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

My first photo of the little black girl:

And my first photo of her brother:

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

Sister wants to play:

But Brother is interested in Up:

Look at those tiny little kitten claws!



Ass over tea kettle:

Brother checks out a leaf:


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

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

The grey:

And the black ones:

And Madame Mama:

They were under my ramp until they were at least a month old, possibly six weeks, then Mama moved them up the street. I still see them occasionally on the porch of the house to which she moved them. The grey one half approached me and Jack a few days ago (he was always the boldest), but then Jack sort of shuffle-jumped (as much as he could do on the leash) and I dragged him on by.
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My mother, who only seems to call me after I've gotten comfortable on the couch, or when I've just finished popping popcorn and it's nice and hot, or stops when I'm cooking dinner, called a little after 8:00 p.m. last night to ask me to take Grama to an appointment this afternoon. She was well aware that I'd have to take time off work to do so, but she and Dad both had a "bug" and she didn't want to go around Gram with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And having extra bookshelf space never hurts....
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Patio Kitten did not make it, though Doc W says she responded enough to start meowing in complaint.
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I arrived home tonight to find my brother waiting for me. "You have kittens," he said, as I got out of the van.

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

"Just one," he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But why do these things always happen when property and/or school taxes are due and what money I have is earmarked for that?
malinaldarose: (Default)
So this morning's extra hour turned into finishing going through my LJ flist and seeing how many folks were on DW. Hi, folks! *waves* I found a lot of TH folks. Anyone missing?

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

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

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

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

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

Right. Hi, ho, hi, ho. (Bleah.)
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It may not matter that I couldn't get eclipse glasses, as the weather has changed. The original forecast was for hot and sunny (with a passing eclipse), but the morning is overcast and it has already stormed once. Weeeelll, the forecast (which I just checked) has changed again: partly cloudy this afternoon with a stray shower or thunderstorm. We'll see, I guess. My plan was to stand under a tree, anyway, and watch the shadows on the ground...and maybe get a TeenyTinyTARDIS photo or two, as the thought of taking TTT photos during a solar eclipse just amused the heck out of me.

I dropped the van off at the garage last night and walked home. They've already called me this morning to let me know that they can't find a leak, though they'll check again, and that there's a bit of a sticky caliper causing the squealing-squeaky noise. They'll change the caliper, so I will probably have it back before the eclipse starts.

Speaking of squealing squeaks, I believe we have a multitude of flickers in the neighborhood. I first noticed one a few years ago; I had to come home and look it up in my Tome of North American Birds, Beasts, And Plants because I'd never seen one before. I was always thrilled when I spotted one, because it was rare. But this summer, I've seen flickers fairly often, so either there is one really busy one, or there's a flock. This morning, I heard a high, piping sort of squeak, and I think that was probably a flicker. It wasn't a cardinal -- which is the only other bird call with which I am, wait, I know what a killdeer sounds like, and it wasn't that, either.

I could probably be a birdwatcher without much persuasion.

Huh. It's sunny out there now.

I'm unsure of what my plan is for the rest of the day. I have shelves for upstairs, but am not sure I want to get involved in making a mess in my bedroom. I have Grama's cupboard, but ditto that in the breezeway. I finished marking and tabbing the manual from the wretched training yesterday. I do have a number of art cards to frame and hang, so I suppose I could do that. Since the garage has already called, I don't need to hang about in my office for a while, although I do have a number of tasks that could be done at my desk (books to be listed on PaperbackSwap, photos from my vacation to be edited, and there's always some writing project or another).

There is a shire meeting tomorrow night. Since they won the bid for Fall Æcademy, I've been debating getting involved again. On the one hand, I don't want to get stuck working the event and not being able to attend it, which is what happened at the last event we had. On the other, they'll need the help. On the other other hand, MyLadyLaurelNemesis is involved in the shire again, so they certainly don't need me, as she can handle everything all on her own. (I can't stand the sight of that woman.) Since the main purpose of the meeting is to confirm the drop-dead seneschal, and I'm not a paid member of the SCA at the moment, it's probably pointless for me to go...although I do want to talk to VL to see if he might be willing to do a few tasks around the house for me if I were willing to pay him. That doesn't really seem like the place to ask, though. Eh, we'll see.

What else? Oh, the trap. The trap baited with peppers remains empty, and my patio smells like rotting peppers. Or possibly it's the poo bucket. In any case, I don't believe that there is a woodchuck living under there after all, as I have now seen a black cat crossing the yard and slipping under there twice. Kittens, Round Whatever, here we go. (You can be very sure that there have been more than two litters born out there.) The May Kittens are still hanging around up the street, and are now so big as to be nearly indistinguishable from their mother (except the grey one, of course) -- so this may even be their mother in the backyard.

