is Hitler, but there are similarities. We are being lulled - he's backing down on his anti-gay, anti- feminists hate spew for now while he quietly assembles a nightmare crew to rule the country. But the difference is we have social media now so it's a little harder to manuver - and there are bright spots. There are marches already organized, every where Trump goes the protest goes. People are making donations to Planned Parenthood in the name of Pence, we will not go quietly. And we need to remember, he is elected president, not king. He does not have the power to implement on his own - and we need to keep it that way.  We, the people, the gay, feminist, African Americans, everyone, have made way too much progress to back down now. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stay At Home.

So, I've reduced my work week to 4 days instead of 5. Between the driving, helping David with our other business I was just starting to have too hard a time of it. Lately the driving has been worse with all the construction and traffic on the backways - avoiding the construction, my ride went from 90 minutes to almost 2 hours. Each way. Working 4 days seemed the way to go, we can live with a little reduction in my paycheck and I hope it will make me feel less like I just work to work. So today me and my sidekick Molly went to our favorite park for an hour of  walking  And for the first time I left the electric collar at home. I usually just have it on her so if she gets too far I can beep her back - but I've realized she never really lets me out of her sight. This is not true if we have Reuben who always feels as if he must see the entire park. Right Now. But I digress. 

Trust is a hard thing for a rescue dog and once you earn it - it's a rare and wonderful thing. I've noticed our last few walks if she's scared she no longer wants to bolt - she runs to me and will let me put my laughable leash on her (a hamster could escape it). I was glad the Australian sheep herder dog was not there today for our first "solo" flight. That thing is nuts - I've actually never seen one of those dogs aggressive before. I know people that own them and years ago a woman David worked for had one - it's name was Petey and you could hug the stuffing out of him. The last time Molly and walked by the one we see at the park the owners actually had to pick it up. I took Molly off the path and she just snugged up to me, but that thing!! - was snarling and snapping as they carted it by. It always looks like it wants to end us. Seriously. But enough of that, the walk went fine and Molly Ann had a great time  of course. 

I went to see if I could get new glasses today, I've been having a lot of headaches and realized they tend to be worse at work. It's not work giving me a headache but I think staring at the computer all day. SO I went to Walmart and they could not find my insurance on the website. So I went out to my car and called Bayada who found it right away and said they would email me my card. SO, I went to Old Navy, then the grocery store, then Barnes and Noble where I found a book I really really wanted but put it back because I have yet to find a book I don't really really want. David can vouch for this when he gets my ebook bill every month and since I've already bought 2 books I really really want. So, since I've reduced my work I put it back. Sometimes I lay on the couch and announce I don't want to work anymore. That I want to be a housewife. David has pointed out that if you are a housewife you have to do things like the dishes, and vacuum, dust, pay bills, a lot of stuff. That is not so appealing. Anywho, Bayada did email me my card but by then I wanted to go home. Which I did. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Isn't funny how all of the sudden your whole life just implodes - all at once. You go to bed with a tight chest wondering how you'll make it from one day to the next. How did this happen, why did this happen, why does it always happen to me? Every moment of every waking hour is just trying to hold it together, you just can't get it right and it's like being slowly tortured to death - you can hear your own breathing. 
But then things start to fall into place, not all at once, but it seems like as one thing fixes itself, the next thing does too and all of the sudden the whole thing is up and running again. That was us, that is us. We could not get to closing, our finances were stretched as far as they would go, I was so exhausted all the time and sad! So sad. But the house, after a good 3 week delay, finally closed and we are for the moment not in bad shape financially. We owe some money but we also own both of our cars and three houses. We are looking for the next one but I enjoy that. 

We are going to visit Brandi and the babies next month and cannot wait! We will also be seeing Kim and Stephen so it will be  super fun visit. I booked our flights a few weeks ago so they weren't too bad price wise. I finally got my skein of Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Baltic, the final upshot of that little fiasco was I got to keep the yarn that was sent in error after multiple attempts to send it back. Sort of a win win. In work news I'm going to be working part time, not super part time but I'll be working a four day work week, at least for now. Between the house flipping, the driving,etc it was getting to be a bit much so I'm reducing my work week. My boss was a bit hesitant so I'm doing it for now and it will be reviewed in January. Who knows but then I might want to go back to the 5 day work week. Who knows.

