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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Never Too Hot To Knit

I've been making this shawl for what appears to be forever, the pattern is Memphis out of Egyptian Shawls for anyone interested. It's about 15 rows to the end which doesn't sound too bad - until you realize each row is close to 700 stitches......and then there's the edging which is a project in itself. But it will be done at some point. It's just at the boring part where I just go around and around each row taking up to half an hour. I have about half a dozen more projects I've been thinking of  - most knitters I know have 3 or 4 projects going at once so they don't get bored. When you can't take it anymore you just pick up project B, then the other one, then back to the first one. But I just can't do that,  I like to complete one before starting the next - i want it done!

And no, the heat doesn't bother me, well not as a normal rule. We have central air but David sometimes likes to pretend to save money. There is nothing more fun than coming home to a house that feels like you'be been dropped into your own little section of hell. Better yet David will insist the weak fans are cooling the house off fine. The dogs arrange themselves hopefully near the air vents on the floor looking for a stray breeze - you can almost feel the tumbleweeds wanting to blow through the living room. The temperatures have been soaring in the mid to high 90's so the air is ON. David  actually turned it off yesterday but turned it back on rather quickly when I stood at the top of the stairs vowing I would end him if he touched it again. Electricity here, unlike Long Island is not expensive, running the air costs us about 75, maybe 100 dollars a month - and considering it's really only run part way through July to August we can afford it. 

It has gotten extremely hot this week - when you open the back door it's a furnace blast. I take the dogs straight to the woods where we can get a little relief in the shade - I get no objection to coming back in. My garden is watered every other day to keep it from giving up. Next year I will be doing a raised garden and no more seedlings! Last couple of years I grew from seeds and could not give it away fast enough. This year I decided to use started plants  and they are not producing too well. One zucchini of almost edible size has been squeezed out at great effort, there are two more that look like they started, then pooped out and gave up. Color me disappointed. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Where There's A Will There's A Fight

So, David did finally make it to Long Island  after an overnight stay which he paid for as the delay was an act of god as opposed to an act of American Airlines I suppose. His mother was doing better by the time he got there, her blood pressure was stabilized and she was glad to see him. He went to see his father - he stayed with my parents as apparently his sister  has had to move back home and is now living with their parents. David was there about 20 minutes when his father casually mentioned that everyone had been cut out of the will with the exception of  his sister who will now be inheriting EVERYTHING. David had the reaction most of us would - I mean, really - can you imagine coming home to see your mother and having that bombshell dropped on you? What a mess - it's really not the money. David's parents are older but are in fairly good health, it's a rare thing for someone to outlive their money these days. But as a  friend of mine said there's no better way to make someone feel unwanted and unloved than making sure you treat them as less than another sibling. The fact is there are four children that family, not one. But - as horrible and selfish people can be, there's not much you can do but let it go and move on. 

David decided he had come to visit his mother and that's what he did - there was a pall over the visit, but in the end he was glad he had gone. We live so far we rarely get home and chances are good this will be the last time he sees his parents, - it's just a shame this information could not have been shared well before his visit - or after.  We are still selling the house in Waynesburg, no takers so far but we have had some interest. We have a back up plan too. I've been busy at work, I've been working on tracheostomy and ventilators - did well on the trach and vent will be Monday - I'm reading and knitting of course, what else is new? 

And we are battling H & R Block - for the record I did tell David not to go there but he panicked and did it anyhow. They fucked up our taxes - sorry for the language but there is no other way to put it. They have two CPAs working on it and are now not answering our phone calls. David called the head office and lodged a complaint so hopefully that will get things moving. We still have not gotten our refund from WV because they sent the wrong form and when the owner looked it over it  turned out the jackass had also listed our flip house as a rental - we will get flattened for that next year if it's not fixed. But we have some fun stuff going on - the granddaughters are doing very well (I talked to Jackson today), they are now four months old - 13 and 14 lbs and right on target. It's amazing what modern medicine can do, isn't it? Jackson and Brandi are really loving the area too, David is shipping Jackson his shotgun for duck hunting season and you know who is now thinking about relocating.... (duck hunting? you have duck hunting?)....I"m almost done with the shawl I'm knitting but it's slow going, the last 19 rows are killing me!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Going South

David said the other day "I know things happen, but do they always have to happen all at once?" - this has been a rough couple of months. David got ahold of WV to find out where the taxes they owed us were - H &R Block (who charged us over $400 by the way because our taxes are not standard) sent the wrong form so he had to call the owner. THEN he had to go down there because not only did that idiot screw up the WV portion by sending the wrong form, but she managed to fuck it all up. Excuse my french but there is no other way to say it. So they have two CPAs working to fix it, hopefully by next week and the only silver lining there is we overpaid. The fucking moron that did the taxes in the first place is mysteriously not answering her phone anymore. Hmm. I did get my car back which I am so glad for!! - no more wee little toy car and it looks almost OK but there is a gap on one side of the hood so I have to figure out when I can bring it back to be looked at. It's not a huge deal but just One More Thing. 

