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Guess who overslept by nearly half an hour today? Guess who's lucky that she didn't have to be to work at the usual time?

Go on, guess.

Today I have to drop the van off at the garage to have the rattling noise -- which has not recurred -- looked at. I will also have them add the brake fluid and possible throw the code-checky-thingummy at it to make sure that's all it wants. I am hoping they won't need it for any longer than it takes me to have breakfast at MacDhougal's which is two doors down. When I made the appointment, they said they'd need it for several hours, but here's hoping....


And here I am at home, waiting for them to call me. Even though I was there at 8:28, and they open at 8:30, it was apparent that they weren't going to get to Das Woofenwagen right away as they already had two cars up on lifts. And, indeed, I have been home for an hour and am still waiting for their call. The funny thing was that as I was passing Tim Horton's on the way home, Co-Conspirator P was pulling out from the drive-thru and informed me I was headed the wrong way. Which I was...sort of. So I had to explain that I'd be seeing her later, as soon as they're done with the van.

The Gecko is out in the living room, sitting in the chair playing on her laptop. I'm sure that as soon as I leave to go get the van, she'll sack out on the couch. She slept all through my lunch hour yesterday. It kind of annoys me that she spends so much time sleeping while she's here, but Jack doesn't mind, and that's what really matters. The new day care place on my way to work has opened; I need to stop and ask them what their rates are. And if they're affordable, get Jack vaccinated for kennel cough, as that's the only one we skimp on.

Which reminds the vet's office; Jack needs more [expensive] meds. Let's see...Interceptor and Dasuquin...that'll be $120 easily. Good thing tomorrow's pay day. Whee!

Speaking of meds, I need to see about switching pharmacies again. CVS is too expensive.

I did finish A Wizard Abroad yesterday afternoon. It's the fourth book in the Young Wizards series. I still have the fifth, as well as The Book of Night With Moon actually on my shelves. I was going to just power through them, but when I read the back cover of the next one, I just wasn't interested. The characters don't really grab me, and TBoNwM apparently has cats as main characters and I actually don't like animals as main characters. Ramoth and Mnementh or Yfandes or Rolan are one thing (and not main characters, anyway), but.... *shrug* So when I got ready to go out this morning, I grabbed the next Miss Fisher book. I have three backed up and waiting,, I think, to catch up to the current book in the series. Though I did also eye Anansi Boys since I recently reread American Gods.

Uncomfortable news in the 'hood recently. My next-door neighbor, K, called me to the fence the other evening to warn me about a couple of youngish guys who approached Mrs. T across the street the day before that. Mrs. T is probably in her 90s now, but still goes for long walks a couple of times a day. These two guys approached her as she was returning from her morning walk (so...around 9:00 or so) and asked if they could mow her lawn. She has B next door take care of it for her, and he'd just mown it a couple of days before this, so of course she said no. They passed her and went on up the street, and she went home. But she happened to look out the window and saw them turn around and come back and up her driveway. She went outside to see what they wanted; she wanted to be in plain sight of the other neighbors when she did. They told her they needed gas money, and she replied that they'd come to the wrong person for that. They did go away again, but she was understandably frightened. When K told me, the evening of the day after this happened, Mrs. T had not yet filed a report with the sheriff's department. I hope she has since. Apparently, the Gossip has been muttering about shooting people...which, really, I am not surprised that he has a gun or six. But if anything happened to Mrs. T, the entire street would be up in arms. There hasn't been any sign of them again, so far as I know, which is good.
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So far, it has been an interesting week. Monday was the car repair and inspection. On the way home from that, I heard a godawful noise coming from the rear end, but then it went away, so I thought perhaps it was parts "settling in." I haven't had a new muffler in a vehicle in probably twelve years, so who knows, right? I didn't hear it Tuesday...until I was driving home from work, so I called the garage as soon as I had walked Jack. They said to bring it in first thing in the morning.

While I was in a rare Make The Unpleasant Telephone Call mood, I called the number for the bat specialist in Buffalo to see if he/they came this far south -- all of the towns listed on the website that weren't Buffalo suburbs were toward the east. I talked to the guy for a good twenty minutes, and he said that for bats, he would definitely come this far south...and I ended up with an appointment for him to not only come look at the house on Saturday, but to do the work, as well! I'm not even sure how it happened, but when I hung up, I was in a panic wondering where the fuck I was going to come up with that kind of money by the weekend when I was flat broke. (I mean that literally. Flat. Broke. The stone cast by the furnace replacement is still causing ripples.)

I had been talking about getting a loan later this year to get some work -- including the bat-proofing -- done on the house, so I decided that I would do just that. I poked at the credit union website, then decided I'd go to the bank instead. So I gathered up my bills and added up my debts...and this is the first time I've actually totaled up my credit card debt. Holy fuck. Holy, holy fuck. I am in so much trouble....

But. I went to the bank. And...unbelievably, I actually got the loan, and the payments are totally reasonable (apparently I have excellent credit), and when I finish paying off the van in a few months, I might actually be able to pay down some of that horrendous mess...and still be able to pay for the trip -- which will have to be done in six months or so, probably. You know, assuming that a) Americans are still allowed to leave the country, and b) Americans are allowed to enter other countries. And I am so taking my trip, goddammit.

So I feel...much better. I have been living in a state of low-level dread ever since the weather started getting warmer. I have been ducking when I go from the kitchen to the living room because I am always, now, expecting to see a bat. I keep checking the ceilings. I need this to end. And this nice man from up Buffalo way is going to take care of it for me.

The loan is not large enough to take care of everything, of course. I couldn't get that much money, and I didn't ask for it. But I should be able to also get the exterior painting done, pay off a couple of credit cards (stupid to have even opened them -- I know better than that, but deals), and maybe get a few things done inside the house. I probably don't have enough to get the upstairs bathroom done unless I go ahead with turning it into a closet, but I can get someone in to put up the molding and window trim and maybe fix some of the damage that Jack did. And speaking of Jack, he needs his teeth cleaned. I was going to have it done in February when they always have 10% off, but I didn't have the cash. And maybe I will go ahead and get a new stove.

I have possibilities now. It's...a nice feeling.