I'm 2/3 of the way through the shawl I'm knitting (the one I needed the Baltic colored yarn  for) and I"m hoping I don't have to order another skein. The upshot of that was I was sent the wrong color, the wrong return label was sent without a mailer to send it back -and it was sent snail mail. Our post lady took umbrage at returning a lumpy taped together package with the wrong address on it. When I finally called customer service the man on the other end of the phone at least had the good sense to embarrassed about the whole shindig which is how I ended up keeping the yarn for free. And even if it's not the color you wanted, there is no such thing as unwanted yarn. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016


When I was a child my grandmother Carter had a desk on her closed in porch  with a matching chair - it had belonged to some long dead aunt I believe. The seat of the chair was sprung so when I sat in front of this desk I had to sort of perch and balance on the front part of the chair, not comfortable but do-able. I loved that desk - it was flat on the top, like a table, but the center opened revealing ornate little shelves and a drawer, the writing bit pulled with a blotter on it - I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. When I came home from school on my 13th birthday I found my beloved desk parked in my bedroom. My mother had the wicker seat redone to it's former glory - it was one of the best things I've ever gotten. I spent my teenage years parked at that desk, Wit h the chair restored I could write letters, do homework, as I grew older it became a make up table, a study area, coffee table. It is right next to me now, it's traveled from one house to another, a bit older and more  rickety, but still a sturdy little desk.

Over the years as time and progress has gone forward my stationary and books have been replaced by tablets, ereaders and a smart phone. A blue tooth keyboard, speaker, a fit bit. This of course all needs to be plugged in - all of it. At first it was just a couple of things - a laptop, a cell phone. But more things needed to be charged so I bought one of those stations with plugs and USB ports - every one is filled and my latest toy - a tablet with an 18.5 inch screen gets it's own outlet. I've tried to make it look nicer - I bought a hard leather tote that I store all the flotsam and extra stuff needed so it's not piled here and there. I've tried to put all the cords to the back so there's not a octopus perched on the edge of the desk. And it's not just my desk, is it? 

The more "wireless" we are, the more wires we seem to accumulate. There's a rats nest under the entertainment system between the DVD player, the box for the dish, the flat screen TV. The desktop computer in the den with the "wireless" router is a jungle of cords and surge strips. We live in an older home to boot so occasional extension cords are in the mix - the basement outlet fights with the recumbent cycle, the light and the fan gave it it's own surge strip. So my poor little antique desk is buried under a mound of wires, plugs and electronics, reserving one tiny corner for my cup of coffee. I wonder what that long dead aunt would think of her desk now!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

It's All In a Day's Work

My last post was on my frustration of those that cannot seem to do their job. But this week was the flip side - those that not only do their jobs,but do it well. I had ordered a skein of yarn from Jimmy Bean Wool - I was one short for the shawl I'm currently knitting - it arrived, but it was the wrong color. I emailed the company and got a response right away, they apologized, had already sent out the correct item and it would come with a mailer to send back the wrong item. 
Amazon was next on my list, I'd ordered my dream item a couple of weeks ago - a honking HUGE tablet (18 inches across), but discovered the other day there was defect in the charging cord. It worked but was a bit worrisome. I emailed and an hour later customer service contacted me. They couldn't replace the cord, but they refunded me immediately $30, I ordered the replacement and got it the next day. 
AT&T that we signed up for a couple of months ago has been great - I'm amazed that I get reception even at my house - The Black Hole Of Cell Service. David's Gear2 is still his favorite toy (aka "the Dick Tracy Watch"), a pleasure to work with

The winner though has to be Cochran Subaru in Monroeville this week - they are the ones that replaced my back tire about a week ago when David accidentally ruined it. As I was going to work the other day my low tire light came on. Thank goodness I tilted my mirror to see it - it was not only low, but going flat fast! I made it to the gas station and pulled up to the air hose. No good - the air was leaking out as I was pumping it in. I called AAA first - they promised someone would be there within 45 minutes. Then I called Cochran who told me just to come in as soon as I could drive it and they would take care of it. The repair guy got there in in half an hour and changed it out to my spare. If you're wondering why I didn't change it myself it was because when they put your tire on and use the pneumatic thing it's impossible to get the lugs off without jumping up and down on the lug wrench. Given my history of Gliding Gracefully Through Life we all know I would have been laid out in the parking lot in under 5 minutes.