Kethri is at my feet meowling at me. I think she wants my chair.
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I had intended to spend today putting together Gram's cabinet, putting together some shelves I bought for myself, and perhaps working in the breezeway, but my lower back seems to be somewhat displeased with me today, so instead I've been reading, marking up, and tabbing my CAC training manual (as I've been trying to do for a while now). At the moment I'm set up in the breezeway, though I may have to move into the house proper as it does tend to get a little warm out there. Though today it's not supposed to be more than 74° and Accuweather assures me that a nasty storm is going to roll through here in exactly an hour. In the meantime, though, I get the feeling I would've been able to hang out my laundry after all.

My brother brought over a live trap yesterday to see about catching that woodchuck. We talked about baiting it with apples, but when I got home at lunctime yesterday, it was baited with red and yellow and orange sweet peppers. When we talked about it after work, he said that he had peppers and didn't have apples. I gave him a look and made a sweeping gesture toward the laden apple tree under which his van was parked. "Yeah, well, I needed to get rid of the peppers. But if they don't work, just toss an apple in there."

So far, they haven't worked. I don't know whether it's because the woodchuck feels the same way about peppers as I do or because it isn't really living under the ramp, but just ducked under there because it was on the patio and I startled it.

Life is very rumbly at the moment. There is a motorcycle-fest in town and's noisy. I'm not best pleased.

WickedMart was out of eclipse glasses this morning, so I guess I won't be watching it. Not live, anyway. I briefly thought of loading Jack into the van and driving over to Springville to get a pair at Lowe's, but it just seemed silly to drive an hour to get a $2 pair of paper spectacles. Mind you, if we were in the path of the totality, it would probably be worth it, but we're not. Looks like it's going to be about 4/5 here.

I'm also not likely to mess around with pinhole projectors. I read that one will be able to see basically the same thing by looking at the ground under a leafy tree, and I have plenty of those. (There is a welding mask in the garage, but I'm sure it's not dark enough.)

It wouldn't be an issue at all if I didn't have to take the van in for service on Monday. Otherwise, I'd be at work, but I generally take the day off if I have to take the van in. Originally I started doing it because the garage opened after I had to be to work and closed before I got out, but they've expanded their hours in the last couple of years, so now it's really just habit.

I have pretty much settled on aviatrix as my Halloween costume for this year, so I've been pricing various pieces. Since I'm hardly going for historical accuracy -- this is the office, not a con masquerade competition -- it's really only going to be a sketch, rather than a portrait, and built almost entirely from reusable pieces (pants, blouse, scarf, jacket, boots (and I found a fantastic deal on boots). Really, only the cap and goggles will be costumey. It'll be fun.
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Friday's garage sale was not encouraging, but the weather wasn't great. Mom said that she watched the folks across the street constantly carrying the furniture they had for sale into and out of the garage as the rain began or passed. It was also pretty chilly. Saturday was a different story almost entirely. It was still coolish, but brightly sunny, and there were a lot of people out. We had more people stop by in the couple of hours before BFT picked me up for our trip to Buffalo than had stopped by in all of the day before, according to Mom.

The highlight of the weekend was the trip to Buffalo with BFT and J1 to see Wicked at Shea's. J2 didn't go because she's going to be seeing it on Broadway with students in a couple of weeks. BFT and I drove to J1's parents' house and J1 drove into Buffalo, as she is okay with driving right downtown (and Shea's is on Main Street). We ended up getting there an hour early, so we basically had our pick of parking. Every other time I've been to Shea's we've parked in a largish fenced lot about a block away from the theater. It's relatively inexpensive (only $3), but it's a nightmare to get out of. I spotted the lot, though, and thought J1 was going to turn into it, but she went right on by, and we found a much smaller lot on the other end of the block. It was $5, but as it was basically a wide alley, getting in and out was much, much simpler, so it worked out very well.

The show was excellent. We were in the eleventh row from the stage, in the center section, on the right-hand end of the row. (BFT prefers an aisle seat.) The sound was much better than the last time, and we were close enough to see the actors' expressions and to make out details of the costumes. The last time we were there (the first time we'd seen the show), we were three rows from the back of the auditorium and it was like watching something without glasses when you're near-sighted. (Which I am, so I know whereof I speak.)

