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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FaceBook 101

A friend of mine had been struggling with the Facebook question we all hit at some point - it is worth it? It's a great way to keep in touch with everyone, express your views, post pictures, etc... but the flip side is the trolls, the nasty comments, the out of control debates. One of the things if you look at my face book page is there might be some things there that will upset some people, but for the most part it dogs, pictures, babies and what ever I find  I find funny. I used to get into it with people, but no more.

I'm a huge Pro-choice, feminist, Trump hater and I am entitled to my opinion including the one where I think yours is stupid and misguided. I do NOT have the right to bring that to your attention. Either you know it already or you think my view is stupid and misguided. You do not have to address everything that comes up on Face book and before you do - what is the reaction going to be? If I post that pro-life people tend to have lower educations and lower incomes what will happen? Chances are good it will be return fire until someone is incinerated. Not to say you can't have a healthy debate, but as soon as it moves out that range it needs to stop. I was debating that subject with an old friend when someone jumped in to "defend' me with some very inflammatory statements. I called bullshit and changed the subject and made some people step down. In other words you don't always have to say anything, it is just an opinion.

My page includes 97% people I know in real life, my circle is small. If you offend me you gett jettisoned back to Facebook Land and it happens fast. I pick and choose like I do with everyone else in my life. I was friended by a former co-worker but after looking at her gay hating, Pro -life, woman hating neo nazi leanings I very nicely messaged her to let her know maybe we should not be friends which she agreed to.  My view is I have enough stress in my life with out adding it,especially from someone I dont know. So if you can read an opiinon different then yours and move on, if you can just quietly unfriend the really offensive ones (out of sight out of mind) you'll probably enjoy it much more 

Sticks and Stones

A few weeks ago I got a very surprising phone call from one of the committee members of the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival - they had seen my shawl at the Waynesburg Fiber Arts and asked if I'd like to teach a class. For those of you that don't knit this is the equivalent of being asked to give a speech at Harvard. I really went back and forth about this because I've never even been to a knitting class, let alone teaching one! I met with one of the committee members for an interview and she wasn't worried about that, she said just from our talk she felt I was a good fit and thought I should teach two classes at least. I have to say I was pretty proud of myself. Of course there's a form to fill out fill out as to what I'm going to teach (we had decided circular shawl knitting as that really is my forte!) and as I was going over it I realized I needed a more firm plan than my usual winging it.  I had my knitting group last night and decided to go a little early to the yarn shop I frequent nearby where we knit. After a long day of packing and scrubbing out closets and cabinets I certainly needed the break. 
The owner was there and I've known her for awhile - I told her I had been asked to teach at the festival and was thinking of taking a class at her shop to get an idea of what I needed to do. She also gives private lessons and I asked if she would be willing to teach me, well, how to teach. She thought for a minute and then said "no, that would be too much work for me" and then proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms that she felt I was completely unqualified in about 20 different ways! OUCH! Did not see that coming! I'm sure on some level she was attempting to be helpful and she did have a point that I'm going straight to the big time without any practice. But I reminded her they had approached me - not the other way around. And even then, she was sort of Oh Well, Do What You Want. It was not the reception I thought I would get and it was quite the anti-pep talk. Good thing for my knitting group. 

When I got there I relayed what had happened and now I was not so sure I wanted to do it anymore. My friends of course rallied and then it was a good thing - there's a lot I had not thought of and am now more carefully considering my approach. I hadn't thought that it is only a 2 or 3 hour class so the pattern should be something teachable, but not too ambitious as it will have to finished at home. That people fairly new to knitting will take the class regardless of their experience level and since it is a money making operation it will most likely not be a small class. My friend Mary said after I get settled with moving she will take me up to the yarn shop in Ligonier, the shop owner has taught for years and will be willing to help me out. And my knitting group is planning on taking my class so there will some friendly faces (and extra helping hands) if I need them. And then I did consider (around 1 am this morning, in the dark with plenty of time on my hands) what if I do bomb? What if I get asked questions that I can't answer? What if someone stands up and yells Go Home You Big Goober! You know what - I won't die. I might want to for a few minutes, but I won't. Even if everyone asks for all their money back, I never get asked again, people throw acrylic yarn at me...... I will have at least tried it. And that's the other side of it, isn't it? The worst thing in life is all the could have beens. The things we were too scared to do and then have to wonder, what if I had done it? The regret of a lost opportunity. So from here on in we only go forward. If I fail, at least I tried. If I succeed, well, haha on you. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Time To Get Busy

