Dec. 26th, 2016 10:05 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Aaaaand that's another Christmas sorted. I spent an hour last night recleaning the kitchen and back room after everyone left. The plastic silverware that Mom had brought to go with the paper plates turned out to be all spoons, so all of my silverware was pressed into service as well as a few bowls for serving dishes. And crumbs inevitably ended up on the floor, so after I washed the dishes and disposed of the last of the wrapping paper and plastic wrap and other detritus, I had to run the vacuum, just in case of further mousage. Though the mouses seem to be staying in the closet, which is just really, really weird.

I am trying to work up the nerve to ask my mother if she has a receipt for the dutch oven. I honestly can't see the point in keeping it when all I'm going to do with it is chuck it in the basement and someday drag it out for a garage sale. Especially when the regular price on the side of the box is nearly $200. I'm certain Mom didn't pay anywhere near that much for it -- she likely got it on clearance, but even so, no reason for her to have wasted her money on something I'm never, ever even going to take out of the box. I don't know how many times I've told her that I hate cooking and rarely do it....

Ah, well.

Today is going to be a pajama day. Well. Comfies day, anyway, as I had to change out of my jammies to take Jack walkies earlier. BFT and I were going to go see Rogue One this evening, but she has begged off. We may see it tomorrow. If we keep putting it off, we'll miss it entirely. I do need a day, though. I'm planning to read, watch movies, and generally veg. There might even be...a nap. (Shhhh -- don't tell anyone.)

In other news, there hasn't been a mouse in the closet trap in a couple of days. I've taken two mice out of there. I suppose two mice running around for a few days might account for the general mess on the floor. I still haven't pulled out the drawers and shaken out all the towels, though I'm thinking that if they were in the wall -- where I definitely heard them scrabbling around -- then perhaps they weren't in the drawers. Still, I need to get in there with the shop vac and clean up the...evidence. Erk.

I have so many sweets in the house right now. Cousin V-Jer brought a plate of homemade cookies. My grandmother gave me a tin of Delacre cookies (as she does every year). My mother left the rest of the chocolate pie last night. She also sent me the usual almond coffee cake, and an entire loaf of brown bread (it's a sweet bread made with molasses). I bought mini-brownies the other day, plus I didn't give out all the Cadbury bars I bought, so I have a couple of those. Plus a friend of MyAuntie's keeps sending Grama boxes full of German chocolates, and she always gives me some of them because she never eats them, so I have those. Oh, and Mom gave me a large box of Godiva chocolates.

Just thinking about it makes me want a carrot stick.

And maybe that nap.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Feeling a bit better than I was earlier. The house is company-ready, and I still have a couple of hours to myself...I hope. I haven't heard from anyone other than my sister (asking if she needs to bring anything) and my aunt (asking if I want a photo of the gift they couldn't send -- I suspect she is giving me the needlepoint piece that we talked about in October). I finally figured out what to do with one of the banes of my existence, the utility shelf in the back room. I put a couple of bins on it to hold my gloves and hats, and used the rest of the shelf for pretty things. When it comes to this house, my eyes want pretty things so badly....

And now the sun is out. Better and better. If only the rest of the ice would melt -- though sublimation would be better, because if it melts, it'll only freeze again.

I am dressed in festive clothing, and as ready as I'm going to get for the hordes to descend.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was up twice in the middle of the night with digestive issues, so I am tired and not feeling well and just want to be left alone today to read or watch Doctor Who. Instead, I have to get dressed, finish cleaning my house, and be up for my family. And my mother will probably call me right after lunch and want me to go pick up my grandmother and entertain her all afternoon. (Familyfest is a supper-time affair.)

Oh, well. Best get back to work. I hurt my wrist yesterday trying to break up ice in the driveway, so I left yesterday's dishes until this morning; I figured that hot water right after the icing was probably not the best thing for it. Those are done, at least, and the kitchen is in order. The last load of laundry is in. The last gift is wrapped. I just need to clean off the table and excavate the leaves from the closet -- though I need help to get those in, so they'll have to wait until my sister or my father get here. My hair is washed, dried, and ironed. I'm wearing a nice new sweater, but also wearing sweatpants (hey, at least they're black), but I won't get dressed until later. In the meantime, I'm wearing comfies.

I have some photos of my great grandparents from Christmas 1965 that I want to print for folks, so I need to do that.

I'm just tired. Why am I always tired?
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • This morning I am feeling as though I may as well max out my credit cards and eat nothing but chocolate for every meal because we're all going to be dead by this time next year anyway.

  • Jack seems to have settled down from whatever the hell was bugging him on Sunday. I wonder if he chucked his meds on Sunday morning and I just didn't see them while I was cleaning up the mess. Normally when he chucks in the morning, I can clearly see the completely-undigested-capsules and I give him more. I did think at the time that it was odd he'd yarked and managed to hang onto his pills. Either he digested them Really Fast or I just didn't see them.

  • I have discovered the reason why it smelled like cat urine halfway up the stairs: Kethri has been going behind my treadmill and peeing in the corner at the base of the stairwell wall. Last night, I saw her do it. I cleaned the spot with bleach water (heavy on the bleach) and rearranged things so that I don't think she can get back in there. Later this week, when I'm off, I'll go out and get some enzymatic cleaner and douse the spot. I'll need to get the $20 jug of it, since I still need to mop the basement floor with it.

  • Emergency! has been marked by Netflix as going away effective 1/1. I am displeased because I am only halfway through the second season and even if I did nothing else on vacation, I don't think I'd finish the series by then.

  • I am very tired this morning. Yesterday, I was going through some bank statements in the afternoon and I seriously thought I was going to end up facedown and snoring in them. I was so sleepy. Well, Jack didn't settle down until after midnight then so that might be part of it, but this morning, I have no excuse.

  • There is a friending frenzy going on. I would like to participate, but I'm not really good with new friends. I start out well enough, but....

  • It is face-achingly cold this morning: only about 5°. It's supposed to get up near freezing today, but it's also supposed to be windy. Yay.

  • I don't want to see my family this weekend. None of them. Not even Grama. I wonder what MyAuntie and Nuncle would say if I just showed up at their doorstep on Christmas Eve.