Oh, and the van? One of the hangers for the new muffler was bent, so that the tailpipe was rattling against the frame -- but not constantly. Fortunately, it made the noise while the mechanic was riding with me. We got back to the garage, and they fixed it for me in five minutes.
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Before Christmas, I was ordering things from ThinkGeek for MyNuncle, and I bought myself a set of TARDIS sheets and pillowcases. Today, I finally opened them, ran them through the washer, line-dried them, and put them on the bed. Very cute. Also very thin. I can't imagine that they would last very long on a kid's bed. We'll see if it's warm enough at night yet for them or if I'll have to put the flannel bedding -- which is currently taking its turn on the line -- back on.

Das Woofenwagen is inspected. She passed with no problems. I don't remember what, exactly, they said about the muffler, whether it was that and the tailpipe that needed to be replaced or just the pipe. In any case, she is now very quiet, and I had to cash the check that MyAuntie sent me as a Just In Case after I replaced the furnace. *sigh* I'll have to pay her back out of my next two pays.

My original plan for today was to watch Saturday's episodes of Class and Graham Norton, but it has been too nice a day, and I've been too energetic for that. Instead, I've changed the bedding, washed too loads of same, swapped my winter clothes out for my summer clothes, walked up to the garage to retrieve Das Woofenwagen, and now I'm debating sitting on the patio in the sun (Vitamin D!) for a bit or starting to clean out the breezeway so I can put it to the use for which it was built. I think it's going to be the patio, actually, because it's nearly 3:00 p.m. now, and I am finally starting to wind down. Plus, I think I need a plan for the breezeway. I am going to have to continue to use part of it for storage, I think (snow shovels and that sort of thing), so I want to have an idea of what I'm going to do out there rather than just throwing myself at it.

I finished Orca last night and this morning started Dragon which jumps backwards in Vlad's timeline some four or five years. It can get confusing.... I am now up to 31 books for the year. I'm sure once I finish this series, I'll slow down again; the Taltos books are all pretty short and the writing is breezy. They're easy to just keep reading.

I called MyAuntie this morning to let her know that I was going to be cashing the check, and while we talked, I was looking at the one bookshelf that is more or less dedicated to unread books. I...have a lot of unread books....
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This has been a really loooong week. At least I have a three-day weekend coming up, though not for any good reason. Das Woofenwagen is due for inspection, so I'm having that done on Monday, as well as having the muffler (just the muffler, I hope!) replaced. Although I could get a ride to work, I find it simpler just to take the day off when I have to take the van in for work because then I don't have to negotiate getting home again, or taking personal calls at work, or bothering with packing a lunch. Bird would be perfectly willing to at least pick me up and drop me off, but she always goes to lunch at 1:00, and I usually go at noon. Plus the garage's hours are weird: 8:30 to 4:30, so that doesn't work with working either 8-4 or 9-5. And so I take the day off.

I did not yet come up with a good way of presenting the Gecko's stuff to her, so I will hold off on doing that. I never thought I'd find anyone more conflict-averse than I am, but she's it. In dog terms, she's so submissive she might as well have legs on her back; her belly is constantly on offer. I, on the other hand, simply do not want to interact with her. At all. Ever.

There is a question on the civil service test for my position that is a favorite. It shows up on nearly every test: There is a client who comes into your office who stinks. What do you do? The answers are a) terminate the interview and tell him it will resume when he has bathed, b) ignore it and forge onward, c) present him with a bar of soap, d)...I can't remember what the fourth choice is. Well, here I am, about to try the bar of soap solution because everything else has been tried with this young woman.

I have complained numerous times to my mother than the Gecko is too stupid to live, and my mother always comes back with "She's very intelligent! She was on the honor roll every quarter she was in school." Oh, that's just great, Mom. So she's smart enough to come in out of the rain, and get out from under a drip if the roof is leaking -- but she's not smart enough to go get a bucket to put under the leak. She'd let the furniture be ruined, rather than get off her ass and look for a bucket. Okay, so it's a combination of not-smart and lazy, but I've also watched her continue to batter at a locked door, not once thinking that since she can't get it open, maybe she should try knocking.

In non-Gecko news, I finished Athyra last night. Apparently, I am going to sail straight through the entire Vlad Taltos series just as I did the entire Harry Dresden series. Next up is Orca. I do have to say that I didn't like Athyra as much as I did the previous books because it is told almost entirely from the point of view of a teenager (for certain values of "teenager") that Vlad runs into in his travels. Vlad's snarky POV is part of the draw of the books, and there were only hints of it in this one.

It stormed last night. I do love storms. It was raining so hard right around bedtime that I didn't even bother to try to let Jack out. He'd've look at the rain, looked at me as if to ask if I was nuts, and turned around and gone back in the house. He wouldn't even have crossed the threshold. So we skipped straight to giving him his Last Outs Biscuit.

I suppose I need to think about what I'm going to wear to The Place today. I do not want to go to The Place. I will have to once more try to set my voice mail on the Decepticon Cylon new phone. And also switch the receiver cord from the ridiculously short one to my nice long one.


Jun. 7th, 2016 08:24 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Something I ate disagreed with me yesterday. It was comparatively mild as these things go, but I still wasn't feeling so great this morning, so I called in sick -- even though I took a vacation day yesterday. Perks of a civil service position, I guess. Anyway, as soon as I cancelled my dogsitter for the day, I started to feel better. On the other hand, I'm now starting to feel iffy again. Her father hasn't acknowledged my message, though, so I imagine I'll be sending her away shortly.

I did get the recall taken care of on the van yesterday. The key fits very tightly into the new ignition module, so now I can see where they might have had a problem with the old ones just falling out or slipping into accessory mode if the fobs were overloaded with other keys. Not that I do that. I have a house key, the key to my lock box and the bonus card from the grocery store on my key fob. The fob itself weighs more than those items. All the other keys I might need (like to my grandmother's and parents' houses) are on a separate key ring clipped into my purse.

The other repair, to the wiper assembly on the rear window cost a little less than half of what I expected, so I went away feeling quite pleased with the whole thing, especially as it took just a little over an hour. I had packed my backpack with my laptop (and power for same), my camera, my book, snacks, and a bottle of soda in anticipation of spending a good chunk of the morning at my grandmother's house, but when I was assured that it would be about an hour, I stayed at the dealership in the customer lounge. It would've taken me at least twenty minutes to walk to Gram's house and back, so.... And I met one of my new neighbors; turned out the clerk who checked me in was one of the people who bought the house kitty-corner across the street.

