malinaldarose: (Default)
I'm sure people wonder why I don't ask for help with my household woes. Here's how those conversations go:

Them: I'll be glad to help you any time. All you have to do is ask.
Me: Great! I need some help, please.
Them: *crickets*

While I was walking Jack this afternoon, I went into the vacant lot behind my fence to see what was going on with the sumac tree. It doesn't look like it has actually collapsed on my fence. It looks like a shoot of it (now a large trunk) started out growing across the ground toward my fence, and then bits of it grew upward, so that now it really looks like it's collasped across the fence. I think the fence has actually collapsed under the weight of the grape vines.

I don't suppose I should be cutting any trees on property that doesn't belong to me, but it's a vacant lot, and the people who own it don't do any more than mow it every couple of weeks. I can at least cut the portions that are threatening my fence, I suppose. It's not like it's an oak or a maple that someone planted; it's a sumac, so it's basically an enthusiastic weed. Were HTWIWM here, the thing never would've gotten beyond sapling stage, as he used to keep the fence-line tidied up.

In any case, I will ask my mother if she will allow my father Dad could help me clean up back there and replace the fence. Otherwise I guess I'll have to obtain a chainsaw and learn how to use it.

Today was an absolutely miserable excuse for a day. It started poorly with the dog yarking his morning pills, continued poorly with my left foot feeling as though I were constantly walking on rocks, and just sort of petered out. I had intended to mow the lawn, now that the grass is growing again, and the leaves are falling, but didn't want to aggravate the foot which is hurting less, but is still Not Right. Oh, and I broke my watch strap. Not the tattered one, either. This was one of the good ones. It's the second watch strap in a week -- the strap on the celestial watch broke, too. Well, technically, the pin popped out, but I was outdoors at the time and couldn't find it, so it counts as broken.

On the plus side, Zulily had a sale on Wonder Woman merchandise, so I bought part of BFT's Christmas present.

Oh, and I got a couple of Halloween photo props: a miniature Rider-Waite tarot deck, and an even smaller RW deck. Yes, it's TeenyTinyTarot! (It's so cute!)
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
scragglings: Undersized apples left on the tree as worthless. The little apples are often very sweet and palatable, however. From this term comes the adjective "scriggly, small and shrivelled, as a "scriggly bit o' meat," that small portion of a joint where it is dried up or over-roasted. It is likely that the word is connected with shrivel. Gloucestershire (scriggles), Upton-on-Severn (scriggling), and West Worcestershire (scrogglings). [g. F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896]
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was getting worried because the garage didn't call -- and they usually call me quite early. Turns out that they couldn't, of course, replicate the problems I had. They did go ahead and replace the radiator cap and a cracked tube (also related to the radiator, I think). The mechanic still thinks the water problem (and we're pretty sure it's water, now) is from the exhaust. I'm still pretty sure that that's rather too much water to be coming from the exhaust. But he did say that he thinks the overheating problem is probably the a/c fan, and that's a dealer part, so he recommended that I make an appointment with the dealer across town to have it tested. He also says that as long as I don't use the a/c, it can wait until spring. And so it probably will.

Shortly after he called, I realized it was just after 1:00 -- which is why my sister takes her lunch, so I asked if she'd come get me and drive me up to the garage as it's rather muggy and there's no shade between here and there. She did, and so I'm home with the van. I may load Jack up in a little bit and take him to see Grama. And I may take a nap.

I did take him outside a bit ago, and wandered to the back of the yard to check out the grapes...and discovered that a huge span of the back fence is collapsed down to about waist height. I can't decide from inside the yard whether a deer did it or whether a sumac in the vacant yard collapsed on it. It may be a little of both. In any case, I'm going to need help to fix it, and preferably help with a chain saw. Well, it's about time to replace the fencing, anyway; it's been in place for seventeen and a half years and it's really only glorified chicken wire. I could probably do it all by myself if it weren't for the sumac. I'm going to have to look from the other side of the fence, but not today. The last time I went through it, I zip-tied the gate shut, and I don't feel like messing with it. Plus, there's nothing I can do without help.

Sometimes I just want to cry.

After being baked by the August sun, the grass in the lawn has started to grow again. I just mowed on...when was it? Tuesday? Anyway, the yard is getting shaggy again. I should really go out there this afternoon and take care of it...and I'm really not going to.
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, it is Monday, and I have taken the day off. The van is at the garage to see if they can figure out what the heck is up with it. And I just remembered to turn the ringer back on on the phone -- though I'll probably spend at least the morning in my office working on eBay listings. Or maybe shopping; I have had a few thoughts about Christmas, and there's little point in waiting -- I won't have more money for shopping later than I do now, so....

