Easter

Apr. 16th, 2017 09:06 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am trying to figure out what to do with myself until FamilyFest starts. I'm sure that I will be seeing my parents before I really want to, and it's likely that I'll be commanded to go pick up Gram two or three hours before dinner and then have to entertain her until dinnertime.

Have I mentioned how much I hate FamilyFest?

In any case, here I am noodling about on LJ DW until I make up my mind. There are numerous things I should be doing: eBay auctions, various administrivia tasks off my do list, writing, switching summer and winter clothes, cleaning out dresser drawers, and so forth. I didn't clean the library yesterday, so I could be doing that, but...I'm too tired right now.

Maybe I should take a nap.

I didn't get to bed until nearly midnight last night since I watched both Doctor Who (started at 9:00) and Class (started at 10:10), and then decided I might as well stay up for Graham Norton as well (started at 11:20). I normally go to bed around 9:30, even on Saturdays. This morning, I was awake well before I wanted to be (I was up by 6:00), so I'm tired.

In any case, I did enjoy Doctor Who, and would like to hear the explanation behind the professorship and the vault (though I suspect the latter explains the former). I do hope, though, that we're not headed for another Pandorica, as this would seem to be the "bad wolf" of this season. The cupful of old sonic screwdrivers was an interesting touch; I thought all the old sonics were destroyed, which was why there was always a new one. I loved the Doctor's study. I want one. Read more... )

Class was okay. I had some trouble with the dialogue, but then I realized that I had the volume pretty low on the TV. And then the special effects sort of drowned out the dialogue. Can't win. It's been bugging me since they first started advertising the show who Miss Quill reminded me of, and I suddenly realized that it was Liz Shaw (Jon Pertwee's first Companion). She looks and sounds very like her. I will probably continue to watch it.

As for The Graham Norton Show, I was very disappointed. I stayed up to watch it because Peter Capaldi was on, but they had already cut twenty minutes from the show to begin with (to allow for the longer air-times for Doctor Who and Class), and then they cut more to make room for commercials, so there was probably only half an hour of an hour show in the end. It seemed very disjointed, and I gave up about twenty minutes in and went to bed.

In other news, I have deleted one of my secondary LJs and the other is queued for import and will then be deleted. I have decided not to delete MaliRose (at least not for now), but may eventually do so.

Also? There's nothing like going to bed at nearly midnight to find that the cat left a hairball on the blanket....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Well, here we are: Saturday. And Doctor Who day. I am far more excited about that than anything else. Certainly more excited about it than about the holiday tomorrow. More FamilyFest. Maybe next year I should just tell my mother that she can do whatever she wants for Easter as I will be out of town...whether I actually am or not. I expect to see at least my father today; if we're having grilled steaks, we'll need a grill here, and I gave mine away to Sir Knees after it flashed in my face. I was going to replace it with a charcoal grill, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. My little countertop grill works just fine, and why would I fire up a whole outdoors grill for one little hot dog, anyway?

I am skipping the grocery run this morning because I have an appointment in a couple of hours to get my hairs made beauteous, and one trip out on a Saturday without Jack is enough. (I am hoping that everything will be open tomorrow. I don't think things close for Easter, do they?) Instead, I will get the laundry started so that I can get it hung outside. It's supposed to be warmer today, and this morning is supposed to be nice. There is a 50/50 chance of rain this afternoon, but I might be able to get laundry dried by then. And it might not rain.

I said last fall that I was going to take my Home Depot charge card and buy a new lawnmower this spring. Well, it's spring, and the grass is growing, and...I'm going to go buy a lawnmower. I may or may not put the old one in my next garage sale. I could probably take it up to have it looked at, but I did that last spring and it didn't run properly for more than a few weeks. I'm definitely going to toss all of the sooty, only-used-once sparkplugs into a box and put them in the garage sale.

Today is not the day for that, though. Today is the day for making the house presentable for FamilyFest tomorrow. The backroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living room all need to be cleaned. The Tin Cat needs to be moved because Gram is afraid of mice. The rug in the backroom needs to be picked up so that Gram doesn't catch her feet on it. That's in addition to my regular Saturday chores, of course.

If there is time, I will perhaps also start to move clothings around since spring finally appears to have sprung. It hasn't snowed in a week, anyway. My sock drawer could really use a hoeing out; it's hard to close and impossible to find things in. I'm guessing I don't need all those socks....