I stopped at the mall on the way home and made the mistake of trying on clothing. Ack. Don't do that.

I did have to drive the Gecko home, but I still got home before 1:00 p.m. and had time for a brief nap in the sun on the patio. I'm probably going to regret it, but I am going to ask her to accompany me to the V-E-T's office on Friday. In addition to taking Merlin in for blood work, I'm going to take Jack to have his nails clipped. I can manage Jack and a cat carrier, but it would be simpler with another pair of hands, and I can drop her off home on my own way home.

Aaaand here they are.

And there they go.

It's chilly out today. It's not supposed to be out of the upper 60s today, and supposed to only be in the 50s tomorrow. I closed the house up last night to keep in what warmth had accumulated because by tomorrow it'll be chilly in here again.

Whatever bug was up Jack's butt night before last seems to have gone. He was fine after we got back from running the Gecko home yesterday, until I scolded him for chasing a squirrel. I'd've left him alone, but the squirrel was a particularly stupid specimen that only traveled up a tree about couple of feet, where Jack could still easily have snatched it down -- and he nearly did until I caught up to him and dragged him into the house. After that, he was glued to me again for several hours until we came back from walkies and sat on the patio for a bit. The upside to it is that the next time he considered chasing a squirrel, I only had to tell him no and he left it alone. But he was less gluey after that and, in fact, didn't even come upstairs with me last night. So at least I slept better, even if my innards weren't pleased with me.

Today's plan is to take it relatively easy. I'm going to work on some garage sale stuff -- pricing what I've already dragged out and cleaning out my jewelry box as that's fairly easy. I have some writing to do. And some TV to watch. Maybe I'll do a load of laundry; I'm planning to put some linens in the garage sale; I should probably run them through the washer even though they were clean when I put them away. On the other hand, people would probably wash them before using them, anyway -- I would, at least.

I should finish Gram's VA app, too, even though I don't think she's going to be eligible for anything.
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I am taking today off because I have to take Das Woofenwagen in for an alignment. Meanwhile, my sister, who has pretty much moved into Number Five's house across the border (to the point of taking all of Nick's supplies there), has to sit and wait for a dryer repairman, so there would be no companionship for Jack. Ergoipsofactoepluribusunum, as I don't want him tearing up Gram's house, and I don't want him tearing up my house, I am also taking the day off. I know Jack would be fine to be left for the morning. It's going back in the afternoon that worries me. If I weren't already having to go in late because of the alignment, I might just take the afternoon off.

We need more canine companionship around this place.

I should actually, come to think of it, probably try going to work and leaving him here alone to see how he does, because I can't keep taking time off. Which doesn't mean I'm going to give today up....

I have been looking at cell phones of late, after seeing how very useful a smartphone can be. I was just about set to stop by the Verizon store and sign up when I started reading the fine print and realized that no, it's not going to cost me $45 a month, it's going to cost more like $80 a month. No, thanks. So now, as much as I loathe WickedMart, I'm leaning toward Straight Talk, which is what my sister uses. If I'm reading things correctly, they use Verizon's network, anyway, and there seems to be better coverage for that around here.

My box from English Heritage arrived yesterday. My only major complaint is that they packed my slate keyring and my TeenyTinyTrilithon in the mug I got for MyNuncle -- leaving them to rattle around loose on an international voyage. When I picked up the mug and heard the noise, I thought for sure something had broken. I am pleased with the stuff I got, though, and now I have Xmas gifts for MyNuncle and my father -- that I didn't have to cart on to Paris and back. I was right about the sweatshirts, though. I bought the largest size they had, and it makes me a) look pregnant, and b) like I'm wearing my baby-daddy's clothing. Maybe I'll send it to MyNuncle. Maybe I'll send it to MyAuntie; she could wear it for a dress.

It was a good mail day: I also got a postcard from [personal profile] silme and a Dirk Gently DVD from Acorn, which is (or was, anyway) running their $10 DVD sale. This is also how I acquired Children of the Stones.
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How's that for a country song? (I've already sung My Man Left Me And My Dog(s) Died.)

Got back from walking Jack this morning to discover that the rear passenger-side tire on the van was completely flat. There was no idiot light yesterday, so I'm not sure why it's suddenly flat unless I drove over something on my way home from work last night. There's no point in calling AAA for a couple of hours, because while tow shops open early, I'm sure they mostly don't open until after I'm supposed to be at work.

The really frustrating thing about this is that there is an air compressor built into my garage...but I don't know how to use it. And for the tire to be so completely, suddenly flat, it's not likely that just filling it would help -- there's got to be something wrong with it.

And in other news, it's so humid that even though the fan ran all night, it didn't pull enough air into the house to cool it off. It's 64° outside, and 77° inside. Maybe I should just fire up the oven and make some cookies for the tow truck guy.

Oh, look. It must be Thursday.
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Here's a few days' worth of stuff I've been meaning to post about, in no particular order:
  • My snowdrops popped right up as soon as the snow above them melted. I have seen them up as early as the end of January before. Not this year.

  • Jack got all excited about a cat loafing in someone's side yard the other morning while we were walking...and it turned out to be a basketball.

  • Merlin's chronic respiratory infection has resurfaced, so I picked up antibiotics for him a few days ago. I seem to have lost all ability to pill him. The first day I tried, it took four attempts, and I ended up scraping my finger on his tooth. (I'm pretty sure it was just clumsiness on my part, not biting on his.) Yesterday wasn't too bad, but today was awful, and I ended up not only hauling out the gushy fudz but also sacrificing a half-pill. In the end, I managed to pop a fresh one straight down his throat. Go figure.

  • I am not certain about my new washer and dryer. They work, yes, but...well, there's a bit of buyer remorse, there. The lint trap on the dryer is on top, and I don't like that. The one on the old dryer was just inside the door, and I much preferred that. The top ones feel to me like they're going to scrape the lint off into the machine when they're pulled out. The washer is high efficiency and has no agitator, and it just sounds all wrong. And it's nearly as enthusiastic about spinning as the old one was, so there's not as much difference as I had hoped for there. So, all in all, I'm not entirely enthusiastic.

