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Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Ah, sleep. Remember when you were little and you would fight like a demon to stay awake? Reading by flashlight? In the summer we stayed up all night - our parents gave up. Our bedroom windows faced the neighbor's windows, The Palominos. On warm summer nights we would spend evenings hanging out the windows chatting about everything and being silly, getting occasionally shushed but we would talk til we passed out. Make us go to bed? Never!

And here I am as an adult stuck in the no man's land. I welcome sleep most nights, nothing quite as joyous as pulling up the covers and drifting off. Only to be awakened at 10. At 1. Often 3:30am finds me reading - thank goodness for my ereader which is the space age version of my old dependable flashlight I suppose. What keeps me up? Arthritis in my neck - there is nothing quite so invigorating as severe pain from lying in the wrong position, or a few spasms will make you come alive. My neck is the worst, I'm sure exacerbated by the 800 or more miles I drive each week, followed by my shoulder and knees. And then of course there's my old friend

Screaming Anxiety or as I've always thought of her, the 2 AM Girl. She shows up in the middle of the night as you're sleeping hard and cheerfully whispers such gems as "I HOPE YOU DON'T LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY AND DIE POOR".  or "DO YOU THINK YOUR KIDS ARE ALRIGHT? YOU HAVEN'T HEARD FROM THEM IN AWHILE" sometimes she paralyzes me, I can actually feel my anxiety tightening, It's very delightful. Of course when dawn comes her power fades and I realize how silly my worries - that seemed so overpowering in the middle of the night - are only small things. And sometimes I just cannot sleep. And I hate that, watching the clock, saying each hour, three more hours til I have to get up. two more hours til I have to get up.....ah well. Goodnight. I hope.

Monday, August 28, 2017


You would think that as many times as we've done this it would not be  a big deal. But sleep was hard to come by last night, all the what ifs and what will we do came to the forefront keeping me tossing and turning. With not enough sleep and too much stress I headed to the closing, we got there a bit early, but not a lot. We did the closing at the house due to the request of the buyer - a very nice young man in the military who arrived in a large pick up truck with a very large German Shepard. The person doing the closing arrived after him and made the comment as she was going in that she hoped we had gotten the message to leave some chairs and a table, we certainly wouldn't want to do the closing with everyone leaning on the kitchen counters would we! Hmm.
So we did the closing leaning on the kitchen counters after a bit of commentary and the fact that we completely cleaned out the house. The buyer did the walk through while we signed - we've done this so many times we know to wait until the closer shows us where to sign, initial, date, etc... before putting pen to paper. I could tell she appreciated that too. After we got done it was the buyer's turn to start signing, and signing, and signing. He had a pad of paper with him and then he started asking a million questions, were the septic tank was, who were the utilities, did we know anyone who could mow the grass until he got a mower? His mother in law showed up before we were done - she had not had the tour yet.But she went back to wait til everyone left. I had a visit to do this afternoon, we had to get phones, David had to deposit the check, the never ending day.

So now, it's back to work for me tomorrow, I wish I'd taken off a few a days because honestly, I'm exhausted. David is working to get the house done, it will be about  3 or 4 months before he can start to look for another house to flip. Everyone is adjusting, the cat has snuck out numerous times, we let her stay out for a few minutes and then cart her squawking butt back in, The dogs are better, well, except for the random barking. Apparently their hysterical intermittent barking is all that stands between us and roaming hoards marauders. Thank goodness we have good bladder control. So tomorrow is another day, but I'm so relieved that it's over and done with. I hope the new people enjoy the house as much as we did 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Is That?

One of the fun things about moving into a home that is not only old, but privately built is you spent a fair amount of time peering at things trying to figure out why something is the way it is. My favorite this week is an outlet in the basement ceiling, connected to a switch which goes to a plug. Which is no where near anything plug-able.My other favorite is a pull light that when you pull it on it not only sizzles but sparks making it very fancy and sparkly. David has suggested I leave that alone. And off. My shower looks like something out of a  serial killer B movie, complete with old,peeling wallpaper and a shower head that randomly shoots off to the side. The door doesn't shut right either which means the dogs and cat can come barging it to see What You're Doing which believe me, in the middle of the night can be a bit alarming. 