Oh. My. God. Jack just farted. Wow.

I have the house opened up because after a week of fall, we're back to summer, with temps in the high 70s or low 80s, and it's a bit stuffy in here. It's supposed to be 80° again today, so I need to cool the house back down. It won't take long, and I won't have to shut things up again until midmorning when the fog burns off.

I should totally go do the dishes while it's still cool, and while it's still too early to listen for the phone.

There is apparently not a great deal to report here. I took BFT out to lunch on Saturday -- it was the first time she'd been out of the house since her surgery the previous Friday, and she was going a little stir-crazy. We stopped at Joann's on the way home and bought Halloween decorations. She's setting up a little Halloween display in her kitchen window, and I'm buying props for some still life photos I have in mind. Which reminds me that I have to go down to the basement and dig out my Rider-Waite deck. I used to have a teensy one with cards only about an inch or two big, but I don't think I'll be able to find those. Probably lost in some move or other. Or maybe I dreamed them, though I don't think so. I think I got rid of my Ouija board, too. Still, I probably have enough stuff around here to use as props.

Yesterday...I noodled around the house. Cleaned my desk off so that I'd have room to work on the eBay stuff, vacuumed the house (up and down), snipped the stems of the flowers I bought last week and re-vased them, and dropped the van off at the garage. (Walked home, of course.) Last evening, I had a fire in the firepit (after raking the downed leaves away from where I usually set it up). I burned four more envelopes full of cancelled checks and other financial paperwork, thus doing my part to save HTWIWM from identity theft. I do like watching those papers burn; whether it's the ink or the paper, the flames are green. It's so cool. (Well. Technically, it's quite hot, but you get the idea.) I think there are four envelopes left. When I found these papers, I had no experience with burning things to dispose of them, and I thought stuffing all of these checks and bank and credit card statements into business-size envelopes and burning them like logs would work out with no problem. Yeah, then I learned about burning papers. Individual papers will take off like...well, like a house afire, but compacted papers? Not so much. So I have to keep stirring them. Which is one of the reasons I don't have a fire if it's windy, because I don't want burning paper flying all over the place.

In any case, I think I'm nearly done with HIS papers, and can move on to my own, as I recently found a file box full of decade-old financial paperwork. Not much point in stressing the shredder, though I suppose I could gradually sneak them into the shredding bin at work and have done.

I found that little refund check on my desk yesterday afternoon. I still can't quite make up my mind what to do about it. It's for 79 cents. The utterly correct thing to do -- and also the utterly bitchy thing -- would be to stuff it into another envelope and mail it to some friends to have them pass it on to him. On the other hand, it's for 79 cents, so it might just as well go into the shredding.

Eh, I'll think on it some more. Probably it'll end up in the shredding.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday morning, I posted photos of the kittens that were under my ramp in the spring. Here are some photos of the most recent batch that only just moved out Sunday night. There was one black kitten and one grey kitten (after the rejection and death of the other black kitten). I am uncertain if they are the siblings of the Spring Kittens or not; the feral colony is composed mostly of all-black cats.

My first photo of the little black girl:

And my first photo of her brother:

These next photos were all taken on Sunday afternoon, and I think that may be why their mother moved them that night; she saw me come into the yard through the gate rather than from the back door, and I think she took offense.

Sister wants to play:

But Brother is interested in Up:

Look at those tiny little kitten claws!



Ass over tea kettle:

Brother checks out a leaf:


And their mother. You can see why I might not be able to tell if it's the same girl or not.

malinaldarose: (Default)
These are my Spring Kittens. You may (or may not) recall that there were three little black ones and one little grey one.

The grey:

And the black ones:

And Madame Mama:

They were under my ramp until they were at least a month old, possibly six weeks, then Mama moved them up the street. I still see them occasionally on the porch of the house to which she moved them. The grey one half approached me and Jack a few days ago (he was always the boldest), but then Jack sort of shuffle-jumped (as much as he could do on the leash) and I dragged him on by.
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
jeopard: To put in danger; to expose to injury or loss. Jeoparded, exposed to danger. [Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon of the English Language, c. 1850]
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
flutter the dovecots: To cause a mild excitement in society. Shakespeare's Coriolanus. [Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922]
malinaldarose: (Default)
My mother, who only seems to call me after I've gotten comfortable on the couch, or when I've just finished popping popcorn and it's nice and hot, or stops when I'm cooking dinner, called a little after 8:00 p.m. last night to ask me to take Grama to an appointment this afternoon. She was well aware that I'd have to take time off work to do so, but she and Dad both had a "bug" and she didn't want to go around Gram with it.