  • And I'm betting that they won't last 17 years like the others.

  • I indulged myself in a new camera, which I think I mentioned. I am...not as impressed as I might be. The electronic viewfinder is awful, like looking through a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. And I really don't like having to rely on auto-focus. I have some photos from Italy that would be fabulous, if the auto-focus had caught the right thing.

  • The ice in the driveway is finally gone. In another week or so, if the temps keep up, I might be able to open my garage doors again!

  • There is still plenty of snow, though.

  • I really, really, really need a vacation. I now have enough vacation days for the trip, especially as I'll be going back to work the day after the day after we get back. Or possibly the day after, depending on when we get in from Toronto, though I don't expect that to be until relatively late. I may decide to go to Michigan in May, after all.

  • I decided earlier this week to take a quick bookstore trip this weekend, which means Buffalo, of course. I asked BFT if she wanted to go with me, and our plans were all set when I remembered that I'd have to get a sitter for Jack. It's hard not being able to just up and do something if I want. My sister is going to watch him for me. It's not going to be a long trip, as trips go: we're just getting lunch and going to Barnes & Noble, so we'll probably only be gone about five hours (three of which will be travel time). My sister was dismayed when I told her we were leaving at midmorning. She wasn't planning to be up that early. A coworker and I both scoffed, as we'll both be up before dawn, and I'll have gone for groceries and finished my chores before leaving.

  • The streetsweeper went up and down the streets in my neighborhood this afternoon. I was amused. The snow hasn't even all melted yet.

  • There are little earthen mounds running along the edges of everyone's property where the snowplows have gouged up and thrown sod and older layers of sand. That ought to make mowing entertaining.

  • Yeah, I'm already thinking about mowing, mostly because the snow has melted enough to reveal the leaves that didn't get mulched last fall because the Curse of the Lawnmower struck. I need to get the lawnmower repaired. On top of everything else.

  • Speaking of repairs.... The rear window wiper on the van needs to be fixed. The motor died, I think. And it's probably a dealer part. I have no experience with such things, so I hope one can just go to any dealer, and not the one from which one purchased the vehicle.

  • A coworker, when I said I was reading the Harry Potter series for about the fourth time, declared that she can stand to read books more than once. I...don't understand. (I've even read The Silmarillion multiple times.

  • Gah. I just balanced my checkbook and wrote checks (one of my normal Saturday chores, but I won't have time tomorrow), and it took me longer than expected because I had a check marked cleared that wasn't yet. I had to log into my bank's website, and then it forced me to change all my security stuff before it would let me access my account -- probably because I do so so very rarely. Still, I hate having to make up a new password on the spot.

  • One of the problems with listening to Morning Edition from first thing in the morning on is that by the time I'm driving to work, they're starting to repeat stories. Which is great if I missed part of X because I was washing my face and had water running, but not so great if Y made me want to throw something at the radio. Fortunately, the off button is a lot closer in the car than it is in the house....

  • And that, I think, is that.
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  • My front teeth are sort of achey. Not sure why. Sugar? Maybe.

  • I am coveting a new camera for my trip this summer. Do I need a new camera? Of course not. That's where the coveting part comes in.

  • Work sucks.

  • No, really. I got two new apps today. That brings my total up to something like 32.

  • I wondered how long it would take my mother to make some comment about it not being safe to travel to Paris this summer. It took a week and a half.

  • I am now trying to get serious about brushing up on my French, because the trip is only six and a half months away now. (Eek!)

  • It'd be nice to lose 20 pounds, too. (Be nicer to lose 50, but that's not happening!)

  • Kind of sleepy right now. Trying to decide whether to read a book or watch a movie. Or another couple of episodes of Miss Fisher.

  • It's my dad's birthday. I think he's 73. But I'm not certain.

  • Went to see Grama after work. She was pleased to see me.

  • The motor for the rear window wiper in my van has died. The wiper is hanging straight down like a tail. It's kind of embarrassing.

  • Time to go hit the couch, I think. Book or movie, book or movie...?
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It is Monday again. And the equinox, according to my calendar. Today's weather is certainly supposed to be autumnal: sunny, but only in the mid-50s. On the other hand, it's supposed to be back up into the high 70s by the weekend...when I will definitely have to patch the foundation and paint the ramp.

I have been thinking about home improvement projects this morning. I really, really, really (no, really!) want to pain the kitchen, and maybe change the hardware on the cabinets. And maybe paint the cabinets, though I'm not certain about that. My kitchen is ugly; there are no two ways about it. Panelling (and we know how I feel about that!) and brickface under the cabinets. Now, I like the brickface enough not to keep it. But I want to paint the panelling a cream color to match the "mortar" in the brickface, add a shelf (or two) over the stove and decorate with a sunflowery motif. Moving the stove and fridge has always been a sticking point, though. I suppose I could just shove a paint brush as far back beside the fridge as I could reach (it's in a recessed alcove) then maybe get my dad to help me move the stove out a bit so I can paint behind it and go from there.

I also considered painting my bookshelves this coming weekend and putting them back not in my office. My beloved bookshelves are basically just a bunch of inch-thick boards banged together (well, screwed together, actually, because someone is excessively fond of three-inch drywall screws). HTWIWM made them for me the first year we were together, when I lived in a tiny apartment in a duplex that had clearly been a single-family home until someone decided to wall off one of the upstairs bedrooms and put in a second kitchen and bathroom. Really. It was bathroom, kitchen, and living room downstairs, then the whole upstairs was a single room and when you went up the stairs, you could see where the door to the hallway (or possibly a closet) to the rest of the house used to be. Anyway. I love my bookshelves, because they hold hundreds of books. But they're still just boards. I never even stained them, let alone painted them. I dunno. That might be a too spur-of-the-moment project for me; I need time to plan.
In other news, the trip to Stony Brook was enjoyable, though the sun didn't come out until well after we got there. It's always interesting hiking in a place like that because you get stuck in with the same bunch of people. There was the guy with the tripod who, we later found out, was from Ohio and practicing waterfall photographs. (We got to talking at one of the waterfalls.) There was the family group where one of the young women was taking photos of the family at all of the prime photo locations (every bridge, each waterfall, etc.). There was the two women with the lab and three cane corsos (two pups). We talked a bit and I got a lovely shot of the lab (Luna), but couldn't get good shots of the puppies. There was the deaf group. As we were starting up the gorge, a group of Amish folk (probaby an extended family) was coming back down. There's nothing like an Amish family to make one acutely aware of one's bare legs when wearing shorts. I was setting up a TeenyTinyTARDIS shot as they were passing me, and their young girl-child was interested in the TARDIS, but her father (presumably) spoke rather sharply to her and pulled her on by. An older woman in the group did say hello to me when I politely greeted them. Eh, whatever.