So, I ended up working this weekend which in the greater scheme of things is not that awful. When I worked in the hospital I worked every other weekend, as a visit nurse there were often stretches where I worked EVERY weekend so now, once in awhile is nothing to complain about. Except for when you're trying to move and overtime you get started something happens. I took off part of today and will be off for a couple of days this week as we are really getting down to the wire. Buuuttt....... the problem with taking off a couple of days is my head knows it is to get working on packing and cleaning, etc....... but the rest of me knows


and therein lies the problem. So far I have: gone to Sam's Club, took a bunch of pictures, finished my book and played with the dogs. A lot. You might notice there is no packing or cleaning happening yet. I am also planning on Laying Around a little and will be going to my knitting group tomorrow despite it being a bit of a drive from home. But I will be spending part of tomorrow doing what I said I would and then Wednesday it will be most of the day. David is up to spackling, we have running water in the kitchen and (one)bathroom sink and hopefully by next week we'll have enough space carved out to move into the house. Actually we will HAVE to have enough space to move out unless the new people are going to be OK with us in the guest room for a bit. Worst comes to worst we can camp in the living room for a bit - it won't be our first experience Glamping!!

And we've made more progress than we think we have - if you open most of the closets around here they are getting pretty bare. David donatd another load of bins and we have the attic stuff down to almost reasonable. And really, between the two days off this week and then the weekend I have enough time to get from here to there. The fence is up for the dogs and Bob will be an indoor cat for awhile until I'm not scared to lose her. I suppose I could put a collar on her, but I just can't bring myself to do it since she still bears the scars from the collar I had to pry off her when we first got her. Her last owner apparently thought the collar from when she was little would be fine for life. But enough of that angry talk - as much work as this is I'm really excited about the whole thing, we just have to get through the next two weeks

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Recing The Clock.

So, as I've said before - until we actually close it is not a done deal. We've had things go south on the day of closing - you get upset, then you move on. But as it stands now we are - 12 and counting it down. We had thought it would take at least a couple of months to sell figuring we'd be out around October or so, we would budget the renovation and by then we'd be in good shape. The house sold in less than 6 days so we're pushing it. David has been non-stop complaining about all the things we have but really, if you pulled every item you own out of the closets, the drawers, the attic - it would look huge too. We also had a large amount of things from the boys who to be fair, neither are in any position to come get it. Both were called and we agreed on what would be kept - but a huge amount is donated and thrown out. The piles of VHS tapes, old clothes, gaming manuals, manga books - out, out out. 

I've sorted through so much the past week my head just spins - if you gave me a box of The Crown Jewels I'd probably just dump them off at Goodwill at this point. It's hard because you don't want to get rid of something precious or irreplaceable, but on the other hand it's been boxed up in the cellar for 15 years so it can't be that precious, can it? We're taking most of our furniture with the exception of our bedroom as we don't really have that much and most of it is either fairly new or in good condition. David continues to work on the house and today I went over to put away a lot of the kitchen stuff  This would have been easier if someone had put the shelves in that he promised so I ended up annoying the turkeys and taking pictures for part of the day. 

I'm taking off a couple of days next week so we can actually get in the house. At this point we have Internet, water, washer and drying, stove fridge and a toilet, it will be a bit rough but we've stayed in worse. David will be finishing the house over the next few months, at this point it's a little hard to keep focused on the fact that the kitchen, main bathroom and bedroom HAVE to be fairly done and functional. The stove top needs a few more parts so we maybe hot plating it for a couple of weeks, but all in all it will be OK. And we're both looking forward to our new adventure.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Best Laid Plans

So, we were going to get a lot done - David was going over to the Mather house, I was finishing up packing the upstairs so we can officially start moving next weekend. I took Molly&Reuben out to the woods for thier morning constitutional, book in hand to read. While we were out I started doing a little clearing, the rain has overgrown everything and I want the new people to see where the paths are. Molly and Boo were there,then I heard them in the field next door,Boo giving a loud troublesome bark. I yelled at them, then screamed for them as I could tell the way Boo was barking he was getting worked up over something. This was all immediately followed by The Howl Of A Pretty Bad Decision with a little bit of You Might Need To Get Over Here Now. They came through the undergrowth with Molly pushing Reuben in the right direction as he could no longer see. His eyes were swelling and shut - as they came up to me the smell of skunk was....enveloping, overwhelming, all emcompassing, you take your pick of adjectives.