The house in Waynesburg has been looked at quite a lot but no takers so far unless we would like to hold another mortgage. Nope. We dropped the price a little which is not a big deal - we usually have 3 numbers to work with. The first number is the Magic Number which is where we start and if  we get it - it is dancing in the streets and margaritas all around, we've done it once. The next number is the Good Number where we not only break even but make a salary which is where we usually land. Then there is the Lowball Number - that one I always think of as the one where we get out of town with our underpants intact and nothing else,. We did that in East Stroudburg when we accidentally bought a house in the land of foreclosures. There actually is one more number that we have done once- Take A Bath Number, that one really sucks - the house isn't selling or you accidentally rent to own to the Freeloader who lives in your house til the sheriff comes to evict her. I still hope she is covered in boils and has hemorrhoids. Bastards.  This house was such a big project it took longer than expected which it feels like For-ev-ver.

And now David is winging his way to Long Island, or at least trying to. His mother, who is 94 this year fell and broke her hip about a month ago, she's been in rehab and was doing a bit better, but had a real set back earlier in the week. She is be a bit more stable, but David wanted to go see her so he finished up here and I dropped him off at the airport for a 4pm flight. Which got delayed due to thunderstorms so he sat in the plane for about two hours before it took off. Then when it arrived to Philly all the flights going to Islip had departed so he is stuck in Philadelphia for the night and then will depart in the morning. He'll be sleeping in the airport tonight as he has no idea where the hotels are or how to get there - American Airlines is not being very helpful.  He's a bit upset but what can you do? We'll just do what we always do, just roll along until it gets better. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Have a Happy Fourth!

Well, the Fourth is a bit of a dud around here - they cancelled a few firework shows on the radio because it's raining of course. There are lots of firework stands around here but I don't think they're as popular as they were when I was a kid. They were illegal on Long Island but everyone always had them because A) unless you were into heavy artillery or someone complained the police ignored you and B) there was always someone doing a road trip down to the Carolinas where they were legal. Whoever went brought enough for everyone so as soon as it got dark it was all Roman Candles and Whirly birds, strings of firecrackers and sparklers that burned your hands. For some reason I think we were given a lit cigarette to use to light the fuses - but this was all before things were dangerous and there were actual enforceable rules about children. We used to go down to the beach with relatives and friends - it was so exciting running in the sand with explosions and lights. But then they started actually enforcing the rules and it became frowned upon to allow children to set things off, so the fireworks were left to actual shows. 

We don't have too much in the way of fireworks being set off here - but enough to freak out Molly, she does not like it. At all. Last night we had some intermittent ones set off, Reuben went about his business which includes snuggling and trying to lick the cat - Molly was having none of it. She started pacing and panting, crying and trying to hide. When we went out for our last walk of the night she had her tail tucked the whole time - it was a short walk. We do not let the dogs sleep in the bed with us because, well quite frankly, they're annoying. They step on you, they lick your ears in an attempt to see if you'd like to get up and feed them, etc.. They sleep on a gigantic dog bed with blankets and a gate in front of our bedroom door - if they cannot see us we are presumably dead. Or eating cheese without them. Molly was inconsolable - I finally got up around 11 and schlepped down to the guest room and made the bed down there. Bob the cat joined me, Reuben came down to hop around and run off, Vincent peeked at me, decided there were no cat treats, bit me and left - not conducive to sleep. 

Molly came to stand by the bed and cry. She got in. She got out. She got in the closet and tangled up with the vacuum which required me to extricate her. She got back in the bed. Out. In the closet, out of the closet. In the tub where she attempted to dig a hole down to the basement. After ten minutes of listening to dog claws on porcelain I was like ARRGGHH and she ran up and down the stairs. At some point I passed out from sheer exhaustion and woke up with her plastered to my side - but asleep. Then she left, Reuben stopped by to jump on me a few times. Vincent came in around 3? 4? Who the hell knows. He bumped with his head, bit my nose and then paraded around the living room meowing until I got up so he could snub breakfast and go out. Bob darted out too because that's what she does. If you open a door she shoots out like an escapee from Alcatraz. Cripes, I'm tired just reading about this. Hopefully it will be a quieter night tonight. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Clean Up

We have lived in this house for over  5 years now - 5 years, count 'em. We've recently been discussing our stuff - and not the lack of it. Why is it when you finally land in one spot you feel the need to accumulate way more things than you could ever use? The knee jerk reaction of course is to start getting rid of it, but past experience has shown both of us that is not the way to handle it. Because it's like moving  - when you first start packing up your stuff everything is carefully wrapped to prevent breakage, all your cardboard boxes are neatly taped and labeled, sorted by room or person. After about a week, it's a free for all, the moving van is here, you have no time left and you find yourself just stuffing and flinging things in what ever is empty and can hold stuff - laundry baskets, trash cans, trash bags. You pack it all and arrive at your new destination.....surrounded by all the crap you really didn't want which goes back into the attic, basement and garage. After you move a few times you shed all the crap and you move with efficiency, you have what you need, no more , no less.