  • I know what my mother would say....
malinaldarose: (Default)
A surprising amount of snow melted yesterday and overnight. I'm not sure if the temperature actually reached nearly 40° or not, but where I shoveled around the van and from my doorstep to the driveway was clear of snow. The base of the driveway and the other lane were down to slush, though by the end of today, they will probably be back to solid ice. The forecast is calling for this morning's temperature of 33° to be the high. It's supposed to fall to around 20° and there is rain right now. Freezing rain later.

I've already emailed BFT to see if she might like to postpone going to see Rogue One. We could probably sneak into an early show next Saturday (Christmas Eve shouldn't be too terribly busy), or we both have Friday off. Today just doesn't seem like a day for going out -- and we surely don't need to see every new movie on opening weekend. On the other hand, if the weather is truly crappy, the theater is less likely to be busy.


I got my hair fixed yesterday. I got there at the same time as my guy. I also learned that we are entirely free to park in the parking lot next door because the owners of that business also own the house that the salon occupies the first floor of. Okay, then. I've always parked on the next cross street, but there is a parking ban in the city right now because of the snow. I'm glad I don't still live in my tiny apartment in the middle of town because there was no place other than the street to park. On streetsweeper nights, whichever of the two of us got home first got to park on the subway between the sidewalk and the street and the other got to park up the corner and around the block. (It was a duplex.)

Anyway, I got about three inches lopped off and my hair is still below mid-back. He asked me if I'd ever had short hair (we always joke about it being time for that pixie cut) and I said, "Sure -- you cut it." He didn't remember, but it has been a while. I pulled my work ID out of my purse and showed him. He was surprised; he didn't remember it at all. Though, honestly, I'm not certain that that work photo was taken the last time I had short hair (I did the divorce haircut (and the divorce tattoo, for that matter)) or the time before. My passport has my divorce haircut in the photo; I offered to pull my hair back for the customs officer in...Paris, I think it was, because he kept looking back and forth between my face and my photo.

Afterward, I had to stop at WickedMart on the way home. I only needed to get cat food and a couple of cans of dog food (Jack has to be enticed to eat his kibble, so he gets a generous spoonful of wet food spread out with water to make gravy. I was dreading it, even so, because I loathe crowds and trying to navigate that store when it's crowded, and I figured that the Saturday Before Christmas was going to suck and suck hard. But I apparently got there during a morning lull, because I was able to not only find a parking spot only a few spots down from where I normally park (next to a cart corral, so I can just toss my cart in there), navigate the store to find what I needed, and get out again in about fifteen minutes. Unscathed.

I didn't accomplish much else yesterday. I puttered a bit -- changed the kitty litter and blocked off parts of the basement to try to keep Kethri from peeing in the hardest to reach corner behind the furnace and under a rack of stuff, wrapped the remaining Christmas gifts, including the one for the office exchange, and got a box ready to go to Michigan tomorrow as MyAuntie and Nuncle have decided not to come home this year. I was sort of hoping they were, as I planned to give them both books for Christmas Eve. Instead, I'll have to have Amazon gift cards delivered that day instead. (They were getting those, anyway.)

I didn't do the laundry yesterday and I'm thinking that other than a load of necessary stuff, I might wait until later in the week. I'm only working three days, so I have plenty of clean clothes to make it until then....

Today, I really need to get Christmas cards written out. I think I'll be skipping sending the Christmas Letter to my paternal aunts and uncles (and I'm sure I'll hear about it from them); maybe I'll toss an Alaska photo into the cards. Even if I do end up going to the movie this afternoon, I still need to work on cards....
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I am a terrible, terrible person. I bought a $10 box of totally non-denominational "season's greetings" / "joy of winter" cards just so I could send one to my aunt in Texas. They're very pretty cards, all silvery and pale blue and glittery -- and they will make her fundie head explode. Apparently, this year, I am a foot soldier in the war on Christmas.

  • The long, long story of my grandmother's emergency room bill has not yet ended. She got a pre-collection notice from them at some point in the last week; when I walked in to visit her the other night, she greeted me with, "Well, we're getting sued." I was under the impression that the entire process -- once the insurance nightmare was straightened out -- was automatic and that I would not have to contact the billing company again. Apparently, I was mistaken. So I spent an hour the other morning composing and then faxing a letter to them to formally request that they rebill Medicare. Morons.

  • No, that's not fair. They're just doing what they should. Medicare denied the claim. Still, it's aggravating, since they were the ones who told me it would all be automatic.

  • I found my iTunes library on my old laptop. I will hopefully have no difficulty transferring it to the new laptop. Apparently it has been some years since I last added music to it. Well...I don't buy music often. Once it was charged, the laptop started with no difficulties. Really, the only problem with it is that it runs Win95. I elected to buy a new one since it was already getting on in years when MS announced that they weren't going to support Win95 any longer.

  • MyAuntie told me on her visit in October that she likes jade -- I was wearing the jade pendant I bought during the cruise in August -- so I ordered her a jade piece for Christmas. It arrived with a 25% off coupon, so I ordered myself a pair of earrings to go with the pendant. Both orders arrived with a small polished jade nugget. I really, really like the one that came with the earrings. It is perhaps three-quarters of an inch long and maybe three-quarters of that high, with smooth, rounded edges and corners. It is satisfyingly weighty, and I found myself cluthing it and running it through my fingers for the whole time I was on the computer last evening. It feels good in the hand. Very nice. And the earrings are pretty, too.

  • MyAuntie has sent everyone a Jacquie Lawson advent calendar again this year. One of the activities in this year's calendar is a game sort of along the same lines as Bubble Poke, except with Christmas ornaments. The idea is to smash as many ornaments as you can as you move through ten levels. There have to be three contiguous ornaments of the same color for smashing, and if there aren't, then you lose. It is amazingly therapeutic. I find myself returning to it over and over and over again. Yesterday morning, I beat the game. But it's not really a game of skill; it's all random. Still. I am quite fond of it, but I suppose it won't be accessible after the end of the Christmas season.