Although BFT and J1 expressed preferences for the first Glinda and this Elphaba, I didn't really remember that many details of that previous performance. I just enjoyed being there. My only niggle is that I constantly spotted the actors who were responsible for rigging safety catches (for Glinda's bubble, for instance) or other bits and pieces of stage maneuvering. Oh, and the chorus member who also played Elphaba's father was tall and broad and had a shaved head so that when he retired into the chorus, he was still rather obvious and distracting.

After the show, we went to the nearest mall because BFT and J1 wanted to get dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I have to agree that the food was very, very good -- and the portions were huge; I will end up with three meals out of what I brought home -- but I was actually underwhelmed by the cheesecake. Really, I've had better cheesecake from Wal-Mart.

It ended up being a loooong day: BFT dropped me off at my house around 8:20, and then I had to walk the dog and clean up the bits of the garage sale that Mom had left in the driveway, so I missed the first few minutes of Doctor Who, and didn't pay too close attention to the rest of the episode as a consequence. That's all right, though; I taped it and I'll watch it later this week.

For some weird reason, I've been watching the...sixth? seventh? series of DW this week -- the series with Madame Kovarian and the Silence as the Big Bads. I think I had wanted to watch the first two episodes of the season, and then I realized that "The Doctor's Wife" was coming up, so I just kept plowing through them, and now I'm up to "Let's Kill Hitler," which I will probably watch this evening.

So...other things....

Oh! On the way home Saturday night, BFT and I spotted the kittens! They are definitely at the house up the block. Mama was lounging in their front yard and the kittens were tumbling around on their front steps. I saw the little grey one. I have also seen kittens -- three black ones -- over on the next street closer to where the colony hangs out because that's where they get fed. So now there are at least seven new members....

Not Great

May. 13th, 2017 05:17 pm
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I am not in the best of moods today. I was really depressed this morning, but my mood has lightened as the day as worn on. It's the kittens. No one seems to realize how very bothered I am by them. Everybody is all "oh how adorable," and "you can bring them inside and have four bonded kittens; it'll be fine!" and "you have to rescue them and their mama!" I feel utterly inadequate next my many friends who rescue cats and kittens hither and yon, but I just... Eh, whatever. I have decided to leave them alone and let them do their thing -- right now, anyway. Tomorrow morning, I may have changed my mind and be out there trying to catch them. Not that I would have much luck, as Mama is mostly right there with them. I will pretend that they are bunnies, exclaim over how cute they are and let them do their wild animal thing. It's not like they're even the first generation of kittens in this colony; the Progenetrix was dropped off something on the order of five years ago. They are truly wild animals.

And then I torment myself thinking that maybe Mama had them so close to my house -- within ten feet of my backdoor, fercryinoutloud -- so that they will be domesticated.

You see? I keep working myself into a state. Delaware, I think.

In non-kitten news, I escorted a mouse off the premises today. From the size of this one, I either have two separate kinds of mice, or the last several I have caught have been babies. Great. Mouse-kittens. On the other hand (or "to the left" as Vlad Taltos says) this one was brown, rather than grey, so possibly two different kinds.

I finally mowed the front yard this afternoon, except for the square under the apple tree. There's a huge patch of violets there, and since they're in shade, they're not faded and ragged like the ones in the other part of the yard. But that's all I mowed. I didn't try to mow any of the back at all, though I did pick up sticks. My maple in the backyard is shedding rather more than I would like.

My mother has persuaded me to participate in the community garage sale day next weekend, so I have been doing some clean-up in the garage, and hauling a few things out to price. I had brought my beading and jewelry-making supplies up from the basement to put them all in the sale since I haven't made jewelry in ages, but when I started going through the stuff, I decided that I wasn't ready to get rid of it, and certainly wasn't ready to sell stuff I paid so much money for at garage sale prices.

Trying to come up with something for supper and not really thinking of anything. Maybe I'll just have strawberry shortcake. Hm...if the pineapple is still good (might not be, since I bought it fresh a week ago), I could have chicken and pineapple salad.

I'm so tired and down today that I'm not even sure I want to watch Doctor Who tonight.

Don' Wanna

May. 10th, 2017 06:36 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I'm tired. I know I say that a lot, but I am tired, and pretty much always in a state of holy fuck, could I use a nap. Right now, I could go back to bed and go to sleep late for work.

