Hi all - so sorry I haven't been around to at least let you know that I'm still alive and kicking and that Wolfy and I arrived safely. It was a long and exhausting drive - took almost 12 hours instead of the normal 9 or 10. A lot of construction on I-95 between DC and Richmond had traffic to a crawl, and then ran into rain - took a wrong exit and lost over a half hour there - you name it and it was there to slow me down.

I've been busy trying to settle in and all that goes with it, but I'm so homesick that I just can't get with the program. Do I like it here??? - no - but I don't hate it either - it's just not home. I miss my son and grandkids like crazy. Perhaps in time I'll feel differently and actually feel good about calling this home - but I know I don't want to stay here permanently. For now I'll make it work tho.

Wolfy was a good traveler - just like Myndi was - and he slept for most of the trip in his carrier on the front passenger seat. He has settled in very well (much better than me!) - gets along great with the 2 big dogs and the Pug too. The big ones are old and not up to playing much, but the Pug is only 6 months older than Wolfy, and Wolf tries his best to get him to play, but pudgy pug is a couch potato and overweight and will only play for a couple of minutes at best - much to Wolfy's disappointment. The indoor/outdoor cat is a feisty little devil, and he'll play with Wolf. I wish I could afford a doggy playmate/brother/sister for him, but the expenses that come with another is something I can't take on right now. He loves his Aunt Linda, and the retired guy across the street too. He always comes out to fuss over Wolfy when he sees us outside, and if Wolfy doesn't see him outside, he'll stop on the street in front of his house and bark for Mr Mike to come out. Smart pup!!!

I haven't been on the computer hardly at all except to pay bills, check my email and never get around to answering them, and do some holiday shopping. I'm using the one that was my brother's that is still set up, since I can't get mine set up in the downstairs office because the office and family room got torn apart to have a mold issue taken care of and Lord only knows when it will be put back the way it was. I'm just going to put a small computer desk/stand in my bedroom after the holidays and be done with it. Linda also gave me an almost new 17" Toshiba laptop that she bought several years ago and then didn't like it or use it because it runs on Vista and she couldn't get used to it. We took it to Best Buy and let the Geek Squad save all the files for her and restored it back to the original settings. I just got it back and was playing around with it last night, and I didn't have a problem that it wasn't XP, but I'll need time to get familiar with it - after the holidays when I'll have more time.

Anyway - I haven't been back here to PT but a few times since I got here. It seems that every time I stop by to see what's happing, it's sad news, and I don't need that when I'm still trying to get in a better frame of mind. I saw where Sandie lost Tony- Pup when he got loose and hit by a car, and also was shocked to see that Gini passed away - too much sadness for me to handle right now. I'm certain that there's a lot of news that I've missed and not commented on, so please don't any of you feel slighted at my lack of response.

I'll be going back up to DE for a couple of weeks, but not till after Christmas. I'll be here for Christmas day, and leave to head back north on the 27th, with Wolfy as my navigator and a car full of gifts for my son and grandkids. I'm still kinda bummed that I won't be with them for Christmas, and this is the first Christmas since my son was born (and he's now 44), that I haven't spent at least part of the day with him. But such is life and all of it's changes................... I'll probably have a hard time when I have to leave there and come back here, and probably won't get back up there again till mid May for my granddaughter's graduation from college. Boy - did that 4 years fly by, or what????? She'll be going to grad school for her Master's next year, but not certain where at this time.

A sort of funny story for you - funny now - but not when it happened. I was here just over a week, when I had to make a trip to the urgent care walk-in clinic. That beautiful white umbrella cockatoo with a nasty disposition (just toward me) decided he wanted meat in his diet, and when I absent mindedly put my hand on his cage - he chomped down on my finger and laid it open - the fleshy underside of my middle finger, Talk about a painful bite - and blood flying everywhere as I was dancing in pain and throwing around a lot of unladylike words too. Anyway - went over because I didn't know if I should have a tetanus shot and had no idea of when I had the last one either. The doctor said yes - the shot was a definite, and he cleaned and dressed the wound and wrapped it with antibiotic gauze. It still ended up getting infected but I had a refill on a broad spectrum antibiotic from a few months ago and had Walgreen's transfer it down here, and that cleared it up. I am now super careful not to put my hands in biting range. The bird and I have an understanding - he hates me and I hate him! He's beautiful, but looks aren't everything...............

Well - got to run for now - I'll write more later - about the area and what I think of the area/people in general. It's really beautiful here - I'll admit to that. My niece Brenda from Vermont and her hubby are arriving Thursday for a 5 day visit, and Linda and I are doing some extra cleaning and some decorating for Christmas. Linda is the oldest and a product of my brother's first marriage, then Brenda is the product of his 2nd marriage - and yes - there was a 3rd wife and 2 more kids! Brother was a good looking devil and a player, so who knows how many other unknown kids are scattered around! We've all decided we're glad that we don't know. See??? - I still have a sense of humor in spite of my Debbie Downer Attitude that is plaguing me of late.

Candace - thank you for starting that thread to search for me, and Gretchen - I did get your email and skimmed thru the article and I'm still in disbelief. I need to go back and read it more thoroughly tho. I promise I'll be back more often now!