  • For the second week in a row, my garbage can hasn't been completely emptied. There's a bag of kitty litter at the very bottom of the can. I think they're just reaching into the can and lifting out the kitchen bag and leaving the large black bag in the bottom, possibly because they can't see it's there in the dark. This week, there was a second bag of kitty litter, and that's gone, so I'm not sure what's going on. I suppose it could be stuck in there, but I'd think if they were putting the can on the lift, it would empty properly. The can is large enough -- you could hide a body in there -- that the only way for me to get at the bag to check is to tip it on its side and crawl in there...and that is not happening.

  • I need to remember to get the gas can out of the shed and put it in the garage; the forecast is calling for Lots O' Snow and I'm pretty sure that the snowblower was run out of gas. And the shed doors get stuck, so....

  • Ugh. Snow.

  • I hate the automated line at Prudential. I generally have to call it at least once a month, and it's voice-activated. The problem is that it can only pick up my voice about half the time...and this week is apparently not in that half. I had to call yesterday and ended up faxing a request. This morning, I threw down the receiver while announcing to everyone in the vicinity, "Oh, for fuck's sake!" Which no one apparently heard, despite the volume, because apparently only dogs can hear my voice. And then only sometimes.

  • I have been watching Emergency! lately on Netflix. I used to watch it when I was a little girl. My brother and I used to play Paramedics with an old plastic tool box that we acquired from somewhere. That was way back before my brother turned into an asshole. Ah, the good old days. It's...interesting. The characters all look older to me than their stated ages: "Rampart, we have a male, approximately 40 years of age...." Yeah, he looks 60 to me. Of course, the show aired in the '70s, and I think maybe people weren't quite as obsessed with looking younger, then. Hard to say, since I was about 8 at the time.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I have a lot of Christmas music on CD. It's a toss-up as to whether my favorites are Loreena McKennitt and Straight No Chaser or Christmas All-Time Greatest Records, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Those are the Christmas songs I grew up with (minus Jingle Bones). My parents had a stereo, but it never got used except at Christmas, when Mom would load it with a stack of Christmas records and just let it play for hours. The modern equivalent would be an mp3 player playlist, I suppose. I have a CD-player with a six-disk changer, so I basically do what my mother did, except with slightly more updated music: the aforementioned Loreena McKennitt and SNC, plus Pentatonix.

And there are some creepy, creepy Christmas tunes out there, let me tell you. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?" Future serial killer right there. "Mary, Did You Know?" When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God? Ugh. "The Cherry Tree Carol?" Worst of the bunch. Mary's fetus commanding trees to give her cherries. Gross.

Anyway. It is my 9-5 week, so I have a little time in the mornings -- and none in the evenings. I get home and have to immediately think of dinner, so I generally discuss it with Jack while we're going walkies. He doesn't actually care what I make for dinner -- he knows what he's having. Last night, I had some of that leftover lasagna from Thanksgiving. Probably the same tonight. Though I do have lunch meat and tomatoes and sourdough bread, so I will probably make some variety of melty sandwiches at some point.

Jack seems to be doing a bit better again. He hasn't tried to get into bed with me the last couple of nights -- a true relief, let me tell you. I was actually asleep when my alarm clock went off this morning. I have no idea what the problem might have been, and I might not have any idea even if I'd had him from a pup. I'm just glad he seems to be settling again. Of course, the real test will be to leave him alone long enough to see a movie. On Saturday, I left him while I went for a grocery run, but every time I left the house after that -- and I went out a few times -- I took him with me. He does like going for rides.

I have a new couch. Well, new-ish. My mother asked me a couple of weeks ago if I'd like a couch that is only three years old -- she said it was in the way of putting up the Christmas tree. Presumably, she is planning to either get a new couch after Christmas, or has decided that she only needs one after all (she's had two in the living room for ages). I told her that if I could figure out what to do with my existing couch, I would take hers. A few days later, it occurred to me that it could go in the breezeway, as I'll need furniture out there...and on Sunday, my dad called and said that as soon as he could round up my brother, they'd be down to move furniture. I was not, of course, ready for that, but I managed to get a space made in the breezeway, so it all worked out. And now I have a new couch. It's a dusty dark sage green, so it goes well with my living room. Not that it matters, because I immediately put my purple coverings on it. It's not the couch I would have chosen for myself, but it'll do, and it's a vast improvement over the one I had that was second-hand eighteen years ago and which Garion tried to eat all by himself when he was a puppy, sixteen years ago.

Speaking of my brother, he told me on Sunday that the Gecko had an appointment yesterday afternoon and would have to leave early. Because it's my 9-5 week, I knew I wouldn't be allowed to leave early, and said so. He offered to leave the Gecko's next-youngest sister with Jack when he picked up the Gecko. Now, the Middle Gecko is an actual-facts sets-fires-in-her-bedroom psycho, and I absolutely do not want her in my house. The Eldest Gecko is bad enough, but the Middle Gecko steals more than food. She has stolen jewelry from both my mother and my grandmother, and actually stole money from Grama's purse -- and admitted to it, proudly. It was to the point where Gram told them that they couldn't be inside her house unless she was (she used to watch them after school).

And then there's the fire-setting (though I don't think she's done that of late).

So I told him we'd just manage, thank you very much, but when I mentioned it to the Eldest Gecko at lunchtime, she said her dad was going to reschedule her appointment. Okay. Fine by me, then. Turns out the Middle Gecko ended up in the hospital yesterday from an upper respiratory infection combined with her asthma, anyway. I'm afraid I didn't evince any proper auntly concern. I tried. Didn't take. Alas. Ah, well. We all know what a wretched excuse for a human I am. Just ask Jack.
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, Christmas dinner happened, and it was less onerous than some years. Grama has a terrible cough; my mother thinks she has bronchitis, but can't get Gram to agree to go to the ER or urgent care. She will only see her own doctor, and it could be a couple of weeks before she can get in. So the nurse at the facility is keeping an eye on her and will call Mom if she thinks Gram needs to go to the ER.

One thing about having Cousin V-Jer at a function: she talks enough that Mom and Gram can't get down to fighting.