Right. Time to get off my rear and get busy.
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.

Aftermath

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

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

Ah, well.

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

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

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

Just thinking about it makes me want a carrot stick.

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

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

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

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

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

I'm just tired. Why am I always tired?
malinaldarose: (Default)
Another busy day ahead of me: in the classic way of housecleaning, in order to get the rooms I cleaned yesterday presentable, a lot of the clutter was just moved elsewhere. The library and my office were already sties, and now they're much, much worse. So that's my plan for today. Plus, of course, I have dishes to do as the disposable dishes my mother brought with her last night were not the dishes she thought they were, so we ended up using my dishes. Which is fine, but it means I have dishes to wash.

I also have to go out late this afternoon to see Grama; she was very insistent that I come see her this weekend. She apparently has bills for me in her drawer, and she always frets about them piling up. What she doesn't realize is that when I get them, they're still piled up until I sit down on Saturday mornings to write checks. Ah, well. What she doesn't know.... I'll be taking Jack with me, of course, because I still cannot trust him by himself.

He let me sleep until 3:30 this morning. I have the clock on the digital thermostat set two hours ahead (so I don't forget to override¹ it during the day for the Gecko), which means that at 3:30, the furnace is coming on. Maybe that bothers him. I dunno. I just know that I wasn't happy about it, and am still not. I foresee a nap in my future, if I can get Kethri off the couch.

I may be taking The Niece to see a movie this afternoon, or maybe tomorrow afternoon. I mentioned to Bird last weekend that I'd like to go see either Doctor Strange or Fantastic Beasts again and asked if Niece would like to dogsit. Then it occurred to me that she might like to see either of those films herself, so I offered to take her and let Bird dogsit. She said it might happen. We'll see. I see from the theater marquee that Moana and Trolls are both opening today.

While I'm doing that, I will likely drop the van off for an oil change and to have them inflate the tires for me -- they're soft enough that the beast is wallowing. I used to be really good at adding air to tires myself because I had a car that leaked constantly, but for some reason, my skills seem to have deserted me; the last time I tried to put air in the tires, I ended up flattening them completely and had to call either AAA or my father. AAA, I think. Talk about embarrassing. And the time before that, I had dangerously over-inflated them. So....

It's a pretty dreary day out there. It's supposed to be in the low 40s today and start to rain later. The forecast says "showers," but it's a pretty solid mass of green on the radar map.

Dinner, she says, finally getting to the point, was okay. Mom did make homemade lasagna, and it was tasty. It was stone-cold when she got it here, though, so it had to go in the oven, as did the garlic bread (which wasn't that good). She had also brought both chocolate pie and the fixings for Mexican sundaes, including Grama's homemade chocolate sauce which is basically fudge that hasn't reached candy stage. It was really good, and Mom and Gram managed to mostly not fight.

I have to say that I missed the turkey dinner far more than I expected to. I have leftover lasagna, and plenty of it, and a couple of pieces of pie, but...no hot turkey sandwiches today unless I go out somewhere and get some turkey. Which I might do....

Dad dropped Gram off early, though, around 3:00 p.m., and we ended up sitting in the living room talking about food. Gram's entire day pretty much revolves around food, and it's almost all she talks about. By 3:15, I was desperately sleepy, and just wanted to stretch out on the couch and take a nap, but ended up chatting about food for another forty-five minutes, until I turned on the TV for Gram (schmaltzy Hallmark Christmas movies) and took Jack for a walk. Mom and Dad were just getting here with the food as we walked out the door.

Right. Inertia is calling. Must get moving.
---
¹ My digital thermostat is programmable. HTWIWM programmed it to go to 64° when I was going to be here (so, on weekends) to 60° during weekdays, and 55° overnight. After he left, I had a friend reprogram it for me so that it was 60° overnight and 66° when I was here. Somehow, though, the original programming did not get cleared, so it has two sets of instructions, and on Sunday nights, it doesn't go down at all, so I have to override it then, too. If I recall correctly, all the instructions can be wiped by removing the battery for 30 seconds, but I have a perhaps superstitious belief that if I do, Bad Things will happen. So I just override it a lot.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's going to be a busy day. I have had so many things to do of late that I did not get the back part of the house cleaned up for today's feast. And so I must shortly get started on that. The laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, and back room must all be cleaned, and that will take me hours. I am so looking forward to it, and all so relatives can sit at my dining room table and fight. Yay. (They won't mean to, but my mother and my grandmother can't seem to breathe the same air, so they will inevitably fight over something.)