Got lots of TeenyTinyTARDIS shots, enough to keep my Tumblr site busy for a couple of weeks, anyway. The rest of the photos are very disappointing, though. Most of them are blurry, and I should have realized at the time that they would be, since I could hear the slow shutter very well. I did get a couple of decent waterfall shots with the monopod, and most of my detail shots of plants and so on are okay, but otherwise? Bleah.

I am quite envious of BFT's new camera. It's a Fuji Finepix, and it has a 40X zoom, not all of which is digital. She was surprised to find that it weighs just as much as Marcello does, though it's slightly smaller. It has a lot of nice in-camera tricks, though, and it cost about the same price as my Tamron lens would have cost to replace. I am tempted.... After all, serious photographers have more than one camera, right? I can be serious. Look, here's my serious face. :-|
Yesterday, I had planned to make a quick run to McKinley, but when I went out for gas it was raining so hard that I changed my mind and came back home. The next time I looked out, the rain had let up. I waffled a bit, finally decided (fukkit!) to go...and the van wouldn't start. Completely dead. Didn't even hiccup. W, quoth I, TF?

Came back inside, dropped my purse off, sat down at my desk to think about whether to call my dad or AAA, decided, after about fifteen minutes, to gry it again...and it started right up. W, quoth I again, TF? At that point, though, I decided I didn't want to drive it out of town, so I went uptown to our pathetic excuse for a mall and just wandered around there.

My whole reason for going to McKinley, though, is that I have a $40 gift certificate for Pier 1 which cannot be used online and which expires in a couple of weeks. I am hoping to be able to run up this weekend. I may go on Saturday as things open earlier than on Sunday, and I just want to go up and back, not spend the day.

Though, as MyAuntie suggested, I should probably look and see if there was some disastrous occurrence yesterday between here and there that would account for the van's capricious-seeming behavior....
And, finally, I am worried about Sheila. Again. Some more. I have had to lift her three times this weekend to help her get her feet under her when it was time for her to get up. I have a band for that, but still. If she is unable to get up on her own.... *sigh*
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • Doctor S from the vet clinic called me yesterday with the results of Sheila's culture and sensitivity. He guessed well; the amoxycillin should clear up the infection. He does want to see her back next week, though.

  • My mother stopped by last night with Niece. She thought that I was insisting -- even though I spelled it out in an email -- that my sister MUST take Nick to his appointment this evening because she is his primary caretaker. What I actually said was that I would take him but that I thought Bird should go along as she is his primary caretaker and Doc W is going to want her observations. It looks like the entire family is trooping out there again tonight, and Mom is once again trying to exert control over the situation, because we went around her when she wouldn't take the dog to his vet to begin with (before the appointment where the old vet blew off Bird's concerns). (Supposedly, my sister is going to be too worn out from her thirty-six hour trip to Germany and back to do anything for the rest of the week. Suck it up, buttercup.)

  • Getting the van out of hock cost more than twice what I was expecting and $4 less than I had in my checking account. At least it wasn't $4 more....

  • I finally finished mowing the lawn yesterday...and parts of it need to be done again already.

  • I was sort of at a loss for things to do yesterday; it was too hot to really get into cleaning the house, and I couldn't go outside while I was waiting for the garage to call. I finished my Idol entry much earlier than I expected to. I did find the surface of my desk, so I suppose that's something to be proud of.

  • It is the sort of morning where I had to stand in front of a fan after my shower so that I could pull clothing on. The house only cooled down five degrees overnight. I have an extra fan running right now, but it's not going to do much good. I hate to leave a fan running when I'm not here, but I think Sheila might need it, since she spends all her time in my office, which is the hottest room in the house. (South and west windows; after 10:00 a.m., it gets All The Sun.)

  • I might need to speak to Niece about disrespecting her great grandmother. She's picking it up from Mom, of course, but it's one thing for my 69-year-old mother to disrespect her mother, and quite another for my thirteen-year-old niece to follow suit. I'd say something to Bird, but I don't know that it would sink in.

  • Jeeves, please call my superior at the office; I do not wish to go in today.

Third Day

Jun. 30th, 2014 06:47 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Despite the fact that I am not working today¹, I was awake and up early. I have actually been up for about an hour and a half, and it's not quite 6:30 a.m. Yay?

It is wet and humid out there. Yesterday's "scattered" thunderstorms turned into pouring rain in the afternoon -- fortunately, right after I got home from fight practice. At least all the recent rain has demonstrated that I did a mostly good job at sealing the ramp, though I can see signs of delamination already². Of course, since it was installed, what, three weeks ago?, it has rained a lot, and not just gentle spring showers. We've had some downright gullywashers. And I don't think the gullies were even dirty. (Even as we speak I am washing a load of rag towels that I used to sop up water in the basement.) Today's forecast is for decent weather, though it'll be too warm for most people; the expected high is 87°, but the humidity is supposed to be much lower than yesterday. Couldn't prove it at the moment.

Anyway. Fight practice, I guess, went well. I got there at 1:00 p.m., and a few guys were already there. I debated seeing about getting the meeting started right away so I could leave, but I waited to see if anyone else would show up. No one who was not a fighter, which is to say, none of the other officers and none of the people who do sometimes come out for meetings, showed up. I was pissed. I had a bit of a chat with Former Seneschal about what topics we had wanted to discuss, then said that I would see about scheduling a regular meeting at the library in the next couple of weeks -- completely forgetting, of course, that I will be going on vacation soon. This week is pretty much out. Maybe next? We'll see.

It rained a couple of times while I was there, but nothing worrisome. When I left (in disgust) at 4:00, it was getting dark, and shortly after I got home, the sky fell. There was no lightning, though, just rain, and lots of it.