When Gram decided she wanted to go home, Mom and Dad loaded her into the truck, but then there wasn't room enough left for Mom, so she stayed behind with me. She tried to convince me that the Ravenous Gecko is a nice, sweet young woman. She also told me that my brother himself realizes that the RG will never be able to survive on her own. We discussed whether or not they should apply for SSI for her, but Mom said they wouldn't do it. I almost asked why the fuck not since the Lizard's eldest daughter (another marriage) has received it all her life, but my reason for knowing that is HIPAA-protected, so I kept it behind my teeth. Barely. Mom may already know, but if she doesn't.... (Mom has tried to get me to talk to her about clients before; she had a problem with a woman in her last congregation leaving the service early and going through the pockets of the coats on the coat racks and stealing things, and she tried to get me to say whether or not the woman was one of my clients. She was, but I wouldn't tell my mother that.)

Anyway. Dinner was eaten, gifts were exchanged (my mother quite liked the photo I gave her and Dad from Stonehenge; it's not one of the standard shots of the entire monument silhouetted against the sky, but a close up of a couple of the trilithons. I quite like it and may frame a copy for myself. My mother has apparently decided that I need more purple in my life (probably because I hung purple curtains in my green living room), so she gave me a purple sweater, a purple toiletry bag that turned out to be advertising swag from a drug company -- Mom was surprised and annoyed at that; I wonder where she got it from -- a lavender scarf/shawl, and a purple wallet. She also gave me a couple of sweatshirts, one of which was identical to one she gave me last year.

After everyone left, I settled down on the couch to watch the rest of the Doctor Who marathon and then the Christmas special. I was amused by it, but had hoped that River would recognize the Doctor sooner (and that's not really a spoiler, since it was in the advertising that she didn't know him). Also...the last part of it made me cry. I may have to go back and rewatch all the River episodes now, especially "Silence in the Library"/"The Forest of the Dead." I haven't seen those since they were originally aired. (Sometimes, when people ask me if I'm not afraid of walking the dog in the dark, I want to say, "It's not like the Vashta Nerada are going to get us," but they wouldn't understand and it'd take too long to explain.

Today's plan is to go to the first matinee showing of Star Wars and hope that people are still sleeping off the tryptophan, so that I can watch it in peace. The first show is truly a matinee: it starts at 9:30 a.m. I think Jack will be all right; we've broken the destruction habit for now. It's only if I continue to leave him alone that he'll backslide. And that's not going to happen.

Which reminds me: Mom said that she heard that the dog guy is rough with people's dogs, which is what I was afraid of. I don't want Jack further traumatized.

At some point, Bird is going to show up with Niece. I am debating whether to give her a couple of books. Not really a Christmas present, since I don't give those kids presents, but more of a "Here, I have extra copies of these." She's fifteen, now, and I would actually like to give her my extra copies of Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan, but don't know whether they're appropriate. I guess it's sort of hypocritical of me, since I was reading Stephen R. Donaldson when I was younger than that (it's how I met one of my high school boyfriends; he was reading Lord Foul's Bane about a month after I had read it). I know she reads Tolkien, because she absconded with one of my copies of The Two Towers. Maybe I'll just go through my bookshelves and give her a pile of stuff. Some Lackey, some GGK, some CdL.

And maybe I won't, because I hoard books like a non-firebreathing dragon....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am waiting for my parents to show up with the first part of the Christmas feast. My mother will be in a foul mood because she always is on the holidays. Dad will be quiet -- Dad's always quiet. I probably get it from him.

I realized this morning while I was cleaning that I would just as soon spend the day alone watching the Doctor Who marathon on BBCA as spend any portion of it with my family. Instead, they'll be coming over in about an hour, so as soon as I finish bitching and moaning about it, I'll have to get Jack 'round the block for a walk.

A nap. I would also like a nap for Christmas.

The house is as clean as it has been since Thanksgiving; I spent two or three hours this morning (well, I was up well before dawn) cleaning. The kitchen counter is clear so that Mom has room for her stuff. The dining room table is pulled out and chairs moved into position. I have washed all of the towels that I keep on the furniture when The Ravenous Gecko is here and changed the kitty litter, so the house oughtn't to smell.

Oh, and I filled the collage frame I bought myself for my birthday with Paris photos and hung it on the wall in the back room. That's something I intend to do this coming week: hang up some of my photos and art. I haven't had any art on the walls (except in my office) since HTWIWM decided to begin the Great Insulation Project something like ten years ago.

Ye gods. Has it been so long?

There's no point in waiting any longer for the trim to go up and the rooms to be finished. It's never going to happen. So fukkitry is to be committed, and the art is going up.

It is not as warm today as it was yesterday, and it's not sunny, but I hung the towels outside this morning. I'll still have to tumble them through the dryer because they'll be damp, but they won't need as long. And maybe they won't generate as much lint. These towels are insanely linty. Frankly, it makes me nervous to put them in the dryer since as everyone knows, dryers are just waiting to CATCH ON FIRE AND KILL YOU DEAD.

Which reminds me. I need to haul out the instruction booklet for the washer and see about running the cleaning cycle.

Jack treed himself a cat this morning. When we went outside to hang the towels, there were two cats in the yard. One was right by the low spot and zipped under the fence. I don't think the other realized that there was a dog in the yard, and then couldn't find, or couldn't get to, the low spot. Anyway, s/he zipped up the maple tree and sat there for a bit, but then inexplicably decided that the Dog Threat Was Gone and crawled back down. The Dog Threat Was Not Gone and noticed the cat immediately. Fortunately, the Dog Threat also responded to his mistress' voice when she told him to leave the damned cat alone.... Of course, by that time, the cat was back in the tree, so that probably had a lot to do with it.
malinaldarose: (Default)
There was another walker out during our walk this morning, so Jack was quite distracted. I had to remind him to pay attention to me. At first, I thought she was one of the other dog walkers I see occasionally in the neighborhood, especially as I overslept this morning, so our walk was later than usual, but it turned out that she was just passing through. I'm not certain from where; if she was coming from Wal-Mart, as I first thought, then she was definitely going the long way around, since she turned back toward Wal-Mart at the end of the neighborhood.