At least I have tomorrow off, too, to make up for it.

I was so pleased earlier this week because I thought we'd gotten the problem with Jack trying to get into bed with me licked, but that is apparently not the case; he kept me awake most of last night, and the night before. The bench is great; he likes being up on the bench, but he wants the bed, and though I've always drawn the line at dogs on the furniture, I suspect I'm going to give in soon just so that I can get some sleep.

He is also still not to be trusted alone in the house. I arrived home yesterday (or possibly the day before) to find that he had battered down the child gate blocking Kethri's entrance to the Spare Oom -- the window there looks out over the driveway, and I think he wanted to see if I had really driven away and left him. I moved the gate; the next time he tries to batter it down (or perhaps he just went over it, and kicked it down on his way), he'll have to take out the doorframe.

(And he probably will.)

He seems worse this autumn than he did last autumn.

Because the DM (the former friend who made my divorce all about him) does not seem to grasp the concept of private messages on Facebook, I know that HTWIWM will be in town tomorrow. I have some very complicated feelings about that. Because I am weak and wibbly, I would like to see him to cry all over him. Because I have survived all this time, I would like to parade that in front of him. And because I am also angry, I would like to haul off and smack him a few times. Neither of those things will happen, of course, because I will not see him.

And that is the thing I suppose I will be thankful for today....

Well, and maybe pie. I hope there's pie later to make up for the sheer amount of work I now have to do.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was greeted this morning at work with the news that my sister was badly bitten by her eight- or nine-month old rottweiler puppy, and that Number Five is insisting that it must be rehomed. Bird herself says that she can't risk having the puppy in the house with her kids because if it bit either of them, their fathers would insist that it be put down immediately.

My feeling on the matter is that puppies bite, especially when you're attempting to take something out of their mouths. She showed me a photo of the bite after it had been cleaned; it's pretty ugly, and her thumb is well-wrapped today. Whether she is right or whether she is wrong, she is apparently going to get rid of the dog, and you know what that means. Everyone in my family is going to be staring at me and expecting me to take it -- and I don't want it. It doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that he bit her, but more to do with the fact that if I wanted a puppy, I'd never have adopted a senior dog. It's not like the rescue wasn't well-stocked with puppies.

And, yeah, I know that Jack needs a friend, but I don't know that a rottie puppy is the friend for him.

Anyway.

FamilyFest went off pretty well on Saturday. My brother did not show up, which makes me both relieved and angry. Relieved that he wasn't there, but angry that he couldn't make the effort for Mom and Dad, especially since he survives on their largesse. He had to have known that even if he didn't feel he could afford the dinner (and the restaurant I chose is really no more expensive than Friendly's or Perkins or Ponderosa), Grama would have paid for him at the very least (though it probably would've been me, and I was prepared for that. Not happy, but prepared.).

By midafternoon, when it was time to pick Grama up, the snow had not only stopped, but it was sunny and the roads were dry. It was still cold, but at least getting Gram into the van wasn't the trial it can be. I did ask Bird to come early to help me. As we were walking into the restaurant, we ran into my former in-laws on their way out. Gram didn't really recognize them, though she knew them both when she was younger (he was a local businessman, and she worked in the same bank where Gram's employers still have their offices).

So. Dinner was. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Cousin V-Jer gave a teacup and saucer and sugar bowl and creamer set that had been given to Gram and Pa for their 50th anniversary; she bought Gram and Pa's house, and the set was still in the china cabinet. (Gram and Pa are my great grandparents, my mother's and Cousin's V-Jer's grandparents, Grama's parents. Grama and Cousin V-Jer's mother were sisters, but Cousin V-Jer is closer to my age than my mother's because Aunt P had seven children and V-Jer is the second-youngest. The eldest is my mother's age or a year or so younger and the youngest is two years younger than I am.) After-dinner conversation was still going strong when Grama announced that she wanted to go home, and that was the end of that.

I just hope I left a big enough tip. My bill was pretty big (and I only paid for myself, Grama, and my parents) and I didn't have any extra cash, so I left the money that Grama gave me (she was determined to chip in), which was about a third of our bill, but I didn't see anyone else leaving a tip. So....

