Day of Moan

May. 1st, 2017 09:37 pm
malinaldarose: (Default) bats so far. Not that I'd really expect to see them this early in the season, anyway, it's just...well, it's just. I think maybe the next thing I have tackled will be the bathroom, even if it's just to have someone come in and put up the ceiling. I have the names of three different contractors: the guy who fixed the kitchen light (and who I thought was a little expensive, and does it really take three hours to change out a light?), and two others. Well, four others if you count the guy who installed the new furnace (he's not just a furnace guy) and the guy who he subcontracted to -- though my neighbor warned me against hiring that last guy.

Yesterday, I met an old friend -- oh, let's be honest, old boyfriend -- for breakfast. We met at 9:30 and finally left the restaurant at 12:30, and we could probably have talked for another couple of hours, too. We haven't seen one another in a few months, and the last time we did wasn't really conducive to chatting, so the last time we had a chance for a good talk was probably a year or more ago. So that was nice. We've known each other for thirty-some-odd years at this point, so a lot of our conversation was about finding ourselves middle-aged (which isn't so nice).

After that, I came home, and decided that since it was sunny, I'd try to get some laundry done, even though storms were in the forecast. I did get the laundry on the line for an hour or so before I had to bring it in; I left it in the breezeway to finish drying. I also started to clean the breezeway out yesterday afternoon; I got the couch turned around and that corner of the room cleared. There's only one outlet, and there doesn't appear to be power to it -- whether it's disconnected, like the wall furnace, or whether it's just turned off, I do not know. I don't really need power out there; I won't be using it after dark. There's still a lot of work to be done, though.

I was sweeping some of the accumulated dirt and dead leaves out the back door when my mother walked in the front door. "What are you doing?" she asked. "What does it look like I'm doing?" I said, broom in hand.

As usual, my folks weren't actually here to see me. Usually when they wander in on a Sunday, it's because Mom has a list of things she's bought for Grama and she wants to be reimbursed, so she wants a check. This time, it was because she wanted to grill me about my sister, who is apparently having trouble at work -- trouble which I had only learned about yesterday morning when Bird caught me on FB and asked if I had any ideas about what she should do.

(It seems that because she isn't constantly Miss Susie Sunshine, she's been passed over for a summer job that she has done for the last three or four years and her unit supervisor actually told her that she would be reluctant to recommend Bird for a permanent position -- which isn't going to be a problem, anyway, if Bird can't ever place high enough on the clerical exam. In any case, this particular supervisor is only going to be with us for another nine months (thank goodness!) and Bird's temporary permanent position (it's a permanent position in that it gets her benefits and union membership, but it's a position with a time limit of two years and some months) runs for another four or five months after that, so it won't be up to Madame High and Mighty. I told her to try to get moved to one of the units upstairs; I'm not certain that those clerks are under Mme H&M's control.)

Today...was Monday. I had a low-level headache by lunchtime, and I stayed in the office for lunch so I didn't have to put up with the Gecko. I was going to stay after work, too, but ended up hurrying home so that I could get Jack walked because we were under not only a severe storm warning, but a tornado watch -- all of WNY was under a tornado watch, and Mom called Bird to let her know that there were tornadoes on the ground in PA. (Bird lives over the border in PA.) Of course, those tornadoes were two and three hours away, but they were on the ground! Mom gets a little...over-anxious about these things.

So I got home, rushed right past the Gecko to get socks and change into my sneakers and take off my jewelry and grab my raincoat and get back out to get Jack around the block...and we got as far as the parking lot at the end of the block where we cut over to the next street and it started to rain. And by "rain," I mean "the heavens opened and all the waters of the world fell down upon us, yea, and also did blow the winds, so that there were white-caps on the puddles." Jack and I were both drenched pretty much immediately, and to get home, we had to turn back into it because it was coming from the west(ish) and we were walking east. It blew my hood off right away, and Jack was simultaneously trying to huddle on the ground and shelter behind me. We passed a bush he usually pees on, and he headed straight for it; I thought he was going to pee again, but instead he tried to crawl under it. He was quite put out with me for insisting that we go home, but he was probably even more relieved than I was when we got there. He looked like a drowned rat and there was so much water in my sneakers that they sloshed. I'll be wearing something else for morning walkies. My pants were so wet that I had to wring them out in the tub and hang them in the bathroom to dry. My socks...well, I just tossed them into the tub. We were a seriously bedraggled pair.

I've been caught out in the rain before, but never such a deluge with such high winds. It was...unpleasant, and Jack's obvious anxiety wasn't helping.

But at least the smell of wet dog overpowered the smell of unwashed Gecko, so....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It has been another busy day. I haven't yet had a chance to take my afternoon break, so the rest of the work day (all fifteen minutes of it) is cancelled. But hey, at least I'm not taking a nap like the person in the cube behind me. Her radio is playing softly, and she's asleep. Which actually happens frequently enough that it's an open secret. She didn't have her cubicle's doorway moved (it was originally across from mine and now it's around the corner) for the light, she had it moved so that no one would know when she took naps.

This morning, I had to go to a training on supplemental needs trusts. It wasn't really much of a training; someone came down from Buffalo and read from a Power Point presentation. I really hate that. Just give me the printout and leave me to it; don't waste my time reading something I'm capable of reading myself.

This afternoon, because I am the 9-5 person of record this week, I had to talk to a pair of interns from the local high school. They're not true interns; they're just fulfilling a community service requirement (or something along those lines) for graduation. They come into the agency after school for a week and get lectured on each of the various programs. This is the first time I've ever had the duty, and let me tell you, I am not the person to lecture anyone about Medicaid in general because I have always been in a specialized sub-unit. But I'm the one they got stuck with. Well, we made it 35 minutes (out of two hours) before I ran out of things to say, and sent them back upstairs to the person in charge of the internship program.

Oh, she just woke up. Well, the day is nearly over....

Last night, BFT and J1 and I finally went to see Beauty and the Beast. It is a fantastic film, but when Emma Watson came down the stairs in the yellow ballgown, all I could think of was Hermione coming down the stairs for the Yule Ball. I hadn't realized that Emma Thompson and Ewan MacGregor were both in the film (Mrs. Potts and Lumière), though I recognized Ian McKellan's voice of course. According to the trivia for the film on IMDB, there is a hint in Belle's first song that the village is also partly under the curse, reliving the same day -- "There goes the baker with his tray like always" and Belle knowing where to walk to get through the crowd while reading. It's an interesting thought and actually makes sense since the village would have originally been beholden to the castle, and certainly isn't that far from it. And with the way the film ends, it would have been exceedingly cruel not to include the village in the curse in some way, and we can see, I think, that the Enchantress isn't cruel. (Scenes not included in the animated version.)

