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Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I love mulling over the odd subject - looking at the ins and outs, turning it this way and that. The transgender bathroom issue of course has got my attention. I know a lot of it is simply to get the simple minded worked up over a well constructed "wrong" against them that somehow threatens thier wimmen and chilldrun. Before anyone gets riled up, look at the self made videos, my favorite one where some guy corners some Target employee grilling them about the bathroom and then announces he will be stationing himself outside the bathroom to keep his daughter safe. There was a great essay written that I posted that pointed out a strange man lurking around the bathroom would probably be more distressing than anything else. Or some dowdy woman marching in with her large amount of scruffy children getting all Jesus in the clothing department - not a good advertisement for the religious right, is it?

But that is not what I wonder about - what I wonder about is how are these people going to enforce this? First of all, when we are talking about transgender, we are not talking about a hairy guy in a dress or a square woman in overalls - we are talking about a surgically altered human being, that has been living as the sex they were meant to be. So are we going to do hoo-ha checks? Will I be peered at by some low-browed born again christian? And if someone goes in a stall, what then - peeking? And if I'm peeking - how long can I peek? Will we all have to leave the door open to prove we're sitting - or standing? Will some man have to come in to the women's bathroom to enforce this - and if he does will that make HIM transgender? After all, he's a man in a woman's bathroom. What about a woman who has become a man?  What if she's wearing a tee shirt and jeans - how are you going to tell? Stall -peeking again? And this silliness about being attacked - the logistics of it are pretty mind-boggling. You would have to time it so it was just you and your victim, the bathroom would have to isolated, no one else could come in of course - this would be the reason I suppose that most attacks on women are not done in the bathroom. 

What is even more apparent, is that for years we have all be using the bathroom with transgender people. You just didn't know it, so it didn't bother you at all. No one has been attacked - and really, a public bathroom is not a great place for attacking anyone either. It is just another political tactic that will disappear as soon as the election is over - but it does give me plenty to ponder. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dog Days

So, I'm feeling a bit less fatigued - I arrived home around midnight on Wednesday, took Thursday off - which  I spent pretty much sleeping, worked all day Friday and now a 3 day weekend, thank goodness! All that flying, driving, sleep deprived time has caught up with me, I was joking around at work I might take a page out of George Costanza's book and nap under my desk (one of the funniest Seinfeld episodes ever!). So I'm super tired and dragging but and this is complicated by my right foot having issues. It has been swelling behind the ankle and there's a hard, round bit that's pretty sore - but it's not red or hot so I'm hoping it's just strain from pushing a gas pedal  for four days straight, then another day from work as opposed to say, a blood clot. But I was very careful to take my daily dose of aspirin and to get out of the car and walk at least every two to three hours. It was throbbing last night so I got up and wrapped a heating pad around it and went back to sleep. That seemed to help a bit. Today I went shopping with David - the fridge was bare! - and then have kept it up for today. I just don't have time for this!

It seems that since I've come back we've hit instant summer - sun blazing, hot and humid. The dogs of course are still enjoying the woods and continue skulking and partroling. I know to come in when Molly looks as if she will dig a hole. When we first had her that completely flummoxed Rueben - he would stare at her trying to figure out why she was digging a big hole. The place she was taken from in Ohio had no shelter at all, this meant she was completely exposed to the elements. The temperatures in that area soar to over 100 degrees - and most animals will dig a hole to lay in to try to stay cool. Reuben, however, when exposed to the elements will lay on the vent pumping out the airconditioning and have some filtered ice water - he still looks confused if she starts to dig as he considers this completely unnatural. So we try to stay in the shade and when I see they're getting too hot we head in. 

I have a ton of stuff I need to get done, the house needs cleaned, my paths need mowed, on and on. But we have Monday off - we are doing nothing. I considered doing something to celebrate the holiday but I think the best celebration will be staying home with David and the dogs. Given how much time I spend away from home being here is sometimes all the vacation I need.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


I'm up. The trip home was long and quite arduous.  The hotel we stayed at the last night was wonderful - really a great way to end the trip. I turned in early and was up at 3am to give myself plenty of time to have coffee and make sure I took everything. I laugh because years ago I would worry about leaving toiletries and now I worry about leaving power cords and electronics. I said good bye to the babies and Brandi the night before, I was missing them before I even left, whatever did I do before I became a grandmother? Jackson knocked around 4 am and we got to the airport for no reason at all at 4:30. I should have looked at the size of it because it was me, 3 security people and a couple of others - it was such a tiny airport with gates A through E all in the same room. Sigh. Whatever, the coffee bar was open and I had my Ereader. 