At one point I asked Mom and Dad if they'd received any cards, and Mom said, "Five or six. But we got cards from the strangest places." My sister and I smirked at one another (because, of course, she knew about the Card Shower). I was very disappointed that they got so few cards, though. I hope they get more today.

Snow Day

Apr. 9th, 2016 08:53 am
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
The sky was clear when I went to bed last night, but when I got up this morning, it was snowing. Three and a half hours later, it is still snowing. It doesn't look like it's going to stop. I was rather hoping that when my mother saw the roads, she'd ask to postpone their anniversary dinner, but she said she'd be there...which means I'm going to need to get my grandmother into the van in this weather. It's hard enough on dry pavement.... Maybe I'll ask my sister if she'll come up early to be an extra pair of hands...plus that'd be one less car at the restaurant. Granted, we're going early to beat the dinner rush, but still.

All Mom said about the weather was that it was doing this fifty years ago, too. Great.

Well, at least we didn't plan a barbecue....
malinaldarose: (Default)
This morning started with me having a helluva time waking up. I've reset the clocks in my bedroom because that twenty-minute cushion was, in the end, not really helping, so now when my alarm goes off, it really is time to get up. Now, mind you, the alarm is set for 5:00 and I don't have to be to work until 8:00, so I actually do have time to roll over and go back to sleep for an hour, but I also need time to walk Jack, so....

Anyway. Finally managed to pry my eyes open a few minutes later, got downstairs, and there was this rumble.... I was reasonably certain it was thunder, but it was too low to make out -- and yet, at the same time, loud. Either thunder or a jet crashing on my house, anyway. Shortly thereafter, there were two more long loud rumbles that were clearly thunder, and then the rain started.

Which means, of course, that Jack and I are now quite wet because we still had to go walkies. He was quite put out when I cut walkies short by cutting through a parking lot we normally go around, but it was raining hard enough by that point that there was almost surf on the lot's blacktop.

There hasn't been any more thunder, though, which is kind of odd.

Also, my office smells like Wet Dog.

I have decided to take today off, and already called in. Let's hope my brother gets my message and doesn't show up with the Gecko in tow.
---
Yesterday was the First Sunday After The First Full Moon After the Vernal Equinox, which means...FamilyFest! My mother has, in the last little while, decided that she likes going to the local banquet center for holiday meals. We went last First Sunday After The First Full Moon After The Vernal Equinox, and she tried to make reservations for Thanksgiving, but they weren't doing T'giving. I don't like going there, nor does Grama. You have to stand around in the lobby until there's a table, and then it's all buffet food. Which means that a) it's been sitting there for who knows how long, b) it's not particularly warm, and c) it's not particularly good. But it makes Mom happy; she says it costs less than preparing a meal herself (and she won't let anyone else contribute). Yesterday, it was just my parents, my grandmother, and Cousin V-jer, who, as usual, was having problems with her neighbors. V-jer bought my great grandparents's house (her grandparents; her mother and Grama were sisters, so she is technically Mom's cousin). Anyway, the house is one of the oldest in that section of town, and was either the actual farmhouse of the people for whom that section of town is named, or the quarters for their farmhands. I'm a little fuzzy on that. Anyway, you can see how old the house is by the second floor, which is poky and cold and dark and reached by a staircase that is nearly steep enough to qualify as a ladder. Every person on that side of the family was pretty well convinced that the second floor was haunted. Well, Gram and Pa didn't use it much; their bedroom was downstairs.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yes, troubles with her neighbors. She is very concerned with trespassing, and she has a corner lot, so she gets that a lot. Gram (Great Gram, that is) used to be the same way. And she's really kind of bitchy. So whenever there is a FamilyFest, we get to hear all about her latest troubles with her neighbors (though she adores the gay couple who live across the street), or we get to hear about her troubles at school (she's a teacher's aide in the special ed department). But, hey, at least I don't have to try to carry the conversation....

TL;DR -- we met at the banquet center, had bad food, and left again.