The repair guy put air in the flat to see where the leak was - it was a nail of course. I drove to Cochran - and they took my car right away to have the tire plugged and fixed. I was back in business not an hour later, they even washed my car - and charged me nothing - on the house! That would be great customer service and you can be sure when I get ready to buy my next car or need anything, that's where I'm headed. As we all know, the place I bought the car from - I-79 Honda I would rather have nails driven in my skull than ever go back to that place. They were horrible to me and have no idea of what the term customer service means. They sold me a car with a bent sway bar in the back - a $264 repair on a car I owned for less than a week, that had 3 warranties on it - and they refused to honor any of them. I still have the letter from the manager Dale telling the Attorney General that I must have driven over potholes and caused the issue myself!! Asshole! When I started at Bayada one of the things they told us at training was there was a survey that found if you do a good job, your customer will tell 3,maybe 4 people. If you do a bad job they'll tell everyone. This week, I have a lot to tell and not much to complain about, don't I? 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just Do Your Job.

Ok - so, we ordered a bunch of stuff for our granddaughters this week. The big stuff came from Amazon - but one small, 5 pound box which held things we bought(clothes, sheets, etc...) we shipped from the post office. You know, the one that's always complaining how they're losing money and are trying to compete with everyone else. I have Amazon Prime which means free shipping for just about everything, two days at that.  Two of the items were sizable, a crib and a mattress and much to my surprise they also qualified for free shipping. Can we get a Whoo Hoo! I ordered, paid and then got emails letting me know where everything was and when it arrived - the crib took 3 days but given the size, I was fine with that. You're wondering about the package from USPS. Sad is all I have to say.

David shipped it on Monday, Priority two day - cost about $13. We waited. And waited. Friday morning David found the tracking number and found our package had been sitting in....... Flushing NY all week. That would be clear across the country mind you - it had arrived Monday afternoon and there it stayed, obviously bedazzled by the bright lights and big city.  You would have thought someone would have picked it up and said "hmm, what are you doing here?" but no. David ended up having to call and was told someone had put the wrong bar code on it. If they put the wrong bar code on apparently it just sits until someone asks about it, then they stick the right one on and send it to the address that you've carefully printed on the label. On the front. Where it clearly does not say Flushing NY.  

It's tiresome, isn't it? We've been waiting for two weeks for the lawyer to do the title search on the house we're buying - everything else is done. David called and apparently it WAS done a week ago. But the person in charge of picking up the f**king thing and sticking in the mailbox was unable to do that. So here we are over a week delayed because of one person that cannot do thier job. Again. I work in a profession that you HAVE to do your job. If I say I'll be there Monday at 3 believe it or not, I'm expected to be there Monday at 3. I am not allowed to NOT do my job because in that event, they will happily find someone else that can do my job. Oh, they'll fire some warning shots of course, but in the end that's just not allowed. And really, I've spent my entire life doing my job - whether it was babysitting, opening scallops, washing dishes, decorating wedding cakes, wiping asses or giving infusions, I have done my job. I did my job whether I was making $5 an hour or $30 an hour, it has never occurred to me do anything else. My kids do thier job, my husband and all of our relatives and friends with the exception of a few, do what is expected. My question is - what happened with all of these other people?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Catching Up

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted - I guess I could say I've been busy, but actually I had an extended period that I had absolutely zero to say. Or if I had something to say, but certainly was not saying it out loud. Things as usual, calm down, zing up into the stratosphere and then we all come back to earth. SO - 

I still have my phone from A T & T and I still love it. David has his Gear2 which is a watch/phone and we call it the Dick Tracy Watch. He thinks it's great and it's pretty tough stuff - he really likes that he doesn't have to carry a phone around anymore or be frantically searching for it as the ringer is shrilling away. He uses it as a speaker phone which is not for everyone, but he works alone so it's not an issue. You can get an earpiece though if you don't want your business hollered out in the supermarket.