I had to lead Boo back to the house, he was trying to open his eyes and blink but the skunk had scored a direct hit - I'm sure his eyes felt like they were frying. I yelled for David as soon as we hit the house and he picked Boo up and got him in the tub. After about 5 minutes of pouring water over his face he was finally able to open his rather radiantly red eyes - ouch! We scrubbed both him and Molly the Alpha dog who was not smelling too swanky herself. At this point David decided to skip the house and I skipped the packing - we have to look for a kitchen floor and a new phone service as A T &T does not have service at the new house,but the neighbors have told us Verizon has a nearby tower and they get great service with them. We found a Verizon store and will be switching services in a week or so, we got a good quote and it hopefully will not be too painful (or expensive). We found a floor we like so David will be ordering that after he looks at a couple more. Before heading home we consulted  the Google Gods and found that you can use a saline eye wash on dogs so we picked that up in case Reuben was still having problems.We headed home after that......

Molly smelled fine (especially since this had been bath #2 -  she rolled in a stinky thing yesterday) and was sleeping off the benedryl (she also stuck her nose where it didn't belong and got stung for her trouble so her muzzle is a little swollen on one side. It makes her look sarcastic). Reuben however, STILL smelled. A lot. And was still blinking a lot. So he got sent back to the showers for yet another peroxide/baking soda/dish detergent soak followed by an oatmeal bath to sooth his now irritated skin. Another eye irrigation and he's now sleeping the sleep of the just. And the not stinky. As for our plans - I give up. David is off gossiping with the neighbor and I'm sitting on the couch blogging and getting ready to knit. There's always tomorrow I suppose.....

Saturday, August 5, 2017


I'm getting so tired of hearing about LGBTQ rights that need to be stripped -why? The bible thumpers use the bible for some weird type of "proof" but as I've pointed out before if you're going to be claiming that, you need to follow all the rules - and there's a LOT of them. You might need to take notes. However, that is not what we are discussing today. We are discussing what happens when you raise children with other people. All other people. One of my best friends in high school was (and still is)gay as is my sister and her wife, along with many co-workers through out the years. Women are equal to men in every way, woman in my family always work and it's expected.  My brother is law is african american, my younger son's best friend growing up was straight off the boat from Columbia, etc, etc....they grew up in a household that tried hard - to be as nondiscriminatory as possible. I'm not saying a racial slur has never crossed my lips - you can't say that either - but it was not a part of our household. 

Being a racist can be hard work, how do you send your children out into the world with all those rules about who they can talk to and who they can't? I'm a supporter (obviously) of gay rights and I was asked in the past what if my kids were gay? David and I had that discussion years ago and you know what - we don't really care. If they grew up happy and healthy (they did) we were fine with it. So, they did grow up - and because of the way they were raised - you know what?

They love thier aunts - both my sister and her wife - very much. They have friends of all races and all orientations, they are quick to defend. They have both traveled the world and are better men for it. Thier circles  are wide because everyone is included - they do better socially and in the job market because they have no restrictions or preconcieved notions about how people are supposed to act related to culture. And this is the way it should be - society evolves constantly to better itself, doesn't it? Why do people need to be judged so harshly for thier very existance? Looking back I'm happy we did such a great job raising two wonderful boys into men and sometimes If I find it hilarious that I raised a pair of pagans that are better Christians than Christians!
One of my favorite quotes I think says it best- 

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" - Gandhi

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cutting Corners

So, I'm currently sleeping a bit closer to the ground, as the house closing gets nearer, we are getting rid of things we're not taking. Our platform bed needs replacing so yesterday David took it apart, so the mattress is now on the floor and the dogs think it's a giant dog bed. My dresser is gone too for the next load to the dump, along with some other old and not fixable things. We'll do without until we find a suitable replacement, until the bedroom is done at the new house it's hard to figure out what we want- and what will fit. 

One of the things we've been doing is examining what we need as opposed to what we want. As we move closer to retirement age that is an ongoing discussion. Everything is not much, until you start adding it up as a monthly bill. We'll be keeping our vehicles awhile longer - my next car will not be a newer one. With all the driving I do any vehicle is trashed within 3 years (I've had this car 2 1/2 years that I bought with 2000 miles on it, as of yesterday it had 109,000). Since we seen to have good cell service at this new house we're trying out ditching our landline and just adding a 3rd phone. We've discovered that David's favorite toy -his watch phone -gets no reception out at the house, but my phone does - for 40 bucks I bought a cheap smart phone and $20 a month will add the line to our plan, done. The internet will be hooked up this week and it will JUST be wireless service. We're ditching the satallite, cable, etc TV. We've found that most of the time we watch either Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Our new internet service has something similar for 10 dollars a month so we're trying that out too. Our current satallite plan is over a hundred a month - it is not worth the 6 programs we watch a month on it!