We still cannot get whatever is on the wall off the fireplace off - an old friend thinks it's lime mixed with water (it's also covering one of the dining room walls) - David has tried everything but blowtorching it. He's going to just go over it, we have discovered what's underneath is not worth exposing and it will end up being more  trouble than it's worth. The other fun thing about this house is it has TWO closets. Yup. A big one in the bedroom downstairs and a linen closet upstairs, that's it. No closets in any of the 3 bedrooms upstairs at all! We are still trying to figure out what we'll do with the upstairs but for the winter we'll probably just close it off and concentrate on the downstairs. We have a bit of a water issue in the basement, nothing we  can't deal with but it makes you wonder why they never put in french drains. The downstairs bathroom will need to be just removed and replaced, the shower has been wet for so long it's just a pile of cement.

But we are getting there. I spent all day yesterday mowing through the kitchen,bathroom and dining room, mopping and putting everything away. Last night we ate our first home cooked dinner at the table, I really felt accomplished! We found the towels and washclothes, the washer and dryer work (after a couple of false starts) and I ran my first dishwasher load las night. The TV works fine, we have decided to try a year with cable to see how that goes and we are switching our phone serivice next week so we can use a third line as a house phone. We have to finish cleaning out the Garards Fort house today, there's just one more load of odds and ends and a final sweep through and we'll be ready for tomorrow - which I hope goes smoothly! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Moving and Shaking It

So, we are finally almost here, we've been in the house since Wednesday and the rest of our belongings are almost here. Due to how fast we had to move the house is pretty bare bones - there's wires sticking out of the ceiling in the living room, a nest dripping out of the upstairs bedroom. Boxes piled, mysteriously we can only locate things we don't actually need right now. We found the dog's towels, but not the good grey ones. Coffee pot is here, the basket for the grounds is not. But the TV is on the washer and dryer work and we have inter net. David changed our mailing address today, we will be getting new phones next week. We continue to carry box after box, but it has gone from a wave to a trickle. I have the kitchen fairly well put away, I had to rearrange it but it's workable now. David cleared the porch and the living room so we have somewhere to sit - for two days we are not doing too shabby.

I still have not seen all of our property, we are not entirely sure of where it ends. I followed the barbed wire pen tonight along the road - I walked, and walked, walked more, kept going - holy crow! We own a lot of land now! Six acres to be precise. Part of the problem is I can't take the dogs with me until I figure out where we can go - and where we can't. The dogs have to learn the property too and that's yet another project. Bob the cat is under house arrest for now but has snuck out a couple of times. She is pretty stick close to the house, but you never know, do you?

So, we are exhausted. It's like it never ends and since we've done this like four hundred million times we both know it wont' end soon. And the details! We order pizza every Friday night just about. Tonight David asked if I wanted pizza and I was like - from where? So we ended up going to the little local restaurant which we both really like. The food is good, everyone is nice - I ordered a Reuben without the corned beef and have now marked myself for life as the Woman Who Ordered A Reuben Without Corned Beef which amused the kitchen to no end as per our waitress. But it was very good, the waitress meant it to be funny and she got a good tip. So tonight I'm relaxing for the moment, tomorrow back to the salt mines. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Floating On A Sea Of Flotsam

We're getting down to my least favorite part, we are surrounded by odds and ends, this and that, bits and pieces. We find things that we don't recognize but you're too afraid to toss it. You know the best way to figure out if something is important or not? Pitch it, within two days you'll discover it was the most important part of something. We have mismatched glasses that we keep simply because we like them, gloves that I'm sure the other one is here. Somewhere. Even if we don't use it, we know someday we will and somehow that greeny-brown outfit will look good on me too. 

We've rented a small UHaul moving van so we can bring it all over in one shot this weekend. Part of the problem is we usually have a few more months to trot everything over. When you have time you can sort through stuff carefully, put a little away at a time. David usually is further along on the house too, we are trying to figure out where to put the big furniture for now as the floors are not done, the walls are not painted. It will be camping at it's finest. And I"m working full time along with all of this too. And the Knitting class application needs to be submitted. 

I actually have that ready to go, I found the pattern I'm teaching and after some more back and forth texting with my knitting group this morning I have it pretty figured out. I am going to teach the two classes and be all brave and stuff. I of course have the yarn already too. David has been very snarky and rude by the way about the amount of yarn I have - I told him if he doesn't quit it I'll call his sister Maryann. She'll come, take the house, spend all his money and then pop his ass in the nursing home while she lives off his dime - so go ahead and keep it up Dave, I dare you. A little yarn never hurt anyone. I already have my knitting room plotted out and it will double as a guest room. If you stay at my house and I super like you I'll put you in the Yarn Room where you'll sleep amongst the alpaca lace weight skein and clouds of fluffy merino - I may sleep in there occasionally too. I'll be glad when we get over there, this has been a very, very long month. 

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