The weather has turned, or is turning. Yesterday's high temperature -- nearly 70° -- broke records, but then it rained and the wind came up. Today, it's not supposed to get any warmer than it already is (about 45°) and it's quite windy. But it's supposed to warm up again next week. I don't think we're going to have a white Christmas. (Yay!)

The work Christmas party is the day after tomorrow. My unit is ordering from my favorite restaurant, so I have to check the buck locker and see if I have enough money to order lunch on the day before pay day. We're also doing a white elephant exchange with a limit of $10, so I either have to scour the cupboards for something decent or find something tonight when I pick up my prescription. I'm torn between getting something nice and just getting grabbing one of those crappy holiday gifts that are in the center of all the aisles of the 'marts at this time of year. Though I don't suppose anyone would really object to getting a Godiva package....

I'll be quite curious to see what the Ravenous Gecko does today. I put some more treats in her boxes yesterday, including the remains of those bags of candy she got into. I also gave her some Lunchable desserts, five pudding cups (from a package of eight; I kept the other three for myself), some more bread, a package of pepperoni of her very own. Yesterday, she devoured all the rest of the candy and three of the pudding cups. I'm curious to see if she'll get into the ones I set aside for myself as they're in the fridge, but not in her box. She ate one of the Lunchable desserts and did open the pepperoni. Bear in mind that she's only here for eight hours and she does bring her own food (because I've seen the wrappers).

Frankly, it's no wonder that she's overweight. There's no physical problem there; it's entirely due to too many sweets and no exercise whatsoever.

Which is my own problem, to be honest....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I washed the furniture covers this morning, then went and hung them on the line without putting on a coat. I haven't been able to get warm since, even though I had a mug of chai while I was writing checks earlier. Hopefully the towels will dry; it's sunny and slightly breezy today. I just don't want to dry them in the dryer because they filled the lint trap the last time I dried them -- twice. I'm glad, actually, that I checked the trap, because as everyone knows, dryers are just waiting to CATCH ON FIRE AND KILL YOU! Or so the safety warnings claim. Don't do this because your dryer will CATCH ON FIRE AND KILL YOU. Don't dry those because your dryer will CATCH ON FIRE AND KILL YOU. In fact, your dryer is always just waiting to CATCH ON FIRE AND KILL YOU.

This is probably why people don't read safety instructions, and, in a similar vein, why I stopped reading the side effect information on prescription medications, especially after taking Cipro a while back. Yikes.

I have spent a good chunk of the afternoon shopping for BFT's Christmas gift. I had ordered a necklace for her, but when it arrived yesterday, I decided I didn't like it. It looks like something you'd find in a box of Cracker Jacks (or would have found, anyway, when Cracker Jacks had Real Prizes -- for certain values of "real," anyway), so even though it seems to be solid and of good workmanship, I'm sending it back. There is such a thing as too shiny. I finally ordered her a pair of amber earrings. I hate getting her earrings (because we always get each other earrings), but I'm not going to get back up to Buffalo to get that folio she liked, and B&N doesn't sell it online because they're stoopid.

So that's my Christmas shopping finished. I actually did the bulk of it in the summer when I got back from the trip; I ordered souvenirs for everyone. Shipping costs were actually reasonable, and I didn't have to lug stuff around. So....

This morning while I was grocery shopping, I bought food for the Gecko. Nothing at all fancy: some microwaveable cup-thingies, a loaf of bread, and package of cheese slices, some generic Oreos. I'm going to make two boxes, one for the counter and one for the fridge. What she is allowed to have will go in the boxes. I'm going to explain to her that the food is part of her pay. I will also give her a little bit of cash on Fridays, but if I find that she has eaten anything other than what I have given her permission to have (and that includes the candy in the drawer, which I am purposely not going to put in the box), then she will not get the cash. If she is going to act like she's twelve -- despite being twenty-one -- then I will treat her like a twelve-year-old. I am just trying to decide whether I want to burn an hour of personal time on Monday morning so that I can tell her this in person, or just take the passive-aggressive route and leave a note. Actually, maybe I will leave her a note in an envelope with her pay from this week (she was gone when I got home last night), telling her that I would have paid her more had she not been stealing from me, and then laying out the terms of the boxes.

Cruel? Perhaps. But she is not in my home as a guest; she is in my home as an employee, so rules of hospitality do not apply.

Also...I am so looking forward to tonight's episode of Doctor Who....
malinaldarose: (Default)
New Year's Eve. I am feeling a bit melancholy. I am not wanted at any parties this evening¹; my aunt and uncle have gone home, and the rest of my family are all occupied elsewhere. Still, it's early in the day, and I have many things I would like to get done, not the least of which is laying out at least one of the work scrapbooks, because there is a 40% off sale running at Shutterfly right now, but it ends tonight.

I am between books at the moment, having finished Steven Brust's Hawk last evening. The Taltos books are pretty fast reads because there is a lot of snappy, untagged dialogue (which is part of what makes it snappy). I was thinking, though, that it might be time to go back to the beginning, because while I recognize the names (Kiera, Aliera, Morollan, Sethra Lavode, and so on), I don't necessarily recognize their significance to Vlad (other than friends, which is really all you need for the novel at hand, but still).

Walkies this morning was very unpleasant. Winter has returned, and it was cold, snowy, and blowing. Plus Jack was apparently watching out for invisible zombie squirrels at the same time that I was watching out for snowplows because they clearly hadn't been in the neighborhood yet. I turned us around at the Big Street, rather than crossing and going onto the trail because I felt like the wind was going to freeze my face off. We chased around the yard a little bit when we got back, and that seemed to make him happy. He's sacked out next to me now, but if I move, he'll be awake instantly and follow me wherever I go.

I decided to cancel day care for him today. I had two days of running around and doing errands, getting in movies and shopping and banking for Gram, and I decided that I really just need to stay home today. And probably tomorrow. Friday, I'll be going to see The Hobbit again, but I won't be taking him to Gram's house until mid-afternoon. Cancelling day care makes my sister happy because then the house doesn't smell of unwashed Gecko. Seriously. That child never bathes, and Bird said that she wore the same clothes for a month.