After we get settled and the financial dust settles we are also going to be looking into solar panels - have you seen them lately? They're not the big,clunky panels of yesterday are they? There's so many alternate power sources out there, the start up can be a bit pricey but I think in the long run it will pay for itself. As we head to our sixties we're trying to figure out the rest of our lives - like most people we do not have a formalized retirement plan. We had many years we were living close to the bone and with all of our moving around I've never been any where long enough to do a company retirement. But I think that's most of us these days, no longer do you get that golden egg from the company when you retire and with so many places going bankrupt that's not even a guarantee. What we're really start to look into is low cost living, so if we do end up having to do it all on social security, we can. I had a patient years ago that her family had it all figured out as none of them could afford senior living or a nursng home. They all chipped in for a large house in an area that was affordable. When someone became of retirement age, they sold off and then moved into this house. The younger relatives took turns living in the downstairs apartment to do the shopping, driving,etc.. It worked beautifully. And I do think that's where we are heading in the future, back to the past where families took care of each other, not the nursing homes or assisted living. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Reading Program

I love to read - everyone that knows me, knows that. But I really love to read in the summer. I know a lot of that is due to the summer reading program my mother signed me up for every year at the library - and all of my friends were in it too. That really heralded the start of summer, it was different from school reading - you still had to read so many books but you could read what ever you wanted to. There was an official sheet for you to keep track, I can't remember if you had to read one book a week or a total before the end of the summer. You got a prize of course, a book mark or something and of course stickers to keep you going. So here I am, fifty years later with my nose still stuck in a book all the time!

I have an ereader now so instead of stacks of books for David to grumble about -  he now just has credit card charges to grumble about  - but he is relieved not to have a room full anymore. It does fascinate me though that if you took all my ebooks you could easily fill a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves and still not have enough room. My summer reading is fairly eclectic - ghosts, witches,murder mysteries, Debbie Macomber - a little (she's usually reserved for winter, curled up on the couch reading though). All of my books are usually adventuresome, some are re-reads (I will never stop reading A Wrinkle In Time -ever!), I just love to read. I have to say one of the biggest things I'll miss about our property is all of my reading spots. I have old wooden chairs throughout our woods to sit and read. It is wonderful - the dogs snort and snuffle in the underbrush, I can sit and read. I have some spots in the sun for the chillier days, others are under a thick,green canopy of leaves to keep me cool. 

There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting under a tree during the summer and reading the afternoon away. And I do spend a lot of time outside reading - I figure I might as well, the dogs get their exercise and I get to relax, what more can you want? I already have a spot picked out on our new property but it will take some doing I think. The dogs will not be familiar with it and I don't know where the neighbor's property line is - where we are now the dogs have a general idea of how far they can go before I call them back. But we'll also have a big back porch to sit on so that will be my back up. And we are hopefully going to be at the new house in a couple of weeks - I can't wait for our new adventure to begin! Have reader, will travel!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It Does Not Pay To Get Sick

All this talk of eliminating Obama care, stripping Medicare, etc... arrgh! What they really need to do is just cancel ALL the insurance and have a do - over. Obama care, expanding medicaid, etc.. had good intentions, to cover the working poor and those that can't afford it - having been poor and uninsured I completely get it. Nothing more fun than having a suspicious lump and no insurance. Or a baby that might have hip problems and you make too much for Medicaid - and too little to buy insurance. And yes, that WAS us, so many years ago and I fully remember the sleepless nights and the absolute terror at times.  I remember working in the ER and a resident showing a woman a scan of her pneumonia racked lungs, she was crying and sobbing because being admitted most likely meant having no home to go back to. She had worked until she could not stand or breath hoping against hope that it would somehow, magically disappear (spoiler alert - it never does)           

So we did get insurance when I became a nurse's aide and it was novel that when you got sick you just ....went. you did not wait to see what happened, you saw the doctor and so did your kids. I always regret that I was not able to get my older son braces because we were too poor - we could barely afford the dentist back then.. So, we had quite a few good years with insurance but the past couple of years? Not so much. David carries his own insurance and it's a Blue Cross policy - when he first got it years ago it had a co-pay of about $30 bucks - not bad. He recently went for a cortisone shot with a co-pay of 40 0r $50 - but now they've added something else. They calculate your deductible in and you have to pay "your portion" - his portion was to the tune of $220, plus the co-pay so the insurance actually paid about 50 dollars - maybe. This on a policy that runs over $500 a month for a man that never gets sick. My dental insurance just paid - and I kid you not - FIVE DOLLARS on a filling after my "adjusted" amount (I paid the other half of $45) 