Well, what could I say? Of course I agreed. And then I decided to take the whole day off, because why not?

This morning, I get up to find out that Mom and Dad spent the night in the emergency room. Seems Dad doesn't have a bug; he's got an intestinal blockage, and this morning, they're just waiting on a bed to admit him. Yay? Of course, I have nothing from Mom about this; I'm getting it from my sister, who seems to be the only one my mother actually communicates with, though I suspect that has more to do with the fact that she has Bird's cell phone number than anything else.

The first of today's storms rolled through here at 12:30 a.m. -- or at least, that's when I was up wandering through the house in the dark. Not that the power went out; I just didn't turn on any lights. There was something about it that just made me nervous and unsettled. The dog was looking at me quizzically; that's supposed to be his department. Also, I had a terrific headache, which I still have this morning. In fact, I could totally lie back down and take a nap for a couple of hours. Maybe I should. I won't, mind you, but maybe I should.

It is storming again right now, and very dark, though it does seem to be getting a tiny bit lighter. According to the weather wiseacres, it's supposed to stop raining by the time I have to pick up Grama. We'll see.

I am worried about the kittens. I don't imagine it's very dry under that ramp right now, not with the way the wind was blowing last night. I've been trying to figure out how to rig additional shelter for them that won't immedicately funnel water under the ramp. The best I'm coming up with is to angle a small box adjacent to the ramp under the overhang of the back of the breezeway. There's about a foot of space there that's usually dry. That might work, as long as I rig it so that the box can't fall and trap them, should they choose to use it. This requires a bit more thought.

Since I'm home, I should probably call a garage today, either mine or BFT's. Well we'll see.

Hm. It's brighter now than it was just two minutes ago, but it's also pouring.

Right. I need to go take some ibuprofen for my head, get dressed in real clothes (as opposed to my This Is What I Was Wearing Yesterday And I Totally Threw It On Just To Walk The Dog This Morning clothes), and maybe finish cleaning off the dining room table, because I'm tired of that huge mess. (The dining room table is a bit of a catchall, but if I make it pretty with a tablecloth and centerpiece, it might prevent me from just tossing things on it and leaving them there for weeks.)
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
gamp: As an adjective, bulging; after Sarah Gamp, a nurse in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit, represented as always carrying a large umbrella. [Edward Lloyd's Encyclopædic Dictionary, 1895]
malinaldarose: (Default)
On Saturday, BFT and I took off for Buffalo(ish) in order to shop for books. Amazon is nice and all, but sometimes, you just have to fondle the books first. I drove, and it seemed to me that there was a lot more traffic on the road than is usual, but I suppose it was people out doing their last-minute back-to-school shopping. We got there around 11:00, and went straight to the bookstore. We had decided on the way up not to bother with Pier 1 this time, and that's normally our first stop. We spent an hour or so browsing and filling baskets, then checked out and headed over to the Olive Garden for lunch.
We started back home around 1:30, and I complained about how nice the weather was -- if I'd known it was going to stay that nice, I'd've done my laundry and hung it out before we left. BFT wisely pointed out that I didn't know what it was doing at home, and it turned out she was correct; the weather was much different to the south; we drove into overcast in Springville, and shortly after that, we drove into rain.

I mention the weather partly because the van was quite warm when we got back into it after lunch, so I turned on the fan to move some air around. It was still relatively cool outside, so I thought that would be enough, but it wasn't, so BFT switched it to a/c, and we drove along with the a/c on low. And then...when we got to Springville, the car bonged at me -- which I have to say frightens the life out of me -- and the temperature idiot light came on. I pulled right over, and BFT switched off the a/c. The idiot light went out, but the engine temperature remained at the 3/4 mark on the dial the rest of the trip home. BFT advised me to not to go my regular garage, but to take it to a place across town where she goes. I may do that. I'll have to arrange with someone to meet me there and take me on in to work, but I'm sure I can convince my sister to do that.