The weather has turned yet again. It was a pretty day yesterday, but today has been rainy and damp and chilly (though the actual temperature is decent for this time of year; it's the damp that makes it chilly). It is quite windy right now and rain is spattering against the house which is making odd creaky-groany noises every so often (not at all like the usual noises of mice in the walls and a dog and cat grooming themselves). I will have to go patrol the yard (check for rabbits, possums, deer, etc.) before letting Jack out, and then Jack will refuse to go off the ramp, because his delicate paws might get damp.

I didn't come home at lunchtime (because I allow myself one day a week when I don't have to interact with the Gecko at all), and arrived home this afternoon to find the Gecko sitting on the couch with the curtains behind it rucked up, and reeking of Not Having Washed In Several Days As Usual. When I got back from walking Jack (just a quick five minutes around the block), her father was sitting in the driveway, and she was still sitting on the couch staring at her tablet, so I informed her rather sharply that her father was waiting for her. I hate it when she does that. It's not like she can't hear him pull in; his vehicle is Very Loud, Indeed. Let's face it: I hate everything she does. This rucking up my curtains, though, annoys me a great deal. I have my house just so, and I expect it to stay that way, and that means leaving the curtains closed if they're closed. If you don't have enough light, you know where the switches are.

My sister got her hair cut last night after work. She got one of those bobs that's nape-length in back and chin length in front, and sweeps across on one side. It looked nice this morning, but I can guarantee that it won't stay that way. Someone asked me if I was going to get mine cut next (my sister and I work in the same office), and my response was, "God, no! I hate my hair short." Which I do. It looks good when it's short; I can't deny that. But I dislike it nevertheless. And for me, anything less than bra strap-length is short, and even that's pushing it.

Right. Time to check the yard....


Feb. 14th, 2017 06:44 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
My sister informs me that my brother-in-law suggests that it was a raccoon that made the hole in the maple tree. According to him, raccoons climb trees and dig holes like that for nests.

Oooookay. I've never seen raccoons in my neighborhood (unlike skunks), but then, I've never seen pileated woodpeckers, either, so....

My sister also came to me after her lunch hour, quite boiling over with anger at our brother (the asshole). It seems that at least three more huge chunks of the tree in Grama's front yard fell last night (probably last night), and instead of actually, you know, taking care of them, he simply drove back home and let Mom know that parts of the tree had come down and hit the house. They didn't actually do much damage -- wiped out the porch box and did some damage to the railing.

Bird tells me that the neighbor to the east, who grew up across the street, had the gall to tell her that Grampa would be spinning in his grave if he knew the terrible condition that house is in. Bird resisted telling him that Grampa is actually in a largish wooden box on a shelf in Gram's room, and that she talks to him regularly. Besides which, the house is in great condition given that it has had no maintenance done on it in the last few years. I suggested that she should tell the neighbor to self-fornicate.

I have no patience for Gram's neighbors. They're a load of interfering busybodies.

Yet another reason not to buy Gram's house.

Last night was not a good one for sleep. It was very windy all night long and since Jack has pretty much destroyed the window frames in my bedroom, the windows rattle a lot more than they might otherwise. It was pretty noisy in there.

But, hey, plenty of fresh air. :-\
malinaldarose: (Default)
I love it when my outgoing voice mail greeting clearly says that I am going to be out of the office for over a week and people leave messages saying that they want immediate return calls (not just "as soon as possible," but "before the end of the day"). The greeting also says that if they need immediate assistance, they should zero out and ask for my supervisor, but do they? No. *sigh*

My desk wasn't too bad this morning, though I only made it through the backlog of morning reports and emails. (I really need to start telling the facilities to start contacting Co-Conspirator M about cases that are in her letter group, even if the information they're looking for is in the period when I was the worker. She needs to be able to answer these questions, too.) I didn't even touch the week's worth of snail mail, and though I wrote down my voice mail messages, I didn't have a chance to return more than a couple. I was busy enough that long about the time I thought it was time for midmorning break it was actually noon.

I came home at lunchtime to find that the rest of the driveway had been shoveled. See? It directly benefited my brother to clean out the rest of the driveway because he had to get into it. Ergoipsofactoepluribusunum, the driveway got shoveled. Unlike last week, when I could really have used the help and got none.

And, no, I didn't ask. Because I've known him for forty-seven years, and I know better than to bother.

In other news, now that I have bought two replacement rolls of packing tape, I found the original roll. It was upstairs on my dresser. I finally saw it this morning. At first, I had no idea how it got there, then about half an hour ago I suddenly remembered that I took it up there when I was switching out my summer and winter clothing last week; I taped labels on the storage tubs. I never looked upstairs because I knew that the tape never went upstairs. Oops.
malinaldarose: (Default)
When last we left our intrepid heroine, she was bitching about getting All The Snow (as she does) and worrying that the Lawnmower Curse would extend to the snowblower. She was also reasonably convinced that her asshole brother was not going to be showing up to help out because there was no benefit to him in doing so. Turns out she was right on both counts. And she will now cease speaking of herself in the third person.

I got the snowblower out of the garage with no difficulty -- the broken slab hasn't heaved yet, so the outer door still swings freely. Well, when I say "no" difficulty, that only counts the opening of the doors, not the shoveling that's required to clear space for them to open. Anyway. Got the snowblower out, and it started right away. Yes! And it chewed about three feet and the auger started shrieking. I do not know enough about snowblowers to have any least idea of what the hell was wrong with it, but I couldn't get it to work and ended up shoveling the driveway out by hand. That took me about two and a half hours and I documented it on FB with my cellphone camera. I was just so annoyed. And even then, I didn't clear the whole thing. I suppose if I were smart, I'd go out and clear the rest of it, but I don't actually give a rat's ass whether or not my brother can park in my driveway when he drops off his spawn -- and that's the only reason he ever clears the driveway for me to begin with -- for his own convenience.

And Bird reports that he once again did not clear Gram's driveway and sidewalks -- which she pays him to do -- so that Bird missed getting some packages from UPS last week and will have to go to the depot on Tuesday to argue with them.