I am taking the van in for brake work today. It is to be hoped that it is only brake work. I'll get dressed shortly (still in my jammies) and go drop it off, then walk home. The key will go into an envelope and through the mail slot, because they don't open until 8:30. My plans for the rest of the day pretty much involve finishing my LJI piece and editing the few photos I took at the park yesterday, none of which were actually of fight practice.

My sister is apparently well on her way. Actually, she should be on her way home by now. I had email from my mother last evening, and apparently I am not needed to care for Nick. Which is just as well, I suppose, since I was a little nervous about the glucose monitoring. Not about the shot, so much, as I have some experience with those. He goes back to the vet tomorrow evening for a check up. My mother has already said that she'll have to take him as my sister won't be in any condition after not getting home until 2:00 a.m. (tonight), but I had already planned to take him, and I don't think my mother realizes that the appointment is at almost 7:00 p.m.

Eh, whatever. I knew Mom would suddenly be all smothery-helpful now that the dog she hated for years Needs Her Help.
¹ Well, not working at my job, anyway.

² Friend P suggested getting a roll of roofing material and putting it down on the ramp pebbled side up. It would provide traction in winter and keep the surface from getting wet. He says that one of the county agencies not in a properly accessible building did that when they had a ramp built. The only problem with that is that the stuff is almost certain to be black and that ramp sits in the sun for most of the day, and Sheila doesn't wear shoes.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am waiting for my sister, but, really, she's not due for most of a half hour yet. She's going to follow me up to Dansville where I will leave the van, then bring me home. She will also be picking me up for work the next two mornings, though I'll have to find out what she does at lunchtime (does she stay or leave?) so I can decide whether I need to pack lunches the next couple of days.

The song of the chainsaw is brrrzzing through the neighborhood. The folks a few doors up on the other side of the street had two red-leafed maples in their front yard. Last year, one of them suddenly fell down (I think) and was chunked up and gotten rid of. When the power company's contractors came through a few weeks ago butchering trimming trees, they cut nearly half of the other. It looked awful. It sounds like they're now having that tree taken out, too. It seems clear to me that the power company hires people to trim the trees who hate trees, because they always cut far more than they need to. Like an entire huge limb off my maple that shaded the front of my house. Since the power lines in this neighborhood actually run along the other side of the street, and since that limb ran parallel to the street, there was no chance whatsoever that it was ever going to fall on the power lines and bring them down. And yet they cut it, and I had to completely rearrange my office because I suddenly couldn't see my computer screen any longer.


I went out to see Godzilla last night with BFT and the J-sisters. I enjoyed the movie, but it did run a bit long, I thought. And I kept wanting to sing the Mothra song. I have to confess that I did like the Roland Emmerich version, especially Jean Reno. The theater was pretty crowded. I got there early, and while sitting in the car waiting for everyone else, I kept watching crowds of people going in. But then, it was opening weekend, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It has been the sort of day where because I am wearing a brand new white shirt and because I was filling in for someone else, I managed to dribble cola all down my front just before one of the other worker's clients came in to see her. Or me, since she wasn't there. So much for my new white shirt; I'm glad I had the foresight to buy two.

I have to wonder what my brain is trying to work out when I have dreams in which my two ex-husbands are living together in the house where HTWIWM and I first lived together. The house was actually two doors down from my great grandparents' house, though we moved into the neighborhood a year or so after my great grandmother died, so my great uncle actually owned the house at that point. Anyway, in this dream Gram and Pa's house was empty -- though now I can't remember if it was empty because no one was home or empty because it was unlived in. I do know that my uncle was not the person living there. I do not know why I was at the abode of my ex-husbands (or why on earth they were living together!), but I do know that I was frantic to find a telephone, because Gram and Pa's house was on fire and I needed to call 911. None of the phones I could find worked (which is odd, given that HTWIWM used to install phone systems), until I finally found a fax machine with a fake rotary dial. But instead of numbered buttons arranged in a circle, it had tumbled smooth semi-precious stones with no numbers. I had to guess which stone was the 9 and which the 1 based on their arrangement. And then I couldn't get the buttons to work. I woke up before I managed to summon the fire department. And of course neither D nor A would help, the jerks.

Brains is weird places.

In other news, I mowed the front lawn last night. Just as I really got going, it started to rain, but it never really rained hard enough for me to stop...until it did. And as soon as I stopped, so did the rain. So I started the mower again and persevered until the front was done. All my pretty little violets.... Actually, not all of them, but their numbers are much reduced. I'll have to do the back this weekend, assuming the rain lets up long enough. We've been under a flood watch since at least yesterday and it continues until sometime tomorrow.

The van is going to be fixed. I talked to the guy from the dealership yesterday; it turns out that he knew the people who had owned it before me, so he called them just to double check that they hadn't had it repainted. It turned out that about a year before they traded it in, they hit a deer, so the hood and fender had actually been replaced. In a further coincidence, the body shop that had done the work was the body shop from which he got the estimate to send to Chrysler, and they are going to take care of it because "that shouldn't happen!" So my sister is going to follow me up to Dansville on Sunday when I go to drop it off, and my parents are going to take me back on Tuesday to pick it up. (This will make my parents happy, because it gives my mother a reason to play the martyr card.) (Actually, rereading this paragraph, there probably aren't that many coincidences here; Dansville's not that big a place, really.)

I started rereading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell last evening. I opened the book and found the packing slip; I had forgotten that it was a TH Sekrit Santa gift many moons ago. I haven't read it since it first arrived, and I don't remember much about it, so it'll be like reading it again for the first time, which is kind of exciting, especially since I know that many of my friends are quite fond of it.

Also last evening I finished A Natural History of Dragons which was quite good. I picked up a trade paperback copy when BFT and I went to Erie a week and a half ago. Now I'll have to see about getting a copy of the sequel.

Right. Time to either go to bed as I'm getting sleepy or go find my book, since it's really too early for bed yet.

Moon Rain

May. 12th, 2014 09:29 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was just out with Sheila, admiring the almost full moon through a break in the leaves of the maple tree&@185;, and getting rained on at the same time. Either that or the bats were spitting on me. And since I only saw one bat.... It just struck me as particularly odd that there was the moon sailing through clear sky, yet at the same time, I was getting rained on. Which isn't really all that odd, I suppose; I drove through a band of inordinately heavy rain this afternoon that was maybe a mile wide.