In any case, it was fine driving around town yesterday; I ran out to get groceries and to see about a new space heater, because even I draw the line at turning the furnace on during the first week of September. I have one of those large radiator-style space heaters, and it has always worked just fine, but I've had it since I was a teenager, so it's about thirty years old, and it makes me a little nervous to use it. I've always been very careful of it, and it's never even been so much as tipped over, let alone bashed about. It's probably fine, but....

I may end up turning the furnace on, though, because while it's going to be 80° and gorgeous today, it's supposed to start raining again tonight and be chilly and damp for the rest of the week.

The weather also concerns me because of the kittens under the ramp. I don't know how dry it stays under there, but I know that the eaves run off onto the high end of the ramp (because I don't have a ladder tall enough to get up there and clean them out, so they're blocked; there are weeds growing up there). I have started leaving food out for Mama (and I suspect it is probably the same mother cat as before), but only in the mornings, and only as much as I would give to Kethri. I have seen her wolfing it (if you'll pardon the expression) the last couple of mornings. This morning, she also loafed on the ramp in the sun for a bit before going back underneath to attend to her kittens.

I have so much stuff to do, and don't know that any of it is going to get done today. Since this is the last nice day for the forseeable future, I may simply say, "fuck it all," and go sit on the patio (thus terrorizing Mama) with a book this afternoon. I should mow, but I'll be hanging laundry out, and can't mow under the laundry lines. There are the other three quadrants I could mow, but fuck them too.

Yesterday, I put together some new shelves for my bedroom. They're cheap white cubbyhole shelves, the sort that you see baskets randomly shoved into, that are put together with dowels and long screws. While putting together the first one, I tried to turn it on its side so I could more easily attach whatever side I was working on, but the center structure wasn't yet secure enough to hold. The dowels snapped and the shelf fell out. It turned out all right, though, as the wider/taller space (I turned the shelves on their sides and stacked them) in the center left room for my Italy photo albums which I have always kept in my bedroom (for no particular reason other than I had space there; my other travel albums are in other parts of the house). Plus that extra space really makes the whole thing much more interesting visually. It looks like it was done on purpose. I like it.

And having extra bookshelf space never hurts....
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
muckin' ducks: Engaged in a very menial occupation, or on odd jobs. "He's muckin' ducks." [Francis Taylor's Folk-Speak of South Lancashire, 1901]
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
flag-fallen: Out of employment, from flags being exhibited on the roofs of playhouses when there were performances at them. [Edward Lloyd's Ecyclopædic Dictionary, 1895]
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
faitour: An evil-doer, scoundrel; synonymous with vagabond, from Old French. [William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete Words, 1832]

Foiterers, vagabonds. [Elisha Coles's English Dictionary, 1713]

Faytors, vagabonds, gipsies. [Francis Robinson's Words Used in the Neighbourhood of Whitby, 1876]
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
quell: To murder, or destroy. Murderers were anciently called manquellers. "His spungy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell." Macbeth. [William Toone's Etymological Dictionary of Obsolete and Uncommon Words, 1832]
malinaldarose: (Default)
Patio Kitten did not make it, though Doc W says she responded enough to start meowing in complaint.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I arrived home tonight to find my brother waiting for me. "You have kittens," he said, as I got out of the van.

"Yes," I said. "I know. Or I suspected, anyway. Did you see them?"

"Just one," he said.

The Gecko was standing in the breezeway staring out the back door, and when I looked, there was a tiny little black kitten stretched out on the patio. I thought the poor little thing might be dead, as there were flies buzzing all over the place, but when I went out to check, she was breathing. But her face... It was awful. I couldn't even tell for sure what was going on. I took a photo -- so I could text it to the vet -- but I'm not going to share it. In any case, Doc W instructed me to bring her up immediately.

I spotted black fur under the ramp, and realized it was the mother, but since her back was up against the outside of the ramp, I was concerned, so I grabbed a stick and poked her. There was no reaction, so to my brother I said, "I think Mama's dead. Let's get that decking off and see if there are any other kittens under there."

He went to get tools, and I went to get a box and a towel for the patio kitten. He started unscrewing the decking at the bottom; the mama cat was near the first support, so...eight feet away? But as soon as he started unscrewing that first bolt, she took off like a shot and was gone. So we got down on our hands and knees and discovered that there are two more kittens. One of them -- a little black one -- looks fine. There is also a little grey (again with the grey!) who may or may not have an eye infection; he could've just had something stuck in his eye lashes. In any case, we couldn't get either of them to come near enough to grab, so I just loaded up Patio Kitten and Jack and took off. (Couldn't leave Jack behind; he was too excited because I hadn't yet taken him walkies, but I'd been going in and out and in and out and in and out.)