I never did see Into the Woods yesterday. I got to the theater and there was a line out the door. There were a lot of kids and there isn't another movie that a lot of kids would go to (except Annie, and I can't see that many boys going to that) and I didn't feel like standing in the biting wind, so I got back in the van and came home. I took a nap. Which I apparently needed, so it's all good. And now that crazy desire I had to see the movie has faded, so I can wait until it's on DVD. Or Netflix.

Arg. And now my chai has gone cold, so it's time to go change out of my walkies gear (which includes longjohns) and get warm.
¹ Which is good, as I generally don't like parties.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am feeling just a bit guilty about dumping Jack on my sister tomorrow morning so that I can go grocery shopping (at a reasonable, less people-filled hour...well, reasonable for her -- between 7:30 and 8:00, which is an hour later than I usually go out), run errands, then meet BFT and J1 for lunch and a movie. I won't be picking him up again until well after 4:00 p.m. The resuce is sponsoring a Photos With Santa thing not far from my house tomorrow, but I'm not going to pick Jack up just for that and then have to take him back to Gram's house. After I pick Jack back up, though, I won't go out again until I have to leave for work on Monday morning. We really need to start working on me going out the door and leaving Jack behind. Perhaps on Sunday.

A load of Xmas presents arrived today, as well as a few things that I bought just for myself. I should start wrapping tonight, just to get it done in more manageable chunks. There are a lot of things I should do tonight that are simply not gonna happen. I am really, really, really tired, and I think veging on the couch with a movie is what is going to happen....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I completely forgot, when I got home late last night, that trash pickup is on a one-day delay this week. Actually, it's not the delay that I forgot. Pickup is on a Thursday in my area, so this week, it's on Friday. What I forgot was that yesterday was not Thursday. For some reason, perhaps because I knew I was returning to work on the Thursday after the holidays, I had it in my head that the holidays were both on Thursday....

My brain, let me show you it.

So, anyway, my trash bin is at the end of my driveway a day early. And I think it's going to stay there until tomorrow morning....

Yesterday was the busiest day I have had since mid-November. I spent the morning making a small calendar for my cube using some of my Venice pictures, which I first re-edited because almost all of them were crooked (well, that's what happens when you take pictures in a boat), and I did pick up a few Photoshop tricks last year. They took forever to print because I printed them as photos so I'd get good quality. (Which reminds me; I need to print some new photos for "the gallery" (my filing cabinet), as I took them all down before I left.)

Just after lunch, I went up to Gram's house to pick up Auntie; when I pulled into the street, I could see her and Nuncle and the Spotted Dogs on their outbound trip and knew that they wouldn't be back for a while, so I ended up chatting with my sister while she made her breakfast. (She was out very late on New Year's Eve.) She had just colored her hair a very intense shade of red (not found in nature), and it looked absolutely splendid draped on the shoulders of her light teal pajamas. She thinks I was twitting her about it, I think, but it really was a striking color combination.

Auntie and Nuncle got home with the dogs, neither of whom bit me this time, and we exchanged Christmas presents. They got me a disappearing TARDIS mug, which I am quite pleased with (and a couple of other small things). I kind of went overboard for them this year; I got Nuncle a couple of small books, and a set of Star Trek juice glasses (because two or three glasses got smashed during my last visit (it wasn't me)). I got Auntie a lovely set of bone china cups (can't call them "mugs" when they're that delicate, though they're mug-shaped) with Alphons Mucha prints on them, and, of course, the Lighthouse Book. I got both of them Star Trek socks -- so of course we had to discuss whether or not one is in danger leaving the house in Red Socks....

She didn't have a chance to look through the Lighthouse Book because we were On A Schedule, so we went out to go shopping...and at BJ's, we found a lighthouse calendar that actually had the St. Joe light in it. That freakin' thing really is everywhere!

After shopping, we came back to the house for a bit and had cookies, then went to pick Gram up for FamilyFest. Getting her into the van at the Heights wasn't too much of a production, but getting her back into it at my parents' house after dinner certain was, because my folks have four steps up to their house. Anyway, it took Mom, Dad, and me to get her situated. Dinner was nothing special, just pizza and chips. Conversation was also relatively unmemorable. Auntie and I have decided that the acoustics in Mom and Dad's dining room make it so that Gram can't hear anything despite her hearing aids, because she was happily engaged in conversation the previous night at Nuncle's parents' house, and sat like a stone last evening. I hadn't considered that before, but I suppose the room could be quite echoey for someone with hearing aids, since it doesn't have any carpeting.

So now it's January, the new year is underway, and I have to return to work today. I have a follow up appointment with my GYN's office this morning for the infection in my incision. Said infection has not gotten worse, but it doesn't really seem to have gotten any better, and I am nearly through the course of antibiotics which was prescribed. *sigh*

So I will be late to work on my first day back. I find that hilarious.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It seems quite early to be up and around this morning, though in truth, if it were a regular weekday, I would have been late for work. It just seems...slow and quiet, I guess, this morning. I had to get up by 6:00 in order to take my antibiotic, and I more or less managed it. I don't have to go anywhere today, so maybe that's why it seems early, still. And maybe the dim day and snow has something to do with it. It will be a good day for a blankie, hot chocolate, and a book, all of which I have.

I am going to miss the traditional Day After Christmas activities of shopping with MyAuntie and Nuncle and going to Grama's house for pizza (or whatever) afterward. Leftover Night started many years ago when MyNuncle and HTWIWM used to have epic Scrabble battles, both on Christmas Night, and continued afterward on The Night After Christmas. When Gram still cooked Christmas dinner, we had sandwiches of leftover turkey or ham, chips, and whatever pie was left for dessert. Once the table was cleared, the Scrabble began. We had even invented specialized tiles -- the Lewis & Clark tile, for instance, allowed one to form a word off the side of the board if one needed the space.

Not this year. No HTWIWM, No Auntie & Nuncle, and no leftovers at Grama's house. I haven't played Scrabble in years.