It was a beautiful day, at least, though I spent a good chunk of it indoors. I finally got the cards for Mom and Dad's anniversary ready to go. There are both more than I expected to send, and fewer. I'm not sending many to my father's side of the family because I think the important ones are all dead, and I don't know who any of the people on the list are. Cousins, I expect, and their children. If I recognized a name, I sent a card. I also don't actually know too many of my parents' friends. I used the county's Real Property website to look up addresses for the few folks I do know (hoping that they're all still together because they were married couples), and sent a card to Mom's last church (so let's hope that the pastor isn't someone who'll just toss it out of hand). That'll have to do.
---
Having caught up on Elementary (except for the second half of the most recent episode because the Roku kept losing the connection and I lost patience), I am now watching Leverage via Netflix and loving it. Well, how could I not love a show that, when a character is searching for aliases, lists the names of Doctor Who actors among the IDs that he is carrying?
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday's armed standoff ended around 5:00 p.m.; according to a Buffalo TV station, the police eventually ran out of patience with the guy and went in and got him. The guy who was shot (not a deputy, after all) is apparently going to be all right; he was flown to a Buffalo hospital. I am sad because someone's dog got lost in the whole thing; the dog got across the police line and the owner couldn't go after it.

I am displeased with some of my coworkers, though. One of them was going around bitching loudly about how we weren't on lockdown. Well, for one thing, the guy was contained, and for another, to get to us, he'd've had to run a several blocks and go through a single door. But she actually tried to contact the county administrator (currently on vacation) to demand that he pay more attention to our safety.

It got to the point where I mentioned to Co-Conspirator P that someone ought to duct tape the woman's mouth...which, now that I think on it, should just be done as soon as she clocks in in the morning because she's just obnoxious, period.

My parents dropped by last night because a) I am the keeper of my grandmother's purse strings and Mom has bought her some things lately and wanted a check for reimbursement, and b) to let me know that Easter dinner will be at the banquet center (ugh, gak, their food is awful) around mid-afternoon. Or so she plans, anyway; she hasn't actually made the reservations yet.

And then she made me quite a handsome offer. She hadn't realized, until lately, that I had considered buying my grandmother's house. Her offer was that if I wait until the house comes to her and MyAuntie, then I will only have to pay Auntie's share of the sale price. She will sign the rest over to me. This is...staggering, and unexpected, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I do like my grandmother's house, and it has many features that I have always wanted (a dishwasher, a fireplace, a proper fence, a nice view, access to the dikes for walkies), but it is also quite a lot smaller than my house, much farther from work and I'd have to fight my way along the busiest streets in town (no mean feat, and it would increase my commute from six minutes to at least twenty -- I know some folks will be saying, "Aw, poor you!", but I don't live in a Big City, and so that is actually a Big Deal), and I said I'd never live inside the city limits again. On the other hand, I could probably afford to continue to pay this mortgage, if necessary, and pay MyAuntie.

I dunno. I will have to think very hard about this. As much as I loathe some parts of this house, it is my home.....
malinaldarose: (Default)
So, Christmas dinner happened, and it was less onerous than some years. Grama has a terrible cough; my mother thinks she has bronchitis, but can't get Gram to agree to go to the ER or urgent care. She will only see her own doctor, and it could be a couple of weeks before she can get in. So the nurse at the facility is keeping an eye on her and will call Mom if she thinks Gram needs to go to the ER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ye gods. Has it been so long?

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

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

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

Jack treed himself a cat this morning. When we went outside to hang the towels, there were two cats in the yard. One was right by the low spot and zipped under the fence. I don't think the other realized that there was a dog in the yard, and then couldn't find, or couldn't get to, the low spot. Anyway, s/he zipped up the maple tree and sat there for a bit, but then inexplicably decided that the Dog Threat Was Gone and crawled back down. The Dog Threat Was Not Gone and noticed the cat immediately. Fortunately, the Dog Threat also responded to his mistress' voice when she told him to leave the damned cat alone.... Of course, by that time, the cat was back in the tree, so that probably had a lot to do with it.
malinaldarose: (Default)
As I was walking Jack last night, my parents turned into the street; they were coming to see me about Thanksgiving. (Cue ominous music.) I told them to go wait at my house as it would only take a few minutes to walk Jack around the block. Turns out that the restaurant where Mom had hoped to have dinner is only open for breakfast on Thanksgiving. So, instead, she ordered a complete dinner from the grocery store, and we're having it at my house. Which means that I need to Clean All The Things this weekend. Well. I probably won't have company in my office, but the back room, kitchen, living room, bathroom, and library will all need to be cleaned -- and since my niece has been here for two days, I will need to wash the furniture coverings, too. Apparently, she took my removing the pillows from the couch as a hint that she should sit, instead, in the chair next to the piano. So now I need to wash the covers on that, too. (Seriously, when I say she reeks? I can still smell her.) I need to remember to go to KMart later to see if I can get more purple bath towels (which I already have on the chair as fur catchers) so I can just rotate them. (I also bought a bottle of Febreze this morning. I was going to buy a non-stink candle, but they didn't seem to have anything except Add Different Stinks To The Air To Cover It candles, and I already have one of those that I happened to pick up on my birthday trip.)