MyAuntie asked me why I even wanted to go out on Friday, and I told her that I didn't, which was, in fact, the case. I didn't want to, but I had to go to J1's house for BFT's graduation dinner. It was the four of us: Js 1&2, BFT, and me. It was fun -- it always is when the four of us get together -- but I'd've been just as happy staying home. On the other hand J1 made pot roast and I haven't had pot roast in ages.

Yesterday, Bird brought Niece over and we went to see Fantastic Beasts...which cost me about $50 -- jeez, how do families manage it? Well. Part of the expense was that I bought the 2017 popcorn bucket (it's a $20 hunk of plastic which you can refill throughout the year for less than the price of a small popcorn. If you go to the movies a lot and like popcorn, then it's actually a pretty good deal), while also getting the 2016 bucket filled one last time. I sent the latter home with Niece, since she likes popcorn.

My sister informed me midmorning that my mother was going to be coming to my house around 4:00 p.m. to do Christmas with Niece. I was a little less than pleased, since my mother didn't bother to ask me if I minded. I would've said no, of course, which is what Mom was expecting, but it would be nice to be asked about things occurring in my house.

Bird was also going to take Niece to see Grama, but when they got there, there was a sign on the door saying basically "Everybody's sick. Bugger off." Only slightly more politely.

They finally all left about 5:00 p.m. and I had my house back to myself. My plan for the evening was to finish my last book of the year -- reached my goal! -- and finish the third season of Emergency!, which I did. Then I chose one more episode from the later seasons just to finish out the year and went to bed shortly after midnight. I don't usually bother to stay up to see the new year in, but I was already close enough and awake enough that I figured what the heck.

2016's last gift was some thundersnow, which I had never experienced before. Unfortunately, this morning, everything is covered in a glaze of ice. Jack got walked about a quarter of his regular walk, but didn't seem to mind as he frolicked in the backyard and -- more importantly -- attended to his usual walkies business. He doesn't like it when I limit my pace to what is safe on ice. And I don't like it when he pulls. So turning around and coming back was the smart thing to do.

And now it's New Year's Day, and I am probably going to read for a good chunk of it, since I can't binge-watch anymore Emergency! since it left Netflix at 12:01.... I need to get started on my 2017 reading goal, anyway. And maybe decide what that will be....

Oh, and regarding the latest LJ kerfluffle -- I cross-post from Dreamwidth, except for photo posts and LJ Idol posts, anyway -- and I have the same user ID.
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
I started to type out a whole serious discussion on what it's like watching a show I watched when I was a very little girl (Emergency!) some forty years later, but deleted it. Maybe I'll do a separate post on it later, when I've had a chance to watch the entire series. Which, since it's leaving Netflix day after tomorrow, might not happen for a while. Or it might; I might commit fukkitry and order it from Amazon, even though it's pretty pricey.

We got snow overnight. All the snow, apparently. If it weren't Christmas vacation, there might actually be a snow day for the local schools. According to the ruler I stuck into it, there are eight inches piled on the railings of Sheila's ramp. The snow came up to Jack's belly -- which discouraged him from trying to poo in his usual spots halfway up lawns on the next block. He waited until he got to a nice plowed parking lot. The snow in the driveway where the plow flung it is just an inch or so below my knees -- and I have the wet pants to prove it. I have shoveled out the patio and the "porch" part of the ramp, and now I'm contemplating the driveway. According to the forecast, we're supposed to get more snow today -- just as much as we were supposed to get overnight (3-5") -- in fact. Which makes clearing it sort of important.

I am actually sort of hoping that my brother will show up so he can play with the snowblower, but I'm reasonably sure that he won't. Despite his claim that "even though we've had our differences, I try to help out," he only tries to help out when it is of direct benefit to him -- like when he has to get into my driveway to drop off his spawn for dog-sitting. And since I don't need her until Tuesday, I don't expect to see him until Tuesday. Which means I need to strap up my hurt wrist (which I forgot to do before I shoveled the patio, but remembered as soon as the shovel jammed up against something), dig out the garage door and hope it'll open so that I can get the snowblower out. Then I have to hope that I can get the damn thing started. (The Lawnmower Curse often extends to the snowblower.)

I am also hoping that J1 will postpone the graduation dinner for this evening, but pretty sure she won't; she and her sister are far hardier than BFT and I....
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)
  • 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.


Oct. 9th, 2016 12:26 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
It looks like tonight or tomorrow the furnace will have to be turned on. It was 71.5° in here yesterday morning when I got up; this morning, it was 66°, and the high temperature for the day is not supposed to be out of the mid-50s, and no sun, so the house probably won't warm up on its own. *sigh* I knew the day was coming, of course, but I hate having to turn the furnace on. For one thing, it's original to the house (so far as I know), and it frightens me. The guy I had look at it a few years ago told me that they don't make parts for it any longer, so if anything happens to it, it will have to be replaced, and to do that, I'll either have to max out a credit card or get a loan.

Maybe I should just go ahead and do it and stop being afraid of having the heat on....

Auntie and Nuncle are -- probably -- on their way home. I think they traditionally have breakfast with his parents before they leave town, but Auntie wasn't sure whether they would today or not since his parents are pretty devout Catholics and it's Sunday. But since it's just after noon, I'm assuming that they're on their way. They were originally going to stay until Tuesday, but Nuncle had had enough of people by Friday (they came in last Tuesday) and decreed that they were leaving today.

Friday, Auntie spent the morning at the facility with Gram, then I picked her up at lunch time. We went back to the house, had lunch (and I really am not pleased with the sandwich meat and bread that my mother provided for them), walked the dogs, then Auntie and I went to the bank so that we could go through the safe deposit boxes (hers and Gram's) and inventory the contents. Gram's got all sorts of birth certificates and such in hers -- interesting reading. Auntie put me on her box so that if she needs something and can't get back here, I can retrieve it for her.

Then we came back to my house so I could feed Kethri, and arranged to meet Nuncle at Friendly's for dinner. We had a good time, and the food was pretty decent. My Auntie and Nuncle like kids (more than I do, anyway), and were watching a few that were supposedly cute. I was facing the other way, so I don't know.

We visited Gram for a few minutes, then headed back to the house (Gram's) to walk the dogs, then watched a bit of TV and chatted before I came home -- quite late, so I didn't end up going to bed until almost midnight. And this is why I say it's easier when I visit them because I can just toddle off to bed instead of driving across town.