I have been trying to find calendars on Barnes & Noble's website. I am positive that I saw an email stating that calendars are now 50% off, and besides that, I know that they mark calendars down mid-December. But every calendar I have looked at has been at regular price. Maybe I need to sign into my account? (Buying calendars at the Calendar Place in the mall has also been a traditional Day After Christmas event for years.)

Familyfest was a bit of a raucous affair last night (pretty much as usual), and for once in my life, I did not feel alone and excluded at dinner. This was mainly due to the presence of my sister and her kids (and absence of the Lizard who can make any gathering about herself). Bird was in a good mood herself, and the kids are good kids. Besides, they have the good taste to like my writing. I gave them both a copy of my Author Quest entry (since they're pretty much the target age) to read. Nephew found it confusing, but hasn't seen the Dark Crystal. Niece was enthusiastic in her praise. (She's 13, and has seen the movie.) Gram and Mom managed not to snipe at each other, though Gram started obsessing about the tins of specialty cookies that she had bought; one was missing, but when Dad counted them up, we think what happened was that she gave one of the family tins to the people at EH. She kept telling us that she bought five. She had four with her, and she had given one to "those girls; they take such good care of me." There you go: five boxes of cookies. She was also obsessing about her television; she has somehow turned on closed captioning, and can't figure out how to turn it off, and expected someone to make a special trip down to turn it off for her. There's a button on the remote that she keeps brushing or pressing, and she can't seem to find it again. Bird said she would take care of it since she was playing taxi last night.

Also? I have leftovers for the next week.

Also, also? MyAuntie sent me a Xmas ornament with the lighthouse on it. This. Means. War. (Also, also addendum: Now I can't wait for her to open the photo book.... And I may have to enlist MyNuncle's help in getting lighthouse stuff for her for future skirmishes.)

I'm not certain whether "The Time of the Doctor" warrants a separate post or not. My initial impression: I didn't like it. But then, I didn't like last year's Christmas special, either, and it has grown on me. (Still don't care for the Christmas Carol one, though.) They still didn't explain how Clara and the Doctor got from where they were at the end of "The Name of the Doctor" to where they were at the beginning of "The Day of the Doctor," nor how Clara went from being disliked by the TARDIS to being able to at least close her doors with a snap of her fingers. After the brilliance of "Day," last night's episode was a distinct let down, I thought. Perhaps if it had been longer, and explored a few things a bit more, rather than just tossing them off with a single sentence or some voice over narration, it might have been better. However, I did tape it, so I will watch it again, possibly this morning.

You know, since it's so early.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am tucked up on the couch with the laptop. I have a headache. I have been to the doctor's office, and to the bank for Grama, and to see Grama, and to the office to drop things off for Bird's kids who are spending some time there with her this afternoon, and I have had lunch, and paid an overdue bill of Gram's (it got left in my purse accidentally before my surgery), and divided up a five-pound bag of hard candy for the great grandkids (for Grama, obviously), and I feel like there's still something else I need to do. There really isn't, I don't think.

The doctor agrees that the azithromycin is not working. We're going to try Keflex next, and I am to go back to the office next Thursday to see the NP (as Doc will be on vacation). I am vastly amused, as that is the day I am supposed to go back to work. So I will be late on my first day back.

My sister has to make a quick Santa Run to the next nearest Game Stop this evening when she gets out of work, so I told her to drop the kids here. I will feed them supper and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol with them. Bird doesn't think they've ever seen it.

Because it is Christmas Eve, I have been thinking about traditions. When I was a little girl, lo, these many, many moons ago, Christmas Eve was exciting. I had to wash my hair in the morning, and Mom would set it with pink spongy rollers so that it would be curly in the evening. Mom would spend all day baking, with Christmas songs pouring out of the record player. There was always a new dress, and Mom often had a dress out of the same fabric; when I was a kid, more often than not, she made our Christmas dresses. Christmas Eve meant MyAuntie and Nuncle arriving from whereever he was stationed. It meant candles in church, and "Silent Night," and watching my great grandparents open their gifts because my great grandmother cooked Christmas dinner and didn't have time to open gifts on Christmas Day, and listening to the radio to catch the NORAD Santa reports, and hanging stockings, and going to bed as early as possible to make Christmas -- and presents! -- come that much sooner.

Now,, I'm middle-aged. My great grandmother died in 1996. My mother took over the holiday cooking from my grandmother several years ago. Grama is in assisted living, and everything will be different this year. I have no idea how this holiday is even going to go. Auntie and Nuncle aren't coming out until this weekend because they don't want to take the chance of one of their dogs biting Bird's kids, plus Gram's house is a little small for three adults, two kids, and four dogs. There will be no candles tonight, no church, and if I do anything with my hair, it'll be straighten it, not curl it.

I was considering this morning what's going to happen down the road when it's my turn to take over the holiday cooking. One can never say for certain what the future will bring, of course, but I'm pretty sure that me doing the holiday meals is one thing that won't happen. I hate cooking.

Which would be why I'm going to be making supper for my niece and nephew.... Though we're probably just having either another pizza or grilled cheese sammiches and tomato soup. (And for the record, there's no such thing as a grilled cheese sandwich. Comfort food = sammiches. Period.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
Excuse me, LJ(/DW) Brain Trust? May I ask a question? Thanks.

My sister does a lot of driving to get her kids. She lives in southwestern NYS and her kids live in Maryland and Alabama. I was going to get her a AAA membership for helping me out these last few weeks (with a few more to go), but when I casually asked her if she was already a member, she said she thought she'd signed up for roadside assistance through Geico.

Even if she did actually sign up for it, would it be good to have AAA, anyway?

Probably the smartest thing to do would be to just ask her to find out if she did, and if she didn't, if she'd like a AAA membership. Of course, where's the fun in that?
malinaldarose: (Default)
When I went to Chronic Care Training in Buffalo back in October, there was one afternoon session that was opened with a trivia game. Everyone in the room was astonished that I knew what "triskaidekaphobia" meant. I was rather surprised that they didn't. Now, remembering how it's spelled -- that's a different matter.