We sold the house in Waynesburg finally last week. I suppose I shouldn't say "finally" as it was only on the market for 2 months and the closing was done in under a month. We usually do small houses, but this last house was two stories with an apartment and took David about 8 months to complete. Since he works alone that's not a great deal of time. We made the same amount that we would have made with two small houses but it's just too long a time to have that much money out there. We are waiting for a the title search  to be completed on the house we're under contract for and will start again. It's a small house and honestly, they're easier on David and faster to move. 

I spent a weekend with my sister and her wife which was fun. I have to do the two day training session for Bayada and it's half an hour away from thier house so it works out well. I spent Friday on my own just putzing around and then hung out with them. We did the Longwood Gardens at night, it's the last year they're going to have it which is a shame - it's really beautiful.

It was a quiet weekend and then home. One of my tires had a slow leak and David used that Slime stuff, you know that seals the leak. Word to the wise - don't do it. My car started shuddering over 60 miles an hour - I thought it was out of alignment. It was - but the Slime stuff actually forms a hard pile in your tire which unbalances it, then it unbalances your car. So, $500 dollars later (new tire, rotation and balance, alignment and got the oil changed while I was there )problem solved. Sigh. 

We have a little bit of freed up money so I got the tablet I've been jonsing for - it's HUGE. 18 inches across and 10 inches long. I've been having an absolute ball with it, the back has a built in stand that tilts so you can put it on your lap and play with it.  It's not something you can tart around with you, it's more for using at home, which is what I wanted it for. 

I've been taking Molly out on the weekends to hike and walk. We've done Friendship park, Cooper's Rock and we took both of them to the game lands this morning. Molly was racing about and then suddenly disappeared, then I heard frantic splashing. I ran calling her, I couldn't see her through the brush - David and Reuben were over in the next field and started running. I could hear her, but not see her and when I got through the brush there she was - she'd managed to get up the steep bank and was literally hanging with front legs on the ground at my feet, back legs dangling. I ended up getting my hands under her front legs and pulling her up and over the bank - the funny thing was she was not upset. At all. If a dog could laugh she would have been rolling, she thought it was the funniest thing ever. I have no idea why she thought it was so funny, but when I got her all the way on the ground she rolled to her feet, gave a shake and went loping to find her pal Reuben. So, it was a pretty good day. So, I think that's all the news for now. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Fly Away.

So, David is finally getting his turn with the granddaughters. He reserved his flight about a month ago so it was only about $500 round trip. That isn't bad - if you try to book closer to the date it can be almost twice that. I only requested that he book for a more reasonable time than he did the last time he flew - we live about an hour or so from the airport and if you add in the two hours you need to be there prior even a 7 am flight can be nightmarish. His flight took off at 8:30 am,we got there in plenty of time and I was back home before 8. It's a long day, he had a few layovers which on a flight like this is not a bad thing, you can get out and stretch your legs, have a meal, etc.. David called me around 8p which I was surprised to hear from him that soon, but he had a layover in Seattle. There are two airports near Jackson and Brandi - one is in Bellingham which has much less traffic, Seattle is a major city and often has traffic jams that can last forever. So, he was in Seattle waiting for his connecting flight to Bellingham with a 5 hour layover - I actually thought I heard him wrong. 5 hours? I suggested he call to see if maybe they would like to come get him (as opposed to getting him at midnight) - turns out they did want to come get him. The only thing that made me laugh was when I suggested he leave the airport the first thing out of his mouth was "but I paid for the ticket!". He then decided it was not worth it to sit in an airport for 5 hours and got to Jackson's by 8p instead of 1 in the morning. Aside from that weird layover, the flight went well and he is now happily hanging out with the babies finally.
I'm constantly asked when we plan these trips if I'm going with him or he's coming with me -um, no. We rarely travel together - we've been married for 34 years and I can count the times we've traveled together on one hand. One reason is financial - when we travel together the dogs have to go to the kennel, if it's extended we have to hire someone to feed the cats, parking the car at the airport, etc... it can almost double the amount. But it's actually the other reason - we do not travel well together. I drive for a living so it doesn't bother me to drive for 11, 12 hours - David feels 5 is more than enough, 6 he is tapped out. I like to stop at rest stops frequently, David thinks they're a waste of time. We both want to be the passenger. I like silence, David turns into Chatty Cathy the second the car is in gear and I secretly want to open the door and push him out about 2 hours into the trip (sometimes not so secretly). David gets mad because I don't want to talk.  I love to road trip by myself, I can stop and take pictures when I see something interesting - with David it's constantly "why didn't you say something!" as we fly by at 75 miles an hour (I swear he speeds up as we go by graveyards!) - it makes him crazy with my constant stopping. So we travel separately and that way we will be married forever.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Brock Turner - Out Already