Yesterday was basically more of the same without the bank visit (being Saturday and all). I actually cooked lunch for them (at Gram's house); I made tuna fish here, then stopped on my way across town to buy a small loaf of proper bread, and we had tuna melts and french fries. The fries were left over from our visit to Friendly's -- they reheat really nicely; put them in a cold oven, set it for 350° and the timer for 15 minutes, and they come out piping hot and nicely crispy, as well as losing some of the grease onto the cookie sheet. Then there was dog-walking, a short visit to Grama, a grocery store run, and back to Gram's house for a bit.

We had originally planned to take dinner in to Gram's room, but when we asked what she wanted, she made it sound like she wanted to go out, so we ended up back at Friendly's again. I have to say that the food was completely awful last night, and a stark contrast to Friday. My club sandwich that was supposed to have bacon on it had no bacon on it, and I don't think Gram's did, either, while Nuncle's BLT had no tomato, and Auntie's soup was cold. She did send it back to be reheated, and she said it was perfect after that.

But the topper? When we finally got Gram settled in my van and Auntie and Nuncle were walking to theirs, Gram said, "Well, that plan went all flopsy, didn't it." "What plan?" I said. "You were going to bring dinner in," Gram said. Whereupon I banged my head against the steering wheel for a few minutes....

So I am -- understandably, I think -- rather tired today, after three days of ramming around. But instead of having a pajama day in my chilly house, I'm leaving very shortly to go see Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, which on the marquee is just abbreviated to "Mrs Peregrine." I don't even really want to see the movie, but I think J1 will be there with my share of the Delta reimbursement, and I desperately need the money, so I'll be there. BFT was crazy about those books; she loved them so much that she actually gave me the first one for Xmas last year (and I didn't tell her I already had a copy). I did read it, but I wasn't all that taken with it. Still, as I often say, if we all had the same taste, then all movies would be 8 Mile. (And don't ask me why I picked that particular film; I have no idea.)

Tomorrow will be no more restful as I had already committed to going to the big craft show with BFT. That will apparently be An Adventure.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is a chilly, slightly foggy morning in western NY, but it's supposed to be a beautiful day: sunny and 75°. I am, therefore, going to do laundry. Other than unmentionables and linens, I didn't do laundry last weekend because it rained, and until I turn the furnace on, I won't hang laundry in the basement because it takes forever to dry and smells funny. So if it couldn't go in the dryer, it didn't get done.

I am off work now until next Wednesday. We have Monday off anyway, but I took today and tomorrow and Tuesday off as well, since Auntie and Nuncle are in town.

MyAuntie called me last night, and we talked for a little over an hour. I was surprised to find that she didn't know my phone number and didn't know that it's unlisted ("Did you know that your phone number's not in the book?" "Yes. I pay to keep it that way." "Oh."¹); she had to call Grama to get it from her.

She and Nuncle must have gotten an earlier start than anticipated because they got into town around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. Before they even went up to the house they stopped to see Grama, then drove over to see Nuncle's parents (who were snoring in their chairs, so they tip-toed out again). Auntie was very happy with the work that Bird put in to get the house cleaned up, but she was very unhappy with the state of the flower beds and the backyard. Personally, I don't think she should have expected that Bird would have either the time or the inclination to do exhaustive amount of weeding required to keep them up. Grama was quite the gardener. Mind you, she probably could've at least cut them back (the Rose of Sharon, for instance, is so overgrown that it sticks out into the yard by about, well, a yard), but she didn't want to decimate the flowers and didn't know the difference between a flower and a weed. Auntie said she spent a lot of time in the backyard yesterday with pruning shears borrowed from Nuncle's parents because she couldn't find any of Grampa's tools in the garage (my brother has probably appropriated them, since yard care is a big part of his job as a handyman -- though he prefers delivering eviction notices because he's a bully).

She is also finally convinced, having seen the size of the branches that have fallen out of the front yard maple and the amount of dead wood still waiting to fall, that the poor tree has got to go. It's mostly dead now, and no miracle pill is going to save it. Alas.

I am supposed to go up there around lunchtime so that Jack can go walkies on the dikes with Jesse, then Nuncle will probably go off to see his brothers and Auntie and I will either run errands or further attack the flowers beds.

I'm rather hoping for errands....

At the moment, however, I have a few hours to myself, and I am debating how to fill them. I should probably do some housework. I mowed part of the backyard last night, and I was thinking to either mow the rest or mow the front this morning, but I don't know that it's going to get dry enough for me to bother before it's time to pack Jack into the van. I'm thinking I might spend some time writing, instead, as I haven't done in a while. (And it occurred to me the other day that NaNoWriMo is next month, and I was actually considering participating this year. Haven't done that in a while, either.)
¹ Many years ago, when I was still in the public assistance unit, I had a client who was dumb as a post, but clever enough in her own way. She used to call me at work just to chat, and to ask advice on things that had nothing to do with her case, and it occurred to me that she was exactly the sort of person who would call me at home if she ever thought of it and if she could find my number. She was a nice enough girl, I suppose, be we were most emphatically not friends, so her calling me at home would have been wildly inappropriate. She is the main reason why my number was never listed.

No Mow...

Oct. 4th, 2016 06:55 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am pretty much the only person on my block who did not mow their lawn today. In fact, I can hear two different mowers going now, and it's getting a bit late for that sort of thing. I didn't mow any lawn today, in fact, and my original plan was to go mow my grandmother's lawn after work before MyAuntie and Nuncle arrived from Michigan. (I don't expect them to be in for another few hours yet; they like leisurely starts and leisurely drives, and it would make me absolutely crazy to travel with them because I prefer to get up, get out, and get going. By the time they left today, I probably would have been most of the way here. It's a 7.5 hour drive; it usually takes them ten or eleven.)

Um. Tangent.

Anyway, after work, I decided to go take a look at the grass for myself before I loaded Jack into the car and bought gas for Gram's mower (since my brother apparently never leaves gas there) and then got there and discovered that the grass didn't need to be mowed after all. Well...the grass could use to be mown, but it's not too long for the Spotted Dog. The grass is really only an issue because he has problems with his hindquarters now. I will have to mow it later this week, though (since my brother can't be trusted to do it) and I will have to mow my own lawn.

But right now, I'm only going to complain about it.

It was grey this morning, but it turned into a nice day -- which is why everyone was mowing. The rest of the week is supposed to be quite nice, which makes me happy. Except for the mowing. I'm sitting out on the patio with my laptop while Jack mopes nearby...and my neighbor just got out her big mower and is now mowing her flower beds.