Summer is my favorite season; I always say that, but I forget every year how nice spring is when things start to green up and the trees are all blossoming and everything just smells so sweet. (And it's finally warm!) I was reminded of that while standing outside only a few yards from the crabapple tree. And it's not even an on year for the crabapple: only about a quarter of it is actually in bloom.

So. Good news is good, mostly. Further images simply show "dense breast tissue" which is the polite way of saying that I'm fat. The ultrasound tech very politely asked if I had had any weight changes since last year; well, I gained ten pounds or so since then, and I'm the heaviest I've ever been, so I'd say...yeah, pretty much. Of course, she also asked about drinking caffeine and my hysterectomy. Still. *shrug*

Ah...and now it's pouring out there.

I was at the clinic for three hours and fifteen minutes. I got there earlier than intended; my business in Dansville didn't take as long as I thought, even with stopping for an early lunch. (More on that in a minute.) I was about half an hour early for my appointment, so I was there for over an hour before I saw the mammogram tech and then had to wait another hour and some to see the ultrasound tech. I shouldn't complain, of course, since it ended up being good news.

The drive...well. I nearly merged into people a couple of times and had a couple of quick lane changes -- I loathe driving on those roads, but I guess I won't go to the satellite office again.

Anyway. I stopped at the dealership in Dansville on the way up and they took pictures of the hood and drove the van up the road to a body shop for an estimate on getting it repainted. They're going to email the whole mess directly to Chrysler to see if it'll be covered at all; if Chrysler won't do it, they'll try their district management. Both of the service guys, who I would guess were in their sixties were shaking their heads. "Haven't seen anything like this in years," said one. "Doesn't happen anymore," said the other. "Now if this were an old car...."

But if Chrysler will cover a new paint job, that would be excellent because it would also take care of a couple of dings in the fenders, one from when I backed into the garage doors, and the other that I just spotted on the front today. Here's hoping.

And now it sounds like the rain has stopped again.

Today's drive was a lot different from when I went to Rochester two weeks ago. Then, it was cold and raining, and there was snow on the ground at the highest elevation on I-86. Today it was still rainy in spots, but it was mostly sunny, and warm, and the hills are starting to get green and there are blossoms everywhere.

Vast improvement. Vast.
¹ All of the maple trees seem to have leaves now, but the oaks do not yet.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I complained the other day about needing to use a letter with incorrect wording. I caught the IT guy the next morning and actually wrote him a note while he was standing there: "Tell me the secret password." (To the locked letters.) He protested that he couldn't do that, so I commanded him to fix the letter that I had needed on Friday...and which he had forgotten about. By midmorning he had still not fixed it, and I needed to get the damned case off my desk, so I pulled a .pdf (non-fillable, sadly) of the letter off the state website, printed it, and hauled out my old portable typewriter to fill it in. (I could have written it, but I would almost certainly have had it returned to me to "type properly.") There's a reason I keep that old thing hanging around. I did remember to thank him properly when he came downstairs hours later, though, to show me the fillable .pdf he'd that I didn't need it anymore.

Thing is...all he needed to do was unlock the Word form and change a sentence. That was why I asked for the password to begin with; I'd've done it myself. He really didn't need to go to all the trouble of making a fillable .pdf. Smart guys can be so dumb sometimes.

The front end of our office has been redesigned. All of the intake cubicles now open from the back and all interviews are conducted through glass. Clients are funneled into a single corridor...that continues to have an unlocked door at the end of it, so...that's a bit pointless.

I stopped by to see my grandmother after work yesterday and she informed me she'd been throwing up all day. Couldn't even keep water down; had thrown up in her plate at lunch time. So that was exciting. She has been prescribed some physical therapy after her trip to the hospital, but she is protesting that nothing can be done to make her legs feel better. Well, no. Nothing can. But if she doesn't move them, she won't be able to. That is why she is having PT sessions.

I'm a little confused as to why they didn't bring her some sort of soothing-food-type supper in her room last night, though, when she'd been sick all day. I know menu choices are limited (they were having hot dogs for supper), but really?

I called the dealership where I bought the van yesterday. The service department wasn't sure whether there was a warranty on the clear coat or not; they told me to bring it in and they'd take a look at it. Since I have to drive past the place on Monday, I told them I'd be in then. I'll probably go in the morning; I'm not going to want to stop on the way back from Rochester. Besides which, I can't be sure how late I'm going to be getting out of Rochester.

Spring has finally -- probably -- arrived. There are buds on most of the trees. There are even leaves on the little landscaping trees along the walking trail (that I drive by on my way to work). There are violets galore in my yard, which makes me even less eager to get my lawnmower repaired than otherwise, because I love violets and once they're mown, they don't come back. And yesterday, it was nearly 80°, and I heard the first complaints about how hot it is. Talk about short memories; they were just complaining about how cold it was two days before that. I suppose this weekend I will have to pick up the sticks in the backyard. Maybe tonight after work I will get the lawnmower out to the repair place....

(And for record keeping purposes, Sheila peed in the house overnight again.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
Okay, just looked at the pics I took yesterday afternoon of the car. Maybe not 75%. Maybe about 40%. Still, it looks awful. I don't need this van rusting away before I even have it paid off.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Tomorrow is BFT's birthday, so I am taking today off and we going on one of our semi-annual shopping trips (the other one will be on my birthday in November). We're going to Erie today, which makes me slightly uncomfortable because it's not somewhere I am particularly familiar with. I may buy a map book while we're in Barnes & Noble. (What? I don't have a smart phone, and I know how to read a map.) We probably won't actually go any farther into Erie that B&N, which is across from the mall, though we may go as far down Peach Street (the shopping area near the thruway) as the Pier 1. Loves me some Pier 1.

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to go to the super-bargain matinee showing of CAtWS. Yes, a fifth viewing, even though the new Spider-Man was beginning at roughly the same time. I don't like crowds, so Cap seemed a better choice in that regard than Spidey. I'll catch Spidey next weekend.

When I came out of the theater yesterday afternoon, the horrible peely-whatever on the hood of the van had progressed to about 75% of the surface. Since I usually approach the drivers side from the rear when I leave the house, I hadn't noticed it had gotten that bad. Probably the rain we've had the last few days. There are curls of top coat or whatever lying in my yard. I am not impressed. (Or happy. Because of course I bought it at a dealership an hour away, and I'm certain it's no longer under warranty, even if this were a covered thing.)