Two packages of Christmas gifts were delivered to the house yesterday (gifts that I have bought for other people, that is). One came in the mail, and the mailman set the package (and the rest of the mail) on the table. He also wrote on the box that the cookies were awesome. (Awesome!) Since the last box that UPS delivered was dropped on the floor next to the table, I have taken to leaving the breezeway light on in the evening, so that both table and sign are visible. Last night's delivery was left on the step up into the house...which involves walking right past both table and sign. Well, at least s/he didn't just drop it on the floor and run, I suppose, but honestly -- can't they read?

I have been having trouble sleeping for a while -- since the surgery, really. At first, it was because I was uncomfortable and couldn't sleep on my side. Then it was because I was afraid that if I rolled over too energetically, I'd tear stitches. Then...I guess it just got to be a habit to be awake. Maybe I'm not doing enough during the day to tire myself out? I dunno. I see the doctor again in a week, which is actually just shy of a month. They probably would've scheduled me for the following week were it not Christmas week and were he not going on vacation. He said I'd be 99% recovered by then, or should be, but I'm hoping he'll want me to stay home until the date he put on my original off-work slip (which is actually six weeks from the surgery). Next time I have a hysterectomy, I'm going to wait until after the holidays.

I should go visit my grandmother today; I haven't been to see her in a week again, and I really need to go install her new telephone for her (plus there will be bills to pick up). Pity I can't figure out a time when she's not going to be there, and sneak in and do it (because she never locks her room).

Argle, I say. Argle. And bargle, for good measure.


Dec. 10th, 2013 08:49 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Huh. I was just starting to look at lighthouse photos for the book I'm going to make for MyAuntie for Xmas, and realized that I never edited the photos from our first trip to the pier, back in 2011. I have plenty of photos for a book, without even having to paste the lighthouse into photos where it doesn't belong. Though that, of course, would be more fun....
malinaldarose: (nellie)
I am supposed to call MyAuntie in about an hour to strategize our day, which will probably include an assault on the mall, dog walkies on the dike, and pizza. Well, it'll definitely include pizza because Grama was persuaded not to buy a turkey breast and a slab o' ham just to cook food for the no-longer-correctly-named Leftover Night. And speaking of leftovers? I can haz. I have turkey, ham, and my mother's brown bread (not grain-brown but molasses-brown).

Yesterday was not a bad day, though I did have one rough patch after reading a short story that focused on a couple and then a community Christmas. Despite my solitary leanings, I really would like to have a perfect Christmas celebration. It's never going to happen, but I had a good bout of melancholy after reading I downed some chocolate and started cleaning up the backroom. It is now in some semblance of order, but really, in addition to being reinsulated, the back two rooms (the back room and the library) really need to be completely gutted and probably made into a kitchen/dining room. As much as I'd miss the library, the way the back part of the house is currently laid out is just...not useful. Besides, I could turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a library. Heck, I could move out of my bedroom into one of the smaller ones and turn my bedroom into the library.

Nah, that's not happening.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Christmas. I puttered around the house for most of the day, didn't watch the all-day Doctor Who marathon on BBC America, though I did finish watching Hogfather and worked some more on the SuperSekritCrochetProject. Just as I was getting ready to go to my parents' house, Dad called and said that dinner would be at least another hour -- apparently the roaster got unplugged and the turkey wasn't anywhere near ready. I contemplated staying home and feeding the critters early, but decided to just go on up there. There was a lot more traffic than I normally see on Christmas; but I suppose people could've been coming and going from the cinemas, which are nearby.

Dinner was cramped. Mom had tried setting up the tables in a different configuration; rather than exiling the kids to the living room, she had set their table up against one wall, and then put the adults all around a table sort of up against the opposite wall. The idea was to leave walking space between tables, but by the time you got chairs into that space, there was no more room than if she'd set the tables up the way she usually does. Not to mention that it's a good thing I am friends with MyNuncle and Cousin VJer.... Of course, it didn't help that the Lizard's eldest daughter (previous relationship) and her four-year-old were there. I'm not certain when my parents and grandmother adopted her and her spawn, but...well, let's just say that I was really, really, really tired of shrieking four-year-old by the end of the evening, especially when his nine-year-old cousin started egging him on. I really wanted to crack both of them right across their sticky little faces.

Which is why I do not have children of my own.

Not surprisingly, my mother had more packages for me. No Belleek unicorns, though. Two of them contained dad wrapped a pair of Godiva chocolate bars into a box that would probably hold a gross of the things, but we had fun exclaiming over the box and the poo bags keeping the chocolate from rattling around (i. e., plastic grocery bags, used during dog walkies -- if you're a polite dog owner, anyway). The last package, Mom insisted that I open in front of my grandmother and my aunt. Inside was a heavy quilt. She had bought the topper at a cousin's garage sale and had someone attach it to a backing. It was made by my great great grandmother Rose Ellen (Nellie, in the icon). I'll need to get a quilt rack for it, because if I just put it on my bed, it'll be covered in cat fur before you can say "get off of there, you mangy furball!" and it's not something I can just toss in the washing machine.

Grama slipped me some cash...which at this point, is probably going to be applied to bills, but I'll tell her I bought books with it. Of course, if I use it toward a credit card payment, that'll actually be true. Auntie told me she left her packages at home (well, Grama's house) because it's generally too chaotic at Mom and Dad's for much present opening, so I'll get that later. And she'll get hers, too, since I left them in the van. I'm taking bets on whether or not she took some of my Italy photos and made crocheted Christmas ornaments with them (a specialty of hers).

I got home just in time to watch the last twenty minutes of "The Angels Take Manhattan" (*sniffle*), then it was time for the Doctor Who Christmas special. It'll be interesting to see what twenty minutes BBC America cuts out of it when they re-air it later in an hour time-slot. I really enjoyed it, a lot more than the last two specials. Last year's was just...well, the build-up was great, but the resolution was stupid, and the year before...I didn't really like it at the time and haven't rewatched it, which I should probably do. And then I watched a chunk of Graham Norton, and I wonder how much of that was cut to fit it into a forty minute (which commercial breaks) time-slot.

And then Christmas was over and I went to bed. The End.


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