Jack and I will be going inside shortly....

I know I posted to FB about it, but I don't know if I mentioned that I trapped another mouse on Sunday morning. Just a tiny thing; I think it was a baby. Anyway, I transported it to the usual spot (my office building borders on a field)...and then couldn't get it out of the trap. It was hiding in the chute(s), and when I actually turned the trap upside down, it's little paw was poking out of a hole in the bottom, hanging on for dear life.

I had my phone with me, so I snapped a photo of it's little toes, and then I walked away. I was close enough to the building to use the free wi fi, which was handy, and I amused myself for a while while waiting for the little thing to get over its fright and scurry off into the weeds.

It never did.

Eventally, I lost patience with it. I used to keep pet mice (probably one of the reasons I can't bear the thought of using snap traps in the basement), so I knew that I could get it out of there before it organized itself to bite me, so I grasped its tail (I was wearing gloves -- I'm not entirely stupid) and pulled it out as gently (but firmly!) as possible. It cowered in the grass instead of making a break for it, and I left it there curled up under a dandelion leaf (or som such). I felt like a horrible excuse for a human being, but it's not like I could have left it in my house.

I have deployed two more tin cats in the basement, but so far, nothing more has ventured in.

Now I'm beginning to get concerned about spiders. There are some huge spiders down there (if it's bigger than a quarter, it's huge), of the type I expect to see lurking in garages. I've never seen them in the house before, and I'm wondering if it's just a good year for spiders, if it's the weather, or if Merlin was keeping them in check. Now I can't wait to get the basement cleaned out, and so I'm going to order up a dumpster next week. The good news is that our reimbursement check from Delta arrived. The bad news is that's probably how I'm paying for the dumpster. But having made up my mind to do it, I can't bear to have that mess down there any longer than necessary. And I'm not going to fuck around with figuring out what stuff can be sold for scrap, as my mother thinks I should do ("Cut the electrical cords off of things and strip the insulation -- there's copper wire in there that you can sell!"). It's all just going to go. I just hope that all the people who said they'd help actually show up to help. I think the girls will. I don't know about anyone else....

But that's for next weekend. I have to get through this weekend with my family first....
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MyAuntie and Nuncle are coming home next week. Nuncle's brothers decided to have a reunion of sorts, and invited him at the last minute after they'd already made their plans.

They pointedly did not invite Auntie -- whether any of their spouses are coming or not, I do not know. But it was obvious that Auntie wasn't invited because Nuncle was told that while two of the brothers had already booked a hotel room, Nuncle and the Youngest Brother (who is my age) could stay at their parents' house.

Per MyAuntie, Nuncle's response involved one or more f-bombs.

So they are coming home, but they are staying at Grama's house. Which means that my sister is scrambling to get the rest of her stuff out of the house and get the house cleaned up. And it also means that the backyard needs to be mowed.

Mowing is supposed to be my brother's responsibility, and Grama was paying him a pretty penny to keep it up. And he wasn't doing it. He'd let it go long enough that the grass would be knee-deep and he'd have to get specialized equipment in there to shear it back. Night before last, I caught him in my driveway and asked him if there was gas for Gram's mower. We had an argument about when the fuck he was going to get the lawn mowed; he stated that he'd have it done by the weekend. (Yeah, "stated." He's not particularly well acquainted with the concept of keeping his word.) Much to my surprise, he got in there last night and did it, but I will have to do it one more time because Auntie and Nuncle aren't due in until late next Tuesday, so I can probably do it after work, since Tuesday is supposed to be our next dry day.

My brother, ladies and gentlemen, is an asshole.

And mowing that lawn for the rest of the season is going to end up being one of my tasks -- if I want it done at all, because I know him, and he'll decide that he can let it go for the rest of the year.
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When last we left our intrepid heroine, she was knee-deep in Too Much Work, but she has since managed to get it down to shin-deep. Still there, though. If next week is quiet, though, it'll likely get caught up by the end of the week. Two weeks off, two weeks to get caught up...seems fair. Of course, then we're looking at lots of time with nothing to do, which I really don't like.

So, yes. Busy week, and when I came home from work, I mostly just collapsed -- after walking the dog, of course. As a result, my house is still a mess from vacation. My luggage is still in the backroom and the dining room table (also in the back room) is buried under the detritus of both packing and unpacking. I intend to do something about that today, though I would also like to finish up editing my photos (I'm in the middle of the whale watch photos, so I'm doing a lot of cropping at the moment), and spend time outdoors because it's supposed to be a glorious day and we have reached the part of the summer where glorious days are precious.

The last few days have been downright pleasant: low humidity, sunshine, but temperatures only in the 70s. If the long range forecast can be believed, however, it's supposed to be gradually warmer each day for the next week until it reaches nearly 90° again. We shall see what we shall see, I guess.

I mowed the yard yesterday. As I expected, it took hours, and four tanks of gas. It wouldn't have taken quite so long, of course, if I didn't allow the mower to cool down between running it out of gas and refilling the tank -- it steams and/or smokes if I refill it while it's hot, and that makes me a little nervous, what with gasoline being slightly flammable and all, and my face being so near it. (Remind me to tell you about the reason I no longer have a propane grill.) I wasn't going to do the whole yard because the laundry was hanging out to dry, so I couldn't do the whole section over which the laundry lines run, but I went out for dinner last night with BFT and J1 and the laundry was dry before I left, so I took it down. When I got home, the mower was still out and the laundry was in the I finished it up so I wouldn't have to deal with it today. Which is actually a relief and a half. There is nothing I have to do today, so if I want a pajama day, I can have one...though I'm already dressed, since I had to take Jack walkies. But I could put my jammies back on again! I could!

Still coughing, but it's pretty much a nagging, remainder cough -- except at night, of course. It's always worse at night. But I have managed to go to sleep the last few nights without chemical intervention. Still, I hope it goes away soon because I don't want to have to reschedule getting that cavity filled again. It just seems like such a bad idea to be having dental work done when you can't predict when or if you'll have to cough. I am obviously still not 100%, though, as I am still sleeping much later if I don't set my alarm. This morning, for instance, I slept until nearly 7:00 a.m., when I normally get up between 5:00 and 5:30 on weekdays, and between 5:30 and 6:00 if I don't set an alarm.