Grama is home from the hospital, which really surprised me since when Mom emailed yesterday morning, she was moaning about how Gram was all helpless and not doing well, and EH wouldn't take her back if she couldn't do things for herself, and I was starting to mentally gear up to argue with the local nursing home about how they're not getting her money directly, I will pay the bill myself, thank you very much. And I cannot get my family to stop referring to EH as a nursing home and its residents as "patients." EH is an assisted living facility; there's a huge difference (about $4,000 a month, and, boy, did my aunt's eyes bug out when she found that out). (Trust me, I know the difference after three years in a related field.)

Gram's ER doc was interesting. When he came in the first time after I got there, I had pulled a chair away from the wall and into Gram's line of vision, so she'd know I was there. He bustled in and I asked if I was in his way. "Yes," he said. No quibbling about it. I was surprised, but kind of pleased. He was very efficient, but nice to Gram, and we later found out he'd been a flight medic, because Mom was talking about having seen a helicopter doing funny things on the way in (not the hospital's helicopter), and he was describing how they practice certain maneuvers. I'll find out his name when I get the bill. It was kind of busy there on Saturday afternoon, but was probably busier Saturday evening.

I was less pleased with my mother; I know she's trying to be helpful when she spouts medical jargon, but she sounds pretentious, and I have to wonder how much the docs actually listen. I think if I were a doctor and this batty old woman were telling me about pitting and edema and emesis basins and sputum cultures (rather than swelling, cup-thingies, and spitting therein), I'd be disinclined to accept it. But maybe that's just me.

Bleah. Gotta go find something to wear today that is not totally schlubby, yet also warm and comfortable for driving. According to the weather wiseacres, it's supposed to be 50° in Erie today and raining. Which is, I think, about what the weather was last year on BFT's birthday.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Das Woofenwagen passed inspection...but it cost me over $200 to get her there. Actually, it probably cost less than that; I'm not sure the hose that had to be replaced was an inspection item, but the gas cap was because the lack of seal caused the check engine light to come on, and it wouldn't pass with that, even though I knew perfectly well what it was. I even let it go to the garage that way on purpose. The hose, though...I was told that if that hose hadn't been replaced, it could have caused quite a spectacular engine failure. Which...since I'm still paying on this van (and will be for another few years), would not be good. I'd go so far as to say it would be bad.

Turns out that the hot smell was actually antifreeze leaking from where antifreeze shouldn't be. They also found what might be an oil leak or might just have been the guys who changed the oil being sloppy. They cleaned it up and want me to stop by next week so they can put it up on the lift and double-check. The brake pads, I am assured, will last me through the summer, but I will probably have them replaced before I drive to Michigan in July (or whenever I go).

So...that's done, at least...and now I want to drive somewhere. I'll probably hold off on that, though, until next month. BFT's birthday is at the beginning of the month, and we'll be going to Erie for lunch and shopping (unless she has changed her mind and wants to go to Buffalo or Rochester).

The weather was lovely yesterday. According to the Weather Channel, it got up to 65°. According to the thermometer in the van, it was 55° while I was driving around getting the computer to reset so they could put the van on the state system and get me an inspection sticker. It's supposed to be slightly cooler today, I think, but still better than it has been. More springlike. The snowdrops are still the only things blooming, though the perennials have all at least sprouted. I'm not certain whether the aconite or the snow glories should be next. Both are usually here and gone before I need to mow...which reminds me: I need to get the lawnmower repaired. Bleah.

The Tree Killers were here yesterday when I got home from picking up the van. Fortunately (or unfortunately), they have mutilated my maple tree so much that it should never need trimming again. It's not even on the same side of the road as the power lines, so I'm not sure why they cut it, but several years back, they came through and cut about a quarter of it away (running parallel to the street, not over it, so there wasn't even that excuse), so that it no longer shades the front of the house. I had to completely rearrange my office after they came through because suddenly there was too much glare to keep my computer desk where I had had it for years. Bastards. (Yeah, I'm still pissed about it.)

There have been no nominations for the post of seneschal, and only one opinion registered on whether or not we should have weekend or weeknight meetings. Since I don't have any idea who the person is who did speak up, I'm not certain I'll even pay attention. I am...displeased, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. There's a strong "someone else will do it" vibe in this shire; there always has been. But a lot of our "someone elses" have moved away. I'll give it another couple of days, I think, before I post a reminder.
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
Another day off, but this one, at least was planned. I have to pick my grandmother up after lunch and take her to her tax appointment. It would have been far easier for my parents to take her as they are both retired, but that is not their job. They are the Medical Appointments people. I am the Financial Person. Woe betide anyone who tries to do someone else's job. Besides which, my grandmother doesn't want my parents to know what she's got. Too late on that; her attorney already spilled the beans because he didn't know about our Own Special Family Dysfunctions.

I also took the opportunity to get out and get an oil change this morning, so I have done a little shopping, filled the gas tank, and will shortly go back out to the post office. I had the oil change guys put air in my tires, too, as the idiot light was on. The idiot light is still on, however, and the van still feels lumpy, so I rather suspect they either missed a tire or misread their own damned gauges. (I have a history of bad luck with filling the tires on my own, so whenever possible, I don't.) They did tell me that my spare was loose and hanging down under the van. (They did tighten it up.) That's swell....

I have also had breakfast and -- this morning, unlike yesterday -- remembered to take my bp pill. (Fucking bp pill.)

Apparently, we're supposed to have a Winter Storm Of Wonderful Proportions tomorrow. Well, of course, because the rest of the snow in my driveway should melt away today, as it's supposed to be in the upper 40s and reasonably sunny, and besides that, we are not yet past St. Patrick's Day, so it is traditional to have a Winter Storm Of Wonderful Proportions. Hopefully, this will be the last one for this season. (Please?) At least today is supposed to be decent; I've been putting Gram off for weeks about going out because I didn't want to take her out in the awful weather we'd been having.

Very little else of consequence is going on at the moment, so I believe I will go try to figure out how to return those two boxes of shoes that were mailed to me in a plastic bag. I think I can just tape the bag down tightly about the boxes, affix the label, and go, but we'll see....


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