Anyway. Jack did not destroy anything the last two days because Gecko #1 was here. He was not, however, happy that I went away and left him. When I came home for lunch, he was clinging, and when I came home after work, he was entirely too excited to see me. In fact, for the first time in...a year, I guess, when I turned on the TV, he did not go upstairs. He laid on his bed over in the other part of the living room, or he cozied right up to the couch, but he stayed downstairs.

Gecko #1 will be coming Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, also. And I imagine that she will be coming for the foreseeable future. Dammit.

I think I am going to suggest that maybe she could shower while she's here. I wouldn't mind. Well, I would, but if it would mean not having smell her as soon as I open the back door.... (And, no. It's not a physical issue.) Something along the lines of "Hey, you know, if you wanted to save time in the mornings, you could take your shower here. You could lock the door and have the place to yourself! I've got some fancy shampoo, if you'd like to try it out...."

Eh, whatever.
---
In other news, I apparently missed the best shire meeting of my entire term. Not only were there about a dozen people there, but they had a Real Meeting and conducted Real Business. Unfortunately, they also nominated me for webminister. I'm debating whether to accept the nomination or not. My web design skills are all from about 1995. I know basic HTML and can code a style sheet if I have to and have a couple of references and examples to help, but I don't enjoy it, anymore. I used to love it. But...that was before things got complicated.

Again, whatever.
---
Work yesterday was surprisingly quiet. I got three new applications in and I hear that there are more in the pipeline over at Dept. of Aging. Yay. I am hoping this coming week will be quiet. It's a toss-up. Since it's a short week, it will either be ghostly or frantic. I'm hoping for the former....
---
And just to make the weekend complete, the forecast keeps referencing snow for tomorrow....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Oh, wait....

I saw the bunny in the yard this morning before Jack did. I kept trying to figure out how to get it out of the yard before he noticed it. And then he noticed it. I almost thought it was going to make it back through the fence, but it apparently couldn't find the way it got in, because Jack got it. Unfortunately, he didn't kill it. I lifted it outside the fence as gently as I could, since it was right near the front gate. I hoped it was not so seriously hurt that it couldn't get away, but when we got back from walkies it was dead. I'm now hoping that it'll at least go to feed the cats, since I've seen them stalking bunnies before.

That wasn't the end of the excitement, though. All sorts of furry woodland creatures were out in the neighborhood this morning: more bunnies, two separate groups of deer, yet more bunnies, and the dog up the street whose owners let him out into their unfenced yard loose and unsupervised. He does seem to know his boundaries, at least, but still. That is just so incredibly stupid.

I am ready to go back to bed....
---
Yesterday, of course, was Easter. Rather than anyone cooking a meal, Mom decided that we'd go to the banquet center for their buffet. Even at $20 a head, she said it cost less than preparing a full-on dinner and she didn't have to clean the house. Well...all right. It was crowded, noisy, and the food wasn't very good, but it was probably still less annoying than actually having dinner at Mom and Dad's house. I suspect it'll happen again.

Mom and Dad have a transfer chair that they used for Gram. It's a wheeled chair that is not, at the same time, a wheelchair. They used it with my great grandmother (who actually was in a nursing home for her last few years because she had Alzheimer's) whenever they had to take her anywhere. Unlike Gram, she could mostly walk on her own (she didn't get run over by a truck, you see), but the chair made things a bit simpler.

As we were heading to our table, I was utterly unsurprised to see my former in-laws sitting not too far away. My former father-in-law had his back to me, but my former stepmother-in-law noticed me at the same time I noticed them. Still, I went over and gave them both big hugs. It's the first time I've seen them since HTWIWM took off. My mom used to run into the Old Man all the time. Fortunately, HTWIWM and the current love of his life were not with them.