BFT and I were comparing symptoms last night at dinner and it seems likely that it was merely coincidence that we were both sick because her symptoms were flu-like and mine were completely not. J1 marveled that we both came back sick because she and J2 were fine, but BFT pointed out that they get out a lot more than either of us, so get exposed to many, many more people (and germs) than do we, and are likely hardier because of it. I think there's a fault in that logic somewhere (because I work at the Department of Social Services, for instance, and even though I don't see my clients, I see my coworkers who see their clients), but whatever. We got sick and they didn't. Nor did their parents. Oh, well. Would still go on another cruise.

My sister tells me that she yelled at the Gecko to take a shower and put on clean clothing on the day that the Gecko spent extra time here because Bird was driving to Maryland to fetch Niece for visitation. Bird also informed her that she should spend some of her extra pay (Bird paid her for that extra time) on getting a non-drivers ID, then get herself enrolled in school to do something with her life. The Gecko did smell noticeably less nasty when I took her home on that Monday morning, but it didn't last. By last week, she was unwashed and wearing the same clothing she'd been wearing for a fortnight again, so that I could tell she'd been sleeping on my throw pillows. I swear she does it on purpose: I usually take the throw pillows off the couch in the morning, but on those days that I don't, she seems to always lie down on the couch and take a nap, so of course I can smell her on my pillows. Gross -- and unwashable on some of them because the covers don't come off. At least some of them came from garage sales, so it's not a huge expense if I have to throw them out.

I finally stopped to see Grama the other afternoon. I'd finished the antibiotics and wasn't coughing quite as much, so figured it was safe to go in (there's a huge sign on the door that advises people who are sick to stay the hell out because of the vulnerable population). She was delighted to see me, and I got to tell her the Saga Of The Missing Luggage, and show her the few photos on my phone. I should probably go back with Jack this weekend, but don't think I'm going to make it.

Possibly because it is now September and fall is coming, but I am getting antsy about the house again. I asked on FB if anyone knew of a good handyman, and got the usual crickets. The first response was just someone clicking the "like" button. What good is that? That doesn't help at all. *sigh* My sister said she'd ask Number Five, but I don't like Number Five. I was iffy about him before, but when he forebade her to have Jack in the house -- despite the fact that he knows Jack won't do any damage as long as there is a person in the house -- well, that made up my mind for me. (And that was before I learned that they fly a Confederate flag. Ugh.) Still, I suppose if he's willing to help, I can feed him pizza and beer just as easily as I can feed my friends.
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I went to see my PCP yesterday afternoon and her feeling is that I have bronchitis, so she prescribed a Z-Pack. Whee. A Z-Pack, for those who do not know, is a five-day, high-dose course of azithromycin which starts with a great whack of it on the first day (two pills), then a pill a day for the remaining four. I'm trying to remember if this is what I had the last time I had bronchitis, but it was so long ago that I don't recall. I do recall that I got a note for a full week off work, though. I didn't even ask this time, though I did go see her because my cough was getting worse and if I call in again on Monday, I'll have to either go to work on Tuesday or get a note from her, anyway, because we're only allowed three days in a row without a note. Anyway, if I don't feel better on Monday, she wants to hear from me, anyway.

So I'm not supposed to do much of anything this weekend other than hang out, but there are some things that have to be done, like changing the kitty litter. I am disappointed in my sister. I made a point of saying that she would have to change it for me last weekend since I wouldn't be getting home until midday on Monday. I trusted her to do it, so I didn't check.

She didn't do it. She may have scooped; I can't be sure. But you can't just scoop plain clay litter; it has to be changed...and the scoopable boxes didn't appear to have been scooped in any case. (I keep two types because one of the cats doesn't like plain clay and one doesn't like scoopable. Cats.)

Also, while I was down there, I realized that the dehumidifier had, at some point, gone Tango Uniform. Eh, it's the end of August; I just unplugged it and I'll deal with it later. Trying to take care of it today would be the very opposite of what the doc told me to do this weekend (rest), since it's currently unreachable. HTWIWM piled all sorts of shit around it, and all of that stuff (mostly old servers, so yay) will have to be disposed of. I'll have to see if I can find out when the county is having their Dispose Of Old Electronics Day and get someone to help me load the van with all of the old servers in the basement (there are many, and they are heavy) so I can drive them to wherever the site is (probably the county seat because of course it's the county seat).

I'm feeling very floaty right now, and I don't know whether that's the antibiotics (shouldn't be), being sick (possibly), NyQuil hangover (I slept an extra two and a half hours), or what. So I'm going to go write my checks (and weep at the state of my checking account) and then quite possibly retire to the patio. Sunlight should be good for bronchitis, right?
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Well, that's it for Number Five, as far as I'm concerned. It has been arranged for months that my sister would take care of Jack while I'm away on the cruise. We had pretty much decided that she would leave Jack at my house during the day while she's at work and take him home with her in the evenings. Number Five, however, has decreed that Jack isn't to be in his house. He is apparently afraid that Jack will do to his house what he did to my house...despite the fact that Number Five has personal experience of how well-behaved Jack is when he is not left alone -- and he would never be left alone in their house.

Eh, doesn't really matter; Bird can either camp at my house or at Grama's. I think she's decided to camp at Grama's; if so, we'll just have the Ravening Gecko sit Jack at Gram's house for that week.

I haven't ever been close to any of Bird's numerous husbands, and I guess I won't be making an exception for this one, either.
This week started out with a dentist appointment -- just a routine cleaning, until.... The hygienist found a cavity, quite by accident. The weird thing is that it is in the tooth where I keep getting cavities. My first cavity was in that tooth (my last molar), caused by my wisdom tooth crowding it (because I refused to have my wisdom teeth out until the x-rays showed that cavity. My next cavity was in that tooth, so the filling was expanded. Now I have a third cavity...there's already more filling than tooth back there....

I hadn't noticed any sensitivity back there, but I note that it is a little sore back there this morning. My appointment for the filling isn't for two weeks; it'll be the last day of my vacation (after we're back from the cruise). Yay?
I am waiting for the washer to finish. Because I bought some new clothes for the trip recently, I decided I'd do two days of laundry (because the loads are larger than usual, and I only have so much room on my clotheslines and drying racks). I am doing darks today, and I started the load over an hour ago -- another reason I don't like this washer. It's far slower than the old one; even with two rinses, I'd've had the laundry on the line already. Sounds like it's just revving up to spin now, so I will probably be late for work this morning because I'm not leaving the load in the washer until lunchtime....