My previous glaucoma appointment I paid about $300 "towards" the elusive deductible , I'm not sure how much more preventative care I can afford. The problem is I have to keep going to prevent being blind, I can't see that there's much choice in it. But we get hit all over- a friend told me she had her "free" mammogram - most insurances include a yearly well visit. The tech thought she saw something so they did a follow up sonogram- which made the mammogram a diagnostic test (as per our insurance) and it was instantly not covered to the tune of over 600 dollars. So now do I get one? If they find something do I just tell them to stop to see if I can afford it or not? Our insurance just gets suckier every year and I know it's not just me - it's everyone. Obama made a mess, Trump has turned it into a free for all and here I am, wondering whether I really want to schedule a well physical or not.  I'm not in bad shape, I could stand to lose about 20 (5) pounds or so but my blood pressure is great, my glaucoma is well under control, I have no cardiac, respiratory or diabetic issues. I take 4 pills a day, a vitamin, calcium because the doctor thought it was good idea, a B12 because  a motivational speaker said we should (this is true!!) and an 81 mg aspirin for my genetic clotting disorder. B 12 is also supposed to have very magical powers.I exercise, don't eat meat, very little dairy and sugar, no bread - and I'm still afraid of seeing the doctor. I think after Trump is out of office (or someone gets lucky and wings him, just enough to retire him back to TV) we just need to cancel all the policies and look to the countries that have health care models that work- for EVERYONE.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Packing It In.

I continue to with my packing - I'm concentrating on the kitchen as that will be one of the first rooms finished and we'll be able to ferry everything over and just put it away. We are about 3 and a half weeks until we close if everything continues to go well so I am packing but trying not to pack what we're actually using. I've already  unpacked one box looking for a specific baking dish (found it) and was scouring the kitchen this morning looking for containers (didn't find it). On Sundays I make things ahead of time that take awhile to make - anything boiled, baked, etc... that way during the week we always have time for a decent dinner. I ended up doing a lot of shuffling!! and getting the fridge cleaned out in the process. I'm also going through the root cellar which we use as an attic in the basement - that is a chore and a half.

I keep running across old pictures, which I of course have to look at - and my year books. I had previously found my 10th grade year book  a couple of years ago and  and spent days happily posting pictures of my former classmates. Due to Facebook I can share them, I still in contact with quite a few people I went to school with. I grew up in a fairly small town where the locals (back then) didn't move so the people  I started kindergarten with I graduated with. Most of our parents had also gone to school together so you knew each other one way or another. This time around  I found my 11th grade book and some old wedding pictures - and posted away. I've never had anyone take it down or get upset - I think we like to see pictures of high school - when we're not in it! I found people's senior quotes and pictures, friends together, fun stuff. Everyone had a lot of fun with it and I'm sure a lot of kids are interested to see what their parents looked like back then.  But I digress. 
I am still sorting, trying not to throw out things that are important to my boys,but wow, there is a lot of stuff. But I'll get through it - and then onto to the second half - the UNpacking!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Someone recently posted an article about a woman in an Asian country that had 18 abortions in order to give her husband a son - it was supposed to be anti-abortion propaganda. I immediately unfriended this person - and I remain beyond disgusted as this party touts themselves as deeply religious and humanitarian. I did not unfriend because of the anti-abortion stance - every one's entitled to their opinion. I did because I do not need to see such a hateful, misogynist person - someone who hides behind "god's word" to justify  their finger pointing at someone, who obviously does not need one more finger pointed at them. If you really understood this article you would understand this woman is living in a culture where the female population is not valued - her husband was obviously in support of her killing the unwanted female fetuses and most likely is the one that pressured her into it. 

In the documentary "It's a Girl" they interview a woman from India who is not only hiding from her husband - but her mother in law as well.  When they discovered she was pregnant with twin girls both demanded she abort - when she refused they attacked her, actually pushing her down the stairs and her ending up hospitalized. She and both of her daughters survived, but she was divorced and still hiding - where is your outrage at that?? Or the fact that most of these abortions are female - that woman are pushed and bullied into aborting their daughters - does your "religious values" not cover this? Female genital mutilation, that ISIS regularly kidnaps and rapes women with the intention of impregnating them, all crimes against women and ALL you're concerned about is no one has an abortion?? Seriously?