It was...okay. It was too brief to get awkward, and they left while I was in the buffet line. And I really was pleased to see them.
---
Today is Moving Day at work. I'm 9-5 this week, and I'd sort of like to get there to find that my stuff has already been moved, but since I'm thirteenth on the list (bad luck!) -- and there is a numbered list of how the moves are supposed to go -- it's unlikely that they'll have accomplished the previous twelve in an hour.

I can't put too much stuff on my desk when I do get moved, because the work surface will have to be lowered for me, and that's probably not going to happen for a day or so. No one is going to get much done today, anyway; it's going to be entirely too chaotic.

I only accomplished one of my craft projects this weekend, and it just occurred to me this second that another of them isn't going to work the way I had planned, so I need to rethink that one. I can probably still make it work with only a minor modification, but I don't think I have the materials on hand. Back to WickedMart I go, apparently....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Thanksgiving went well. I kept Grama engaged in chattering because then she and Mom couldn't fight. If you don't think it isn't wearing for someone who is normally silent to chatter, then, well, you talk too much. Not surprisingly, I have leftover turkey. And leftover mashed potatoes. I forgot to microwave the corn, so I have plenty of steam in the bag corn in the freezer. And plenty of tube biscuits. And I'll probably end up hosting them for Xmas, too. *sigh*

Grama doesn't like non-traditional Christmas tunes. She proclaimed this while the two very traditional (Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Judy Garland, et. al.) CDs were still playing. (This is the Christmas music I grew up with, which is why I love it.) I left Straight No Chaser in the player, anyway. After dinner, Gram was sitting in the new chair in the living room and had both cats and the dog with her. She claims to not like cats, but she was sure scrumming Merlin with plenty of enthusiasm, while reminiscing about how Cruiser (my malamute) used to try to crawl into her and Grampa's laps. (After this cross-posts to LJ, I'll put a photo here; still haven't figured out photo posting to DW.)

While I generally try to avoid going out on Black Friday, I did have to go out yesterday to pick up a new prescription for Jack and new antibiotics for Nick (he has a UTI), which meant finding a sitter for Jack. Fortunately, my sister's plans were for later in the day, so I dropped Jack off on my way out to the vet clinic and got out there only to find out that they weren't opening until noon. Called Bird to ask if she minded if I didn't pick Jack up until later, then headed to WickedMart to see what the wait was for an oil change. Two hours was too long, so I went home. Noodled around at home, then headed back out to the vet clinic, then back to Kmart to get Jack's prescription filled. One good thing about KMart is that shoppers tend to forget that there is a door and a couple of cash registers in the garden section (now the Xmas section) and they are always open at this time of year. The pharmacy is nearer the garden end of the store than the front end, so I got in and out with no problems. Then back up to Gram's house (where my sister lives) to drop off Nick's antibiotics and pick up Jack. Took Jack for a short walk on the dikes, mostly to try out my new coat to see if it is warm enough to keep, and then came home again. So, in all, I crossed town six times yesterday. I wasn't really happy about that.

I kicked off my holiday movie watching with Hogfather last evening, and worked on my dad's scarf. I am not happy with it, and thinking that I'm either going to have to rip it all out or just start over with one of the other skeins and when I run out, crochet with this one while simultaneously ripping out my work. Cannibalism at its finest.

Urk. Time to do my Saturday chores. Then I'm thinking a lazy weekend is in order. I'm not going anywhere as I don't have a sitter for Jack. I'm going to have to start working on leaving him in the house alone, I guess, as I got the news that the Eldest Gecko finally paid off her debt to the high school and got her diploma. She is looking at enrolling in the community college for the spring semester. It seems like I no sooner get something figured out for him (first the wire crate, then the plastic crate, then the sitting) than something happens to it. At least I still have about six weeks to figure something else out. Although it seems unlikely that her parents will get her TAP and Pell forms filled out in time, and I don't think she has the gumption to do it herself. (I ended up having to do my forms myself as my mother didn't want me to go to school.)