My supervisor yesterday jokingly asked me if I was in love because I was getting all spiffed up lately -- I wore a dress last week, makeup on Tuesday, and a skirt yesterday. I explained that I had just bought new clothes for the trip and was trying them out. (The makeup, too.) Love, after all, is for children....
malinaldarose: (Default)
So...say you're catsitting for someone, and the cat yarks up a hairball. Do you clean it up or do you leave it for the owner?

Can you guess what my sister did? Multiple times?
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On Friday morning, Auntie and Nuncle and I went to the beach for a tour of the newly-refurbished St. Joseph lighthouse. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 70s, bright and breezy. We got up to Tiscornia Beach, signed in for the tour (and signed our waivers so that if we fell off the pier and drowned, we wouldn't then sue the city of St. Joe), then wandered off to snap a few shots and watch the sailing class in the channel (cute itty-bitty two-seater sailboats and one larger motorized boat, sailing back and forth like ducklings after their mother) while waiting the twenty minutes until the start of the tour. The lake was a bit choppy, and Auntie made the comment that she wouldn't want to be taking a sailing class that day. A few minutes later, someone wandered past us complaining bitterly about their lighthouse tour being cancelled. "Say what?!?" the three of us said.

Yup. Turns out that just about the time we signed in, whoever does such things had issued a swimming ban for Silver Beach (Auntie spotted the red flags) and a small craft warning (oh, look at all the ducklings!). Waves were, in fact, breaking on the pier, and even the raised walkway in the center was wet, though the waves were nowhere near that high. Now on the previous Saturday, when we were at the art show on the bluff, the waves were that high; I tried to get shots of water breaking over the pier. Anyway, they cancelled the tour at the last minute, so we didn't get to see inside the lighthouse. We did walk out the pier a ways; while Auntie and I waited at the spot where the safety railings end, Nuncle walked all the way out to the inner light, then vanished around the side to check out the outer light, as well. He says that they've put hand rails on the sides of the inner light, now, so you're not entirely taking your life in your hands when you walk around it. (I walked out there the last time we visited the lighthouse, but the lake was much, much calmer that day.) Still, I decided not to walk all the way out there this time, so my lighthouse photos are strictly of the eastern side of the inner light. I haven't looked at them yet, so I don't know if any of them are even any good, and I'm probably not going to today, either, since I'm meeting J1 and BFT in a couple of hours for Ghostbusters.

The rest of Friday was spent pretty much at home. We had lunch late because of going up to the beach, then walkies was extended because Auntie and Nuncle stopped twice to converse with neighbors. One of them was the father of one of the two deputies who killed the courthouse shooter on Monday afternoon, so we got more details about the whole thing from him. The various news services really had the story all messed up. Anyway, turns out he really wasn't a particularly nice human being; he was originally arrested back in April for something or other and they discovered that he had been holding a teenage girl in his shed for two weeks.

When we got back to the house, Nuncle went into the family room with his book, but Auntie and I ended up sitting at the dining room table and talking for the entire rest of the afternoon. It was nice, though my butt wasn't happy about it -- those dining room chairs aren't the comfiest things around.

Yesterday I have already complained about.

This morning, I was dreadfully tired, but still got up and went out for groceries, and have since done all my Saturday chores since I wasn't home for them yesterday. It threatened to be a "nibbled to death by ducks" day, but the nibbling stopped when I got home -- which probably means that I shouldn't go back out, but it's getting a bit late to cancel. I may go take a nap for an hour or so, though....
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There was a shooting here yesterday afternoon. Well, not here. Uptown at the courthouse. I know it's been all over the news because when MyAuntie talked to Gram last night, the first thing she asked was about it. Auntie was kind of hoping that it wouldn't make the national news, but of course it did. Anyway. Apparently what happened is that a prisoner being moved from a jail cell to a courtroom got hold of a deputy's gun and started shooting. The deputy is in the hospital, as is another person. Two bailiffs and the shooter were killed. I see that they've released their names this morning; they hadn't last night. That'll make Gram happy -- she was obsessing about not having enough details last night.

I also learned this morning that my office building was evacuated last Friday morning for a couple of hours because of a suspicious package (which turned out to be misplaced mail). When I saw the headline, I was confused because I was there on Friday and certainly didn't remember being evacuated, but then I remembered that I actually had a doctor appointment Friday morning and then took an extra hour to get a start on packing, and by the time I went in, the building had been cleared. Funny that no one mentioned it.

Anyway. Yesterday, we were planning to go uptown early to take the dogs to the Dog Bakery, but the guy that MyNuncle is working with on a software project called and didn't let him off the phone until almost noon. MyAuntie and I ended up taking the dogs for a quick walk by ourselves around 11:00 before it got to be too terribly hot.

Saturday when I got here, it was lovely, but it has been getting steadily hotter. It was 90° yesterday and extremely humid. My aunt and uncle have air conditioning, which I normally can't stand, but for which I was very happy last evening. The back part of the house gets especially warm because they leave the back door open so the dogs can come and go as they please. (And that also explains why I just had a mosquito try to bite my freakin' eye. Little bitch is dead now. (No, I did not squish her into my eye. Ugh.))

Anyway. There is a huge rummage sale to benefit a private school and we went out there yesterday afternoon. I spent nearly $20 on books and some bracelets, and Auntie spent nearly $20 on books for Grama. It occurred to me this morning that I want to go back out there to clean out their Sci Fi books (they had most of the Darkover books, a good chunk of Piers Anthony, and lots of other good stuff) for Niece. She is going to be 16 this year, so I think she is finally old enough for Darkover and Xanth and Earthsea. Well, I think Earthsea is YA, anyway, but....

Nuncle is already on the phone with the Software Guy. Auntie isn't up yet, but probably will be soon, as it is just after 9:00. I've been up for two hours, and will probably switch from noodling on my laptop to reading on my tablet. I finished Season 1 of Shadow Unit yesterday evening, other than the last few deleted scenes. I will probably start Season 2 today. I did bring a book to read, but probably will stick with Shadow Unit.

I'm not certain what our plan is for today. We would still like to take the dogs up to Fuzzy Butz, but I see that there's going to be some sort of memorial walk for the bailiffs that were killed yesterday, so getting uptown might be problematic. Maybe we'll do stuff in the opposite direction, like going back to the rummage sale or out to the used book store. (I never buy a lot there; they have terrible prices for used books.)