There are now reports that the abortion rates are starting to rise and it's a direct result of the religious right that is fighting to close Planned Parenthood. keep people from having abortions we take away their birth control and then we - guess what! - punish women for getting pregnant. Because that seems to be the real agenda here, for all their yammering about no more free birth control and no more abortions you sure don't hear too much about the men that made them pregnant, do you? Not a peep! When Brock Turner raped that poor young woman you certainly didn't see anything posted by Miss Morals, when ISIS kidnapped and raped all of those school girls, not a peep - nothing. You should be ashamed of yourself, truly. As I've said before and I'll say it again, people like this are one more reason to not believe in a god. And I'll say this again - if you're really pro-life - support legislature that jails and punishes dead beat dads, adopt a child, support Planned Parenthood, teach your daughters and sons about being responsible and using birth control, push for better laws to incarcerate rapists and other sex offenders. If you wish to be just "pro-birth", well, you can just go to hell. And I'll be more than happy to give you a push in the right direction. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

More Or Less

I've been buying clothes for my granddaughters since they've been born- I probably send a box every 6 weeks or so. Shoes, pants, socks - you name it. One of the reasons I do it is clothing here is weirdly inexpensive so the $20 dollar Carters pjs are only $5 - or less - here. I like to feel like I'm helping since I can't be there physically, I feel a little bit more involved. But the other part of it - is the thrill of the chase. I LOVE a good bargain and will brag on it endlessly. I bought two pairs of toddler boots originally priced at $28 a pair - I got both for $13. Pants? Three bucks a piece, 7 onsies for 6 dollars....winter coats, 6.99 apiece.

Part of this is just me, I've always shopped the outlets and sales, I know where all the bargin bins are. When I first started with Bayada as a clincial manager back in the Poconos I didn't have any office wear - not a  problem. My friend Liz came up and we hit the Cold Water Creek outlet's clearance rack - I got my first wardrobe for under $30. I tried on everything that even looked remotedly ok, Liz turned it all inside out to make sure the irregulars were fixable.  And most things ARE fixable or actually not a problem. Our current dining room set was originally $700, we got it for $75 because of a "missing part". We discovered the missing part was a seat from one of the 8 chairs, whatever! We have happily lived without the 8th chair for a few years now.

I'm constantly sifting through the clearance racks, whether it's in Home Depot or Old Navy - why pay $1300 for a perfect vanity when you can pay $300 for one with a little ding in the corner? I guess part of what makes me sucessful is I'm willing to put up with a little imperfection - I don't have  to have the perfect stove  - a little ding in the back isn't going to hurt anyone. We stock pile too - I've been buying winter  and fall clothes for the girls, it will fit them in the fall. We just bought a sink and vanity from Lowes this morning, originally $200, we paid $25. Granted, the top may not be fixable, but the rest of it is fine -we can get a sink that fits for about $35 which pushes us up to what, $60? Still $140 less than we would have paid for a perfect one. So, I guess my advice to those who want to save money - you need to look, you can buy ahead and stop being so picky! Perfect only lasts about a week if you think about it, the day you wear, plug in, use, etc... you make it imperfect. But if you got at 80% off, you'll feel like it's not such a big deal, after all you didn't pay that much for it, did you?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Final Resting Place

So, the question I've been asked the most since we bought this house in Mather is......
Are you going to stay there?

We have moved quite a few time since we left Long Island so many years ago, this present house is the longest stretch so far - a little over 6 years. In that time we have lost 4 cats and 1 dog.We've gained another cat and another dog. I've changed jobs three times including the year long stint as a visit nurse to satisfy my noncompete clause. David has renovated about 7 houses or more- we always forget one. My older son has left the navy, moved home and then out again, moved, and moved again. My younger son has been deployed, returned, married, has two daughters and currently parks his shoes all the way across the country. I entered my50s.

We've made friends and lost friends, I've knitted countless items. I got a car. Time just keeps rolling and rolling, doesn't it? We're currently packing and sorting, the potential buyers asked if they could show the house to their parents on Sunday night so we had to vamoose for a couple of hours. We hung out in the Mather house, David has penned in the back yard so the Terrible Two were out exploring the yard, I sat on the backporch on the cement steps and read the end of my book. The deer came up to the pen and started snorting and stomping in challenge to Boobins. Apparently ownership of the crabapples trees is being established (they're right outside of the ence line)and it not Boobins job to own them.Rueben gave them What For right back by pointing at them ALOT and giving them his best hairy eyeball. Right now the house does not seem real, the walls are torn out, the kitchen cabinets are piled in the middle of the floor, it's hot and sweaty and damp. But I look at the picture that was left of the house and her owner - it will be that soon. With updates and our touches of course, but it is already coming alive and the neighborhood is waiting 