I flew from Bellingham to Seattle and had a two hour layover, then from Seattle to Fort Worth Texas and another two hour layover. Anyone thinking OMG about that please remember I had spent four and a half days in car driving almost a total of 2500 miles - the layovers were VERY welcome. I had to ask the time in Dallas - I crossed all the time zones and I was worried I would miss my plane as everything I owned at that point had a different time on it. My first two flights were packed and I had accidently booked the middle seat which was not as bad as I thought it would be. I had enough room to knit and read and that's the important thing, isn't it? They no longer serve peanuts on any flights which I found very annoying, I like the peanuts but you know we have so many namby pamby allergy people now, we all have to suffer. During my layover in Texas I had to go sit at the other end of the gate, there was a woman who I swear could talk the ears off a brass monkey - the entire time she never shut up, it was almost as amazing as it was annoying. I was actually thinking about rescuing her poor co-workers who were shifting around in thier seats,unable to flee from her nonstop soliloquy - but I ran after 20 minutes of her going on about how much she liked her headphones - it was me or them.

My last flight was packed too and I took the middle seat, the woman who had the window seat seat sighed when they announced it was another packed flight. Every seat was taken.... except our aisle seat! The flight attendant came back and asked if either of us was Maria Squires who apparently didn't make her flight - bad for her, good for us! I popped over to the aisle seat while my seatmate was celebrating - I told her not to jinx it or Maria would come jogging down to claim her seat. We piled our stuff on the empty seat and stretched out our legs in our newly acquired space, it made the last flight more than tolerable. I found my baggage claim ticket as I anticipated the possiblity of lost luggage since it had to be shuffled multiple times but when I arrived at baggage it was - for the first time EVER - one of the first bags. David was on time but does not like to drive in the dark, so after 2500 mile and 19 hours I drove us home - I was beyond tired last night. But I'm home and have been well greeted by my canine posse. I'm glad to be back, but boy, do I miss everyone. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

End Of The Tour

So, here we are - I called and booked us rooms this morning at La Quinta. A little bit pricier but when I got up this morning I wanted to make sure the last day went smoothly.  They did take dogs, we could get rooms near each other and the crib was actually in place as promised. The hotel is very new and quite beautiful in a spa like way, just the right tone to launch their new move - not to mention it got 5 bones on If you travel with a pet use this app, it will bring up all the hotels in the area that take dogs along with customer reviews and contact information such as if you need to call ahead, etc... The day started well, since we only had 3 hours of driving (LOL! "only" 3 hours....) we were able to take time to have breakfast.I watched Chloe who was sleeping while Delilah got to sit and stare at strangers and doors in the breakfast room. The drive was beautiful - I can't get over how beautiful it is here.

Jackson and Brandi are both really relieved to be out of Tennessee - they made some good friends there but really had a hard time of it. They will be in a hotel for a week or so until their new house is ready but they re fine with that. Thier stuff will be here by mid-June so it will be indoor camping but nothing they haven't done before. Maggie the dog traveled beautifully and is happily hanging out with her family. I'm getting re day to turn in - my plane leaves at 6:30am so I have to be there around 4:30 or so. The hotel is only 15 minutes from the airport so Jackson can take me down and then get a few more hours of sleep. I will miss them all greatly - that is the hard part

It's funny how you're always told when you become a parent - just wait til they're 18, like it's a magical number that absolve you of all responsibilty. You will never have to do another thing ever again. But that's not true because you find yourself doing whatever you have to when they need you - and doing it gladly. This has been a tiring, hard week at times - but I'm so grateful to have been able to spend the week with my son, his wife and my two granddaughters. It's actually over way too soon

Monday, May 23, 2016

Circle Your Wagons

This trip has been harder and yet way more fun than anticipated, not counting the part where I thought Jackson might be dead. I would be all for unseeing  that, but he's fine so let's move along. I'm glad I put an extra day just in case as we will be using part of it. We did great yesterday - took off early with the goal of about 800 miles landing us in Butte Montana. The girls are still tiny enough that they spend most of their time sleeping,eating and pooping their weight but being in a car seat for 10 hours a day is tough. They're not uncomfortable but need frequent breaks for cuddling and staring at various objects,this week it's fans and doors. Maggie the dog rides in the Subaru with Jackson unless I'm giving him a break,then she rides with me. She's very good but only loves Jacskon. When I drive she's sits in the backseat staring at me like a dog napper, I'm sure she'll develop Stockholm syndrome at some point.

Brandi is a super trooper, I could not ask for a better daugher in law and it's been fun spending so much time with her. We spent yesterday reading the billboards out loud as there is a lot of strange activities you can do out here. Pet alligators, see a 6 foot rabbit, get all your animal parts needs. We discovered on the first day it was easier if one person sat in the back between the two girls - they love to eat when we drive and you can comfort them. They are such beautiful babies and so much fun. We ended up taking more frequent stops yesterday than anticipated and our goal of Butte was too lofty. I had a back up destination closer so I texted them to head there. David called and when I asked him to find the number of the Super 8 he actually called to book the room - they were full!! He quickly called around and found another place down the road so when we arrived we just pulled in and got to our rooms. I am so grateful, can you imagine after 12 hours of travel with babies and a dog to have to find a hotel? A big thank you to David, one more reason he's the best