I normally do not visit a subject twice - But Brock Turner almost warrants it, doesn't he? He's released after serving three months in protective custody to return to his home, which is not all that far from mine. Some would say he's punished enough, let's face it, his life is pretty much ruined. But probably not as much as his victim's not by a long shot. And he is nothing more than the tip of the ice burg. 
Did you know that 97% of all rapists will NOT go to jail? That one in four college women have been assaulted? Or in 31 states if you become pregnant as a result of rape and you're not able to successfully prosecute your attacker they can turn around and demand visitation rights? Or in 2009 doctors performed an emergency abortion on a 9 year old who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather (resulting in twins) and the Catholic Church excommunicated the child, her mother and the doctor that performed the abortion -but not her attacker - Because the church felt the abortion was the "most heinous crime"? And that was in 2009, not 1809.

I'm wildly offended by Brock Turner's parents - did you know he has a sister? Can you imagine if someone did to her what Brock did to that poor, young woman - would Dan Turner tell her she deserved it? That it was only "20 minutes of action" and she shouldn't get so upset about it? And the fact that Brock's mother condones what he did is horrifying, did you know she's a nurse?? I'm sure you're thinking, but what if it was my son? I thought that too - how would I feel if my child committed a crime like that? I would hire a lawyer too, but I hope I would have the strength to allow him to pay for his crime. I had a friend that was in that situation where her child had committed a violent crime (not a rape, I want that to be clear) - she was heartbroken. But she never defended his actions, she emphasized with his victim - he admitted he did it, served his time - and she did not give up on him, nor did she stop loving him or supporting him - I still admire both of them beyond belief. 

This episode with Brock Turner has had a good effect, the judge that "didn't want to upset him" is no longer in criminal courts trying cases, hopefully he'll be removed entirely at some point. It is now mandatory 3 years for a rape of an unconscious person in that state -  that will hopefully make someone think twice before they rape an unconscious woman. And two college football players were convicted and sentenced to 15 years for the rape of a 21 year old neuroscience student. But we still need to change our attitudes, to stop telling woman they deserve to be raped because they're drunk, alone, wearing a dress,asking for it, accepting a ride home from a male friend, attending a party, walking down a street at night, for breathing, for existing. And I believe in continuing to hold those accountable - to not use being drunk as an excuse, because that's all it is - an excuse. I believe these men went out with the intention of raping - the alcohol is just a handy excuse. A comedian used men being drunk as an excellent example - that if she went home with someone really drunk and asked to take all of his things - or she just stole everything - that would be consent because, well, he didn't object, did he? And if he did object, maybe he didn't mean it - he is drunk, after all. And if he woke up with nothing, that would be his fault since he was drunk.  I hope Brock Turner pays for what he did every day of his life - and I hope everyone pays attention. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Second Rate

I was reading a short little piece on whether it is a good practice to give everyone a prize in competitive sports - so no one feels like they lost and subscribing to the theory that "everyone is a winner" - we have happily destroyed an entire generation with this, havent' we? A friend of mine once said that we have raised a generation of  non-motivated, directionless adults - and she's right. And no, not everyone is in this group, but there's far more then there should be. We spent all of our time telling them that they were all winners, that they should never settle - greatness was theirs. But we forgot one important thing that my generation knew - how to get there or at least how to try. And that it's very ok not to the best, you can be second or even third in line and survive quite well. 