So, will this be our final resting place? I think so - but I thought that about this place. In the end it doesn't matter - because it will be restored. Just like all the other homes we've touched. Neighborhoods love to see David coming because that eyesore on the corner, that dilapidated house that's fallen into disgrace - it comes back. The house we sold recently that had been neglected and falling apart is now a home to someone. And when people buy our houses they get excited, you can see when they look they don't see a renovated house, they see thier home. They walk through and see a couch, curtains, cooking dinner with the patio doors wide open. So in answer to your question - maybe we will stay - or maybe not. But it doesn't matter because if we don't, someone else will get to come home - and we will get to come home again too. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017


So, we have started packing - who saw that coming? Not me, not by a long shot. And some days I actually think about it and think I'm a little crazy. I'll be moving out of my two story, air conditioned landscaped home to.... a gutted disaster with a fan and waist high weeds. There's water in the basement and deer in the barn, scary wiring and hornet nests. And yet - I'm excited. There are a lot of issues of course, we'll need french drains and the kitchen is not going in as smoothly as David had hoped, but this house has so many possibilities. Going there is exploration at best, I have not gotten through the horse pen yet, but I have made it to the back of property. David has already gotten the kitchen Sheetrock and the addition started, we should be glamping by July

I had worked last weekend so I took Friday off - David was at the house so I started sorting and packing. As I've said in the past if you know you're moving and you have time to sort through things that's both good and bad. Good because you can get rid of things you don't use, bad because you can get so overwhelmed you just start getting rid of things that your really shouldn't, I have a lot of knitting books and yarn that I've collected over the years so I had gone through it once, then again and it's actually down to sort of reasonable.  Since we still have at least a month here I'm trying to get carried away, I packed half the kitchen. The other thing is we can start moving things over there and bringing back the bins to reuse. David already has the dog pen up and both Molly and Reuben have been to the new digs. Bob will have to stay in for at least a month or so til she's acclimated to her new home, but I don't see an issue. She's been very clingy with Vincent gone lately - it's so sad. I can see she's upset and looking for him a bit - it will take time because I catch myself looking for him too.

I don't know if we'll get another cat or not - but usually what happens is one eventually shows up so I'll just let the fates decide. We are slowing down buying things for the new house, we are in a holding pattern at this point as we have more money out than in, but hopefully in 7 weeks that will change. The buyers are coming to the house tomorrow early evening to show it to their parents with Thieu agent so we  will have to vamoose for an hour or so. But we have the dog pen up and the water turned on so it won't be that bad. Hopefully this doesn't get too interesting!!

Friday, June 30, 2017

An Accidental Experiment

A few weeks ago on a holiday weekend, we lost our internet on Friday, after 5 of course. We did what everyone does - shut it off, unplug, reset, reboot, shut it off again, again again. Nothing. Most frustrating was it would say connected, but no internet - that didn't even make sense!! We called and sat through a bit of Musak and of course the tech person wanted us to shut it off, unplug, reboot... they checked it from their end - nothing. So then they did the unthinkable and scheduled us for a service visit- for Wednesday. Of next week. Five days and no amount of cajoling and whining changed that. That we are good customers that pay our bill on time, we had never had a service call - even pulling out the pediatric nurse that NEEDS internet card did nothing. 

I could still do a little facebook and check my email from my phone, but after having an 18 inch tablet to dork around on, my wee little phone screen sucked. The thing is, even 5 or 6 years ago I would have been annoyed, but not SOL. Because things have changed. Alexa would no longer talk to me and sat silent on my dresser. No news brief, no weather report, No Rock Lobsters or Love Shacks to get dressed to in the morning. Her little pal Dot down in the kitchen just sat like a lump and was no fun. I could still watch TV - but satellite, no Netflix or Hulu. The Great British Baking Show was dead to me, no Archer, no movies that I like. The internet on my phone was even a bit sketchy, coming and going as it pleased like a morose teenager. Isn't it weird how we don't notice how much our day relies on it til it's gone? I could still knit of course watching Stinky Ass TV and read - but I hadn't downloaded my new books yet so they remained drifting in the morass while I sifted through what I did have and did find a few things to read. We did find other things to do, watched The Classic Movie Channel in the morning instead of surfing, read in the evening, used the music channels on our Dish TV. But it not as much fun, it was more work and it was sort of boring. 