So I reconfigured our trip and we have a little over 11 hours left to drive. We will do at least 8 today,then finish up on Tuesday. This will make it a bit tight fir me as. I have to be at the airport Wednesday morning around 4:30 am. But it is what it is and it has been fun

Sunday, May 22, 2016

In The Blink Of An Eye

I am currently driving from Tennessee to Wahington with my son Jackson, his wife Brandi,a dog and my 2 month old twin grandaughters. We ended up taking two cars with me and Brandi in the van, Jackson and Magatha the dog behind. The first day was chaos of course - the landlord needed to do a walk through at a turtle like pace, we had way too much stuff...we left almost two hours later than intended. Since none of us have traveled with babies  the drive is a learning curve. Stopping every two to three hours seems to work best for everyone. I have to walk for my clotting disorder so I can multi task walking Maggie  and then the babies get released, fed, changed. During our drive I switched off with Jack to give him a break, the truck next to me had a large object bounce off and of course bounce up and under mine. It broke some plastic and knocked the car out of alignment - nothing major but didn't help. We arrived later than planned at the hotel but did our 600+ miles. The next day went way better, we had it down to a science. I had just switched off with Brandi and  I randomly was checking my mirror to make sure Jackson was behind me. I looked at the exact time Jackson lost control of his car. What actually happened was while changing lanes he didn't realize the truck in the next lane had caught up to him, he overcompensated and spun out safely across the front of the truck into the grass - he missed being obliterated by a hair. But what I saw in my mirror was the truck barreling foward, Jackson's car spinning and then I could not see him - it looked like the truck hit him and sent the car careening off the road. I pulled over and Brandi ran out while I backed up -I could not see Jackson or the driver's side. But then there he was with Brandi starting to make calls and yes I did cry hard. For a moment there I did not know if he was even still alive, my time spent on a trauma surgical unit always drove home that it does not always happen to someone else. An hour down the road he got a flat tire - in the middle of a very desolate highway in South Dakota. But we had phone service, he called his insurance that sent a repair guy. I used my GPS and found a hotel that took dogs and babies 20 minutes down the road. When we got here the owner was so sweet - she opened the rooms before I checked in so Brandi could bring the girls in out of the heat. There'a decent mom and pop restaurant across the lot and even more hilarious the place Jackson got all new tires and the car aligned is next door. I celebrated last night with grilled cheese and tomato and a chocolate shake so thick it was ice cream with a straw.  Yes we'rea little behind schedule but given how much worse this day could have been I'll take it.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Been Awhile

I've been busy lately, a lot going on! I turned 55 on the 29th of April - that also meant I've lived here, in this house for 5 years. We closed on this house  that year - I spent my 50th birthday on an air mattress with David and Pearl the dog, one of the best birthdays I've ever had. But I digress - this year my birthday fell on Awards Weekend at Bayada. It was held in Washington which is about 5 hours from here at  the Gaylord and it's all marble and glass,right on the water. Since I would be traveling on my birthday I decided to take a day off and do a bit of sightseeing. I've always wanted to see Harpers Ferry in West Virginia and it was on the way! David didn't go as he is busy stressingfretting over the Waynesburg house and getting it ready to sell (it's on the market this week). So I went by myself which is not a big deal. I'm very much a loner and have no problem amusing myself. I made good time - Harpers Ferry is a national park and a historic town and a historic landmark. Parking was a bit fuzzy, I finally parked by the historic train station and asked someone  since all Violators Would Be Towed - that would suck! I was directed to a small pair of boxes, one with a slit and the other with pens and envelopes. I put my ten dollars in the envelope and was paid my parking when I popped it in the other box. I had a great time and would recommend it to anyone to go. The only thing I was mad about was I didn't eat before leaving and stopped and grabbed a Cinnabun. They are ok, not great and will give you a stomach ache. I arrived at Harpers Ferry too full and slightly nauseous to eat anything - and was surrounded by gourmet restaruants and that also, sigh here, served loads of vegetarian fare!! Arrgh!

I left around 3 - since I would be heading to Washington I didn't want to hit traffic, got the hotel around 4 and checked in. Not too many people from my office went this year but there was about 6 of us which was not too shabby. My boss made reservations at a nice italian resturant and treated us all to dinner and drinks after. You can't ask for a better boss, can you? The next day is always busy - Bayada is unique in that it invites EVERYONE in the office,not just a couple of the same people every year. There were close to 2500 employees there - I love seeing everyone from East Stroudsburg that I worked with. We went to the assembly where they gave out awards - they do Hero Awards and really recognize the people that go above and beyond (they also usually manage to get everyone blubbering at some point too!). We did the divison luncheons, a little break and then.... the dinner and dancing!

Open bar, dinner is always great and it's dress up of course. I finally crawled into bed around 1 am, too many martinis and too much fun, but I had a great time, not to mention the swag bag they send you home with. I skipped the breakfast the next morning as I wanted to get home. Since it was Sunday and raining to boot it was an fast and uneventful ride home.It was really a fun a weekend and another birthday down!