I should note that as of yesterday, Jack has been with me for a month. And what a month it has been....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Thanks, everyone, for the advice on making mashed potatoes. In the end, it went like this:

Me: I can just drain them into a colander, right? Then put them back into the pot for mashing?
Mom: Yes. But rather than dirtying another dish, why don't you just do this? *clamps lid on pot* *drains potatoes*
Me: Look! I have a potato masher! I bought it just for today.
Mom: So do I. Husband! Come mash the potatoes.
Dad: *sigh* Coming....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is Thanksgiving here in the US. Andrea Bocelli is singing "I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas" in Italian (I think) out in the back room (ah, no, it's switched to English). I got up at my usual time this morning, and Jack and I have been out for a walk. Since it's a holiday, it was much quieter than usual; even though we are normally out the door by 6:00 a.m., there are always people out. Not so much this morning. It was nice, actually, because "Car--wait" gets a little old when you have to do it every twenty feet. Also, we walked at the edge of the road next to the path because the road had been salted, but the path hadn't, so it was slick. (Which reminds me: I need to go throw more salt on my driveway for Grama.) Normally, walking on the edge of that road would be hazardous, but the only hazard this morning was that Jack was going to pull me off my feet chasing a rabbit.

So far, I have made pumpkin bread and lemon-poppyseed scones. Both are from mixes, but given how often I normally bake, that's really an accomplishment. I still have some cleaning and rearranging of furniture to do, but I think I will be ready for company in time to actually sit on the couch and wait for them, as we generally have FamilyFest late in the afternoon. (Tube-biscuits and smashy taters can wait until later. Pies are in the fridge thawing, and Mom is doing the rest.)

Things left to do: File papers just lying around in the library; change out the bolts on the toilet seat (I can put up with it sliding about a little, but if Gram needs to use it, that's no good; current bolts are a bit stripped); take up the rugs in the bathroom; clean off the dryer; vacuum the back room; pull the table out and figure out whether I'm going to haul the piano bench out to be a fourth chair; put away the stuff piled on the piano. I'm sure there's more, but that's enough to get started.

(Okay, Andrea Bocelli singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is just plain weird.)

In Jack news, I spoke with Doc W last night. She is going to continue his Prozac for now, and we can increase it if we need to, but I think we'll leave it where it is for now, since he's going to "day care." She also gave me the number of a tech up there who got laid off; Doc W has already talked to her and she's willing to sit Jack for me if I need. (I'm sorry that E got laid off; I liked her.) I looked at the prices of veterinary cages/kennels/crates yesterday and that's just not happening. I'll see if I can hammer the floor of the wire crate back into shape. If not; I'll get another and we'll start over. Much more slowly. Though I rather like the idea of getting Jack used to being where the crate is going to be, then using a plastic crate and putting first the base, the a while later, the top, then finally, the door. But, as Doc W said, maybe he's just never going to be crateable. Which...well, we'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

I still want to get another dog, but I'm not certain how to proceed. It definitely won't happen until Jack is much more comfortable with me. That he likes me, I do not doubt. He's not entirely comfortable with me, though, as evidenced this morning by his reaction to me singing to him. That made him very nervous. My voice isn't that great, true, but I don't think it's quite that bad....

Anyway. I am glad to have a four-day weekend; I will be spending it all with Jack, since I don't have a sitter for him until Monday morning again. I may have to drop him off with my sister for a little while tomorrow, though, as I will need to get his prescription filled, and that will be done at my regular pharmacy rather than the vet clinic....

*gulp*

Nov. 23rd, 2014 09:17 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday, I did Something Really Stupid. For various reasons, my parents aren't hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. Mom had been talking about going out to the local banquet place or a restaurant for dinner. My siblings and their offspring and assorted significant others and hangers-on are otherwise occupied. It's just my parents, my grandmother, and possibly Cousin V-Jer. So...I offered to host, especially as I can't go anywhere because I won't have a sitter for Jack. Host, not cook.

My mother took me up on it, but thought I was also offering to cook. Cue panic.

Mom will do the turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Everything else is up to me. You guys. I don't even know how to make mashed potatoes! I loathe cooking, so I've never used anything other than boxed flakes to make mashed potatoes. I don't even own a potato masher!

So apparently I'm making mashed potatoes, some sort of bread thing (probably pumpkin bread from a mix and biscuits from a tube), some steam-in-the-bag vegetable, and dessert. I don't even own enough chairs for this. (With just Mom, Dad, and Gram, I can get by by using my office chair. Add Cousin V-Jer, and that's too many people.)

I wonder if they'd go for homemade pizza instead? I'm good at that. We could have turkey pepperoni....

On top of all that, I have to Clean All The Things! and maybe fill some photo frames and hang them. Oh, and get the Christmas tree out and decorated (mostly for Grama). And rearrange some furniture (again, mostly for Grama).

I am so stupid....

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