The service person showed up a day early which would have been super had we known they were going to be here a day early - no one was home of course.But he did leave a filter and instructions on how to hook it up and Eureka!! We were back on the grid, Alexa and Dot started singing Take On Me and playing Lie Swatter.David was back to looking at the market place on Facebook (his new obsession and yes, we have already gotten stuff from it, that's where the six foot windows in our new sun room came from) and I quickie downloaded my new books just in case. We did not learn anything from this adventure, it did not open our eyes- just sort of annoyed everyone. We are internet people, no shame in that. We do know how to get along without it, but I also know how to get along without coffee. I CAN,but who wants to?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Life Well Lived

We had to put our Vincent to sleep today. A couple of days ago we came home to find him staggering a little, looking down and distressed. He was eating, so we put him to bed with us hoping he would get past it. The next day he went out, but hid under the deck and would not come out. He slept with us again, but did not move during the night. Today David took him to the vet and it was not fixable - he stayed with him and held him - Vincent passed peacefully with someone that loved him holding him - what more can you ask?

I'm sad, but because I miss him, not because of our decision. Vincent arrived on our front door step almost 15 years ago, about 2 or 3years old,starving and abandoned - his wounds were terrible. We had a wonderful, old school vet who worked on him after we agreed he would have a home with us and only charged us $64. Vincent spent the next few weeks recovering on our couch, so weak and in pain we carried him until he regained his strength. I would carry him in the laundry basket while I did stuff in the house with him peeping over the edge at everything around him. When he got well enough to climb the stairs he would come up in the middle of the night makng a lot of noise and drama and would park himself right between us, purring like a steam engine and marching around until he got yelled at and stuffed under the covers. He was Jackson's cat, how he loved him. Everywhere Jackson went so did Vincent, he would park himself everytime Jackson did. It took a long time for him to get used to Jackson being gone after his boy joined the Navy - but he did. He moved from house to house with us, he never strayed, was always home at night for dinner. From the day we picked him up off our porch he never suffered again, he was always fed, loved like he deserved, his life was sunshine and cat treats. When he took a turn for the worse the other night, we had him between us and it reminded me so much of when we first got him and he was finally recovered - the cold winter stars outside and Vincent happily purring, snuggled deep in the covers - just so glad to be there, it remains one of my favorite and fondest memories. And then I thought the other night - here we are again, Vincent between us. But he was not snuggling or purring, he was tucked up and leaving me. But as sad as that makes me - it's ok.  I am so glad we found him before it was too late  - I hope tonight he is with my Pearl, eating whatever he wants and running the Elysian fields til I get there. I miss you friend. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shuffling Shuffling

So for Mother's day this year I got to do laundry and clean out the basement. Adam did call and I got a nice gift from Brandi and Jackson, but other than that it's a bit ho-hum around here. According to David I'm not his mother and that's that. Oh well. So - we are (hoping) to get started on shuffling all the real estate around soon. We are still wanting  to close earlier but so far no amount of wailing and emailing has moved the date. The buyer for our flip is ready and so are we! but you know how lawyers go. I asked David if he thought she could be bought by a pair of handmade socks but he didn't think so - so we wait.

The game plan is as soon as we close we can start ferrying the small stuff over to declutter the house - not that it's that cluttered mind you but books need to be off the shelves, pictures down, counters cleared. It needs to look like someone can live there - not lived in. I have half of my knitting stuff boxed up, after that goes the other half will follow. Today I did the root cellar in the basement where we put a lot of our  attic-y things, Jackson and Adam still have stuff here. But Jackson is clear across the country and in the Navy, Adam is apartment living in New Orleans. I did weed it down (the real junky junk went) the rest we will slog over to the new house for now. All told it's about 10 small to medium boxes so it's fine. I have to say it's so much easier when we do it a little at a time as opposed when we've had to pack up all at once

When you do that you start off really good - sorting, carefully wrapping and packing, labeling each box clearly. Halfway through - it's every man for himself. You just start flinging stuff in a box and taping it shut like your latest murder victim is in there - you arrive at your destination with a pile of boxes marked "CRAP" in big psychotically angry letters. You can't find any household stuff - the mops, the shower curtains, the cleaning supplies are all gone. Then you remember you threw them all out because you can buy them when you get there - which is how you end up exhaustively flinging stuff in a cart at Walmarts and the bill tallies up to What! because you didn't realize how much it would cost to replace it. Yeah - not my first rodeo. So we are trying to do a bit a couple of times a week and offloading the things we are really not keeping - my dresser with the drawers that fall out , the lamp that doesn't work but we keep hoping the Magical Thinking will work and fix it, on and on. But all I can think is - it will be nice to be done.