Making everyone a winner takes the motivation out, doesn't it? That's why Russia's socialism fell, why should I bust my ass going to college and working my way up when the house cleaner down the road is equal to me? Why bother?  So we have a generation that is content to just survive, if I can't be the best why put forth the effort? I went back to nursing school as an adult and I have to say, having to pay for my classes to start was a good motivator. I had been out of school for years so did not anticipate how hard it would be, I got a D in my first A& P class - the first and last D I got. And it was not because I didn't want to suceed , I just did not have enough organization or drive. But that failure was my motivation - I realized I either had to put foot to ass or go back to being a nurse's aide. I did not like failing, I didn't like everyone knowing I had failed - but I didn't give up either. My failure made me want it more and it gave me the drive to go back and stop fooling around. It became the Important Thing, the first thing I HAD to do, not one more thing. And that motivation is why  I made of one 88 seats out of over 900 applicants - we can't all be first but that doesn't mean we don't try.

And am I great nurse? Nope, I'm a good nurse and I'm actually more skilled at some things then others. But I AM a nurse - I graduated as one and I earn my living that way. And if I'm being honest - I realize I'm not a great nurse because I don't want to devote that much time to climbing up the ladder. And that's very ok, because there can only be one chief and the person that's willing to devote that much time and effort certainly deserves it. And that's why children should not all get a trophy - only the winners should get one. That does not mean we should make a child - or even an adult feel less worthy because they did not win. It should be a motivation to work hard to improve and try to win - and the trying is what we should also reward. And maybe, just maybe reinforce that it's ok not to be top of your field - it's a win if you can come home every day knowing you did a good job and you did your personal best - I'm not always a winner but I'm always doing pretty darn good and most days, that's more than enough for me.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Calling On The Telephone

So - I've had Sprint for a couple of years or so, it was kind of sketchy but since I live In The Burmuda Triangle Of Lost Calls it was not unexpected. But over the past year it has gotten worse and worse to the point every call was dropped and there was a good 30 mile stretch on the way to work that I had no service at all. My phone was almost paid off so I started looking for a new service. First up to bat was Verizon which is near my office. When I pulled into the parking lot I passed a couple - the guy was loudly saying things like "rip off". "overcharged"...not a good sign. Didn't have to wait too long, that was good - but oh the price! By the time we got to a 5 GB plan with a middle of the road phone it was about $130 a month. Then I asked if that was with the taxes, charges, etc... why no, it was not. Adding that in - $160 which made it become clear why that man was yelling in the parking lot. Next!

Next up was T Mobile - they have a snappy little kiosk in the middle of the mall. It's all pink and white with all sorts of fun phones. I had them check first to see if I would have service, they said it would not be great, but it would work. I needed my account number so I went over to the Sprint store, the rep there was very rude and snarky. He was all "you'll be back - you'll see!" - I have to say even if I did come back  it would not be to that store just because the guy was a jerk. Anyhow, Igot my account number and signed up - good plan, a swanky phone with a stylus so I could poke at it like I was doing something Serious and Professional. Sadly, it was not to be. Since I live in the Burmuda Triangle Of Lost  Calls I expect a fair amount of crappy cell service but I had gone from Crappy to Zilcho. I have to say when I called the second customer service guy he advised me to look for another service, he was apologetic but he said these problems would be ongoing. I was sorry, it was a really good company. They were fine about my stopping the services and returned all my money. Next!

We went to A T & T in Morgantown, they were great. Price is good, phone is fun, AND we added a second line so David has a Gear2 which is like a Dick Tracy phone but better. Its a phone/watch/internet/fitbit and he's been happily playing with it since he got it. It's also only an extra ten dollars a month. We also signed up for Direct TVand at some point they threw in a tablet just for the hell of it. So the phone issue is solved and for the first time since we've moved here I have cell service. On my cell phone. At my house. Third time really must be the charm.