I thought about names for a good chunk of the drive up, but when they asked me, I decided we'd better leave it as "Kitten" for now. Doc W and one of the techs came in pretty quickly, and they started putting wet cloths on the kitten's eyes. (This is when I found out she was a she.) Eventually, the tech got the caked on stuff on her face and discovered that her eyes appeared whole. (Whether she will be able to see or not remains to be, er, seen.) Then she started combing the fly eggs (no maggots, thank goodness) off the poor thing's face, while Doc W explained to me what sort of care she was going to need. I knew right off I wasn't going to be able to do it; I can't take tomorrow off, for instance, to provide the necessary feedings, let alone everything else, and I can't trust the Gecko to do it. So I surrendered the kitten to the vet office's custody, and the tech volunteered to take her home and see if she could get her through. She says she has fostered tiny kittens a lot, and it's 50/50. She says that you can do everything right and then look cross-eyed at them and they die. Doc W said that she had some kittens she managed to get through two weeks, and then they died, and some kittens my parents rescued many years ago ended up all dying.

Anyway, it seems likely that she ended up on the patio because Mama rejected her -- those eyes weren't going to get better without intervention. She wasn't there this morning, and I didn't get home for lunch (and that's a tale unto its own self), so I don't know how long she was exposed. I really hope she wasn't lying out there during the pouring rain.

In any case, if she lives, I may end up with her. I may not. We'll see how it goes. I did pay for the supplies needed immediately: kitten formula, and a bottle, and antibiotics, and the office visit (of course!). I asked if Doc W thought I should leave a little extra, but she said to wait to see if the kitten makes it first.

As for the other two kittens, I am hoping that Mama is a) not ill, and b) going to return to take care of them, otherwise, we'll be doing this again. I will be watching for them, though. It may be time to ask my brother to demolish the ramp, though -- or rebuild it properly and enclose the underside.

But why do these things always happen when property and/or school taxes are due and what money I have is earmarked for that?
malinaldarose: (delenn_word)
bleflummery: Vain imaginings; [from] bleflum, a sham, an illusion. [Alexander Warrack's Scots Dialect Dictionary, 1911]
malinaldarose: (Default)
So this morning's extra hour turned into finishing going through my LJ flist and seeing how many folks were on DW. Hi, folks! *waves* I found a lot of TH folks. Anyone missing?

I guess that means that I'm finally done with LJ. I really don't want to delete my journal, but we'll see. I actually rather miss it, and photo posting was certainly easier.

According to the weather wiseacres, it looks like we are in for an early autumn. This does not please me. I mean, there comes a point where one's eyes are starved for deep, rich colors, and seeing jewel-bright teal and aubergine and emerald and crimson instead of robin's-egg and lavender and mint and pink is not unwelcome, but I do so hate being cold. And while I have discovered that summer isn't all joy at my current weight (and there is, of course, always the lingering fear of bats), I still am never happy to see it go. But daily temperatures are already only in the low- to mid-70s, and the long range forecast shows them not getting out of the 60s for the most part. It's already getting into the 40s some nights. If I have to turn the furnace on in mid-September, I shall be very, very, very annoyed.

Autumn also means critters looking for places to hunker down for the winter. A few days ago, I ejected Ungoliant from the house, and this morning, I saw Shelob crossing the kitchen floor. These are the times when Merlin is sorely missed. He would have liked the crawly, crunchy things.

Speaking of which (Merlin, not crawly, crunchy things), I saw the grey catten yesterday morning. S/he (and I tend to think of her/him as "him" because of Merlin) had caught something -- a mouse, or small bird, or bat -- and was playing with it on the steps of the house where the kittens were moved to in the spring. I was pleased to see him.

And speaking of feral cats, I spotted the black cat that is now hanging out under the ramp in the backyard this morning. I am almost certainly going to have kittens again; I wonder if I'll spot any of them this time, or if the last batch were just extraordinarily curious and brave.

Right. Hi, ho, hi, ho. (Bleah.)


Aug. 28th, 2017 07:02 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
One of my projects is to go through my LJ friendslist and see how many people have journals at DW. If I can find people, I'm adding them here.


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