But when you stop moving, you start collecting again - we are not even near making it to the Discovery Channel level of hoarding, we're not even hoarding. But we have stuff - I have a ton of Cd's that have been untouched since I now have YouTube and Bluetooth. I have an ereader which eliminated a lot of the books, those have been pared down already to ones I just love or knitting and cookbooks. I weeded through my clothes when I took out the summer stuff and got rid of a lot of that, shoes are not an issue as they are a favorite target for vengeance from the dog. But the other stuff - the basement, garage and attic stuff, it has to go. 

But if you try to do it all at once you're pretty quickly reduced to just tossing it all out at once. I do it one section at a time, I've reduced my Cd's to 4 shoebox size bins and gotten rid of one large plastic bin. After I do this eventually I'll go through it again, I've found in the past if you go through it twice you can rid of what you really don't want anymore with out pitching the whole lot out, kit and caboodle. Because we've done that and six months later you're back down at the store re-buying it because you do use it once in awhile. The boys still have some stuff here, we will be donating some old clothes of theirs that they don't even remember having, the rest can stay til they collect it or we go to the nursing home. And there's things I will never get rid of , my collection of National Lampoon (and no, it's not worth a dime, my friends and I read them to shreds),  my ceramic animal collection, a few odds and ends from childhood, but not much. But as I get older with the  exception of knitting stuff and my cooking pots I am done with the decorations and stuff, I just can't be bothered.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Rescue Me.

We always have two dogs and two cats - no matter how we try to "downsize" a replacement always seems to find it's way home when one passes on. I'm a big fan of rescue animals as you all know - not to say I have anything against breeders, at least responsible ones. Since we always have a Vizsla we do buy puppies - but the breeders we deal with are very good - one litter at a time, they are careful who they sell to and the dogs and puppies are kept in the house, not in pens or wire cages. When we bought Reuben we had to pass the breeder's requirements before being allowed to buy him with papers signed that the dog would go back to him if we decided we could not keep him. THAT is what you want if you decide to get into a breed. Molly came from a breeder too - the bad kind. The kind that over breeds, has no standards and all the dogs were kept in a wire pen, no shade, no shelter, trash to sleep in, not enough food or water.  Both of our cats were throw-aways, the owners just dumped them and left them to fend for themselves.

Molly was fostered after she - and seven others were removed - by a rescue club for Vizslas that included the breeder we got Reuben from. People will sometimes tell me they'd like to adopt a rescue but don't want an adult cat or dog as it will be hard to adjust it into the family or they need to train it a certain way.  Having a rescue is just like adding a puppy or kitten. Molly had to adjust to our household and the first month was rough - for everyone, but it's like that with a puppy isn't it? But you get just as much joy - if not more, watching this timid, lost dog find her own way. Every thing is a step forward for her, from walking in the park to chasing squirrels, in the 3 years we've owned her she has become a playful, energetic bratty dog. There are some things we will never fix, she will power down any food left unattended - and all of it. She will eat any vermin she finds and she gulps it down FAST, will most likely always  be afraid of those she does not know and it will never be a walk in the park for her if there is a crowd. But she loves people (one or two at a time please) and Reuben is a perfect match for her - I've often said we've never had two dogs as well suited or as close to each other as these two.

The cats are the same - both were rescued as adults and after an adjustment period of about a month or two there are no issues. Sometimes I think people just don't give it enough time - the pets that are returned it's usually within a few days. Can you imagine if I dropped YOU off in a country where you didn't know anyone or even speak the language and then declared you a failure after a week because you didn't fit in? I know someone who's adopted dog was returned to the shelter 3 times because it was fearful - of course it was! Who wouldn't be? They've owned the dog now for over 2 years and it is a friendly things, waggly tail and all. Molly took about 3 months before she (and us) were really comfortable with each other and now it's 3 years down the road and I can't imagine life without her. I do love puppies and kittens, but they are only little for a couple of weeks, aren't they? So you might want to consider an adult pet - you'll be doing yourself and them a favor.