It's supposed to be hot again today. I let my hair air-dry yesterday (which meant it was still slightly damp at bedtime), and I straightened it this morning because even if it's hotter than sin out there, if my hair is straight, it somehow feels cooler....


Jul. 10th, 2016 09:24 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, here I am at my desk away from home: the far end of my aunt and uncle's dining room table. I am about to have to go scrounge up an adapter for the outlet under the table so I can plug in my laptop. (I'm not certain when this house was built, but all of the outlets are for two-pronged cords.) Hopefully, MyAuntie will be appearing soon (she's always the last to get up in the morning), so that I don't have to disturb MyNuncle down in his Evil Computer Genius Lair...though I did disturb him once this morning when I took Jack down to investigate.

After spending Friday evening in a sweaty, sweaty swivet (it was so humid; I was just going to rewear Friday's clothes for the trip, but I got so disgustingly sweaty that I had to rethink that) getting packed and ready to leave first thing Saturday morning, I managed to get out only seven minutes behind schedule, and made it here by 1:00 p.m. Not too bad. It is an eight-hour trip, but I always delude myself into thinking it's only seven, and that it's the two stops (for no longer than twenty minutes each) that make it so much longer. We did only stop twice, at the usual places (the first and last rest stops in Ohio; interestingly, on the way home, I sometimes stop three times; by the time I hit Ohio, I generally need to stop, then I have to get gas before hitting Cleveland, then I stop just outside Erie).

The trip was relatively easy; traffic wasn't too bad, and it occurred to me after I got here that they have finally finished the couple of long-term reconstruction projects between Erie and Cleveland; I had sailed through without even noticing. There was, of course, construction; there always is. And, in fact, a new project started on Thursday (according to the signs) around South Bend which is where I exit 90.

Jack was wonderfully behaved the whole trip. He got up onto his seat and pretty much stayed there. He did get a bit restless around the time we crossed into Indiana, but I promised him that we were nearly here and he settled down again. (Though, in fact, we still had a couple of hours to go.)

We arrived at 1:00 p.m. (almost precisely), and the first thing Jack did was go looking for Wishbone, who died in February. Ah, well. Jesse was enthusiastic about having another dog in the house and they settled right in with one another so well that we weren't in the last nervous about leaving them in the house to go uptown to the art show -- the whole reason I always pick this weekend to come out here.

The art show is held in the park on the bluff overlooking the lake. The park is half a mile long, and the sidewalk is lined with artists. Where the sidewalk splits at one end of the park, there are artists on both sides of both tines. It's fabulous, and it can be almost as much fun just watching the people, as seeing the art.

I've already spent Entirely Too Much Money -- half of the cash I brought went to tolls and art. There was an artist with wonderful Indian-styled art from whom I bought two small prints (a mandala in purple and gold and a phoenix in flame colors; they will look surprisingly nice paired in black frames). I also bought a 3-D print of Mr. Eiffel's Tower from an artist who is actually from Rochester (NY, not MN or wherever the other one is), only two hours from me. "Western New York, represent," I said to him. It was a little pricey at $60, but for the work...not so much. He takes the photographs, then cuts them out and layers them into 3-D images. It's gorgeous work.

Speaking of Mr. Eiffel's Tower, I sent MyNuncle a copy of one of my own photos for his birthday last September...and apparently I framed it upside down without realizing it. So it is displayed that way. They thought it was funny. do I, really. The photo I bought is from pretty much the same spot, as near as I can tell.

It turned into a beautiful day on the bluff yesterday. It was cloudy when we got there, but it was also just on the border between breezy and windy and the clouds blew through and it became sunny. The temp was in the low 70s (I actually wore a jacket and I'm glad I did). There was surf breaking on the pier, and MyAuntie looked at the lake and said, "It's a rip current day." And then we got home later and the news said the same thing.

Last night, we didn't even walk the dogs because everyone's feet were hurting -- which will probably mean extra-long walkies this afternoon after lunch and before we go back uptown.

Today's plan is to go back up to the bluff and try to catch a band concert, either this afternoon or this evening. I'm not especially keen on that; I'm expecting that no matter how talented they are, they'll be playing music I don't care for. Ah, well. I'll take my camera.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Well. There was a bunny nest in the backyard. I'm hoping that Jack just dug out an empty nest, not that he dug out baby bunnies and ate them whole. Mama Bunny wasn't in the backyard this morning that I could see, so maybe the babies were already gone. Or maybe the cat(s) dragged them away. In any case, I had taken the garden shears to the long grass in one of the remaining bits of flower bed, and that was, perhaps, a mistake, because it gave Jack better access. Leaving him in the backyard on his own was also, perhaps, a mistake, but he generally stays out of trouble, so it seemed like a plan.

Bird came over today to help me shift the drywall from the breezeway to the garage. She looked at it and said, "That's a lot of drywall." Yup. I counted; there are 38 sheets. I offered them to her as a weddng gift, since she and Number Five are remodeling, but Number Five said that he could use only a fraction, so I think I will finally just sell them at a garage sale and have done. Drywall isn't that expensive and I am out of patience with hanging onto things that HTWIWM hoarded. And so we didn't move them at all as I will be having a garage sale three weeks from today.

She let me know that the Lizard is not happy that she has to get up in the morning and make a lunch for the Gecko to bring to my house with her since I will no longer allow her to use my fridge. Bird says that she asked the Lizard why the hell she was making lunches for the Gecko in the first place, given that said Gecko is going on 22 years old, and also informed her that I probably would let the Gecko use the fridge if she'd stay the hell out of things that don't belong to her. So score one for my sister. She also asked the Lizard if the Gecko had informed her that she had broken the toilet seat at my house, then not said anything about it, and -- no surprise here -- the Gecko had not. But that might explain why the toilet seat was mysteriously unbroken when I got home from work last night. I don't know how my brother fixed it, but he did. (Because I know damned well that the Gecko didn't. And I didn't. And the Lizard didn't. So unless there are toilet fairies flying around somewhere, my brother must have done it. Which at least saves me a few bucks this weekend.)

Bird also got a start on mowing the backyard at Grama's house. She says she got about half of it done before the mower ran out of grass, but then couldn't find even an empty gas can in the garage, so texted The Brother to bring some grass, and he replied that he'd scheduled someone to come in with a Brush Hog tomorrow to take care of it. Of course, it's supposed to storm all day tomorrow....


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