Mama Cat appears to have moved her kittens the night before last. I am not displeased by this. I was fretting about them being out there for multiple reasons. I would probably eventually have tried to catch them, and then what would I have done? The SPCA wouldn't take them without expecting me to pay for them. One of the local rescues might, but...I'm not really hot on the local rescues. Ah, well. Decision is no longer mine to make.

I was reasonably certain yesterday morning that they were gone, but when I let Jack out last night, I stayed on the couch in the breezeway where I could read and keep an eye both on the ramp and on Jack. It was actually nice, and I discovered that my old couch, despite its rattiness, is actually more comfortable than the new one. Figures, right?

I finished Iorich last night. That leaves Tiassa and Hawk and then I'll be back to waiting for a new Vlad Taltos book. I'm debating whether or not to read the other Dragaera books while I'm on a roll, or whether to switch to something else. I guess we'll see when I finish Hawk.

I've been trying out posting by email from work. It seems to work okay. Which is nice because it means I don't have to drag posts home on a thumb drive. I'm sure DW is blocked at work, but even it it weren't, I wouldn't want to log in because of the monitoring. Logging into webmail feels easier to explain away. I have been accessing a few things more on my phone at work lately (hey, it's been sloooow), since there's public wifi in the building.

Still tired.

I've been trying to figure out how to find a decent painter for the house. I don't actually want to spend too much on the painting, so there's enough left to do the bathroom -- amazing how fast the money goes when you're making hefty payments on credit cards. So far, I haven't paid any of them off, though; just brought the payments down to within reach. I should pay them off, and I know that, but if I do, then I won't have the cash left for the house, which was really the point of the exercise. In any case, Angie's List is now free, so perhaps I will join and check there. I just need some names, and if all they will give me is The Big Two Names In The Area, then I will try the Old Boys' Network. I could probably get some names from my ex-father-in-law, but as much as I like him, I do feel awkward trying to talk to him. Less awkward talking to his wife, oddly enough, but for this, I'd have to talk to him.

The sky was gorgeous during walkies this morning. We have reached the point of the year where for the next couple of months, walkies will always be in daylight. This morning, the sun was not quite up when we got home, and the clouds to the east were painted all different shades of mauve and peach. I took my camera out back to try to get photos of the neighbor's dogwood tree against the light, but it was really too late for the best color. I can probably pull some color out of the photos in Photoshop, but....

The lawn is getting to the point of having to mow it and pretty wildflowers be damned. I will weep for them...and then zoom right over them because what else am I going to do? If I don't, one of the neighbors will probably helpfully do it for me. It's a toss-up between the Gossip and K next door who is so terrified of snakes that she mows that strip between my house and her fence so that snakes don't come into her yard from there -- as if they spontaneously generate in my foundation or something.

Yeah...still tired.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • Am now running out of spoons. Not a "spoonie" reference; I am literally running out of spoons because I didn't wash the dishes last night because of my burned thumb. I will have to wash tonight or start using plastic. (I use a lot of spoons between the dog and the cat.)

  • Evicted two more mice from the kitchen -- one last night just near sundown and one this morning just after walkies. I now have two Tin Cats that need to be cleaned before they can be redeployed. I hate cleaning the Tin Cats, even though I just dump buckets of soapy water in them, then rinse, then air dry. But I hate the thought of snap traps even more, so....

  • Saw a three different sets of deer on my way to the county building this morning.

  • I think I know where the bats are. Having looked over a couple of websites about bat removal, with accompanying photos, I think they're either in the chimney, or right near it, as there is a long dark stain on the chimney itself, and a hole nearby. Coincidentally, this might explain the scratching noises I often hear over my bedroom ceiling in the summer.

  • As much as I hate winter, as least I feel safe -- no bugs, no bats, mostly no mice, come to that. I sat in my back room reading last night for two reasons: I didn't feel like taking the covering off the couch (i. e., I didn't feel like having to replace it this morning), and I felt anxious about sitting in the living room, because I'd be constantly scanning for a bat to slip down from upstairs. (The stairwell is open, so generally the first instance of a bat making itself felt is when it slides into the living room from the stairs.) I've already started ducking when I step into the front part of the house from the kitchen. The bats seem to stay in the front part of the house, possibly because the kitchen doorway is quite a bit lower than the ceiling. I am seriously considering not waiting for a loan, but calling the bat removal company (yeah, looks like there are only two in this whole end of the state) and charging their service, because this is making me...really quite anxious. I am tired of having to deal with it, and last summer's occurrence was just particularly horrible because it took me two and a half hours to catch that second bat and get it out of the house (and it's probably right back in the attic, since it lives there), and then it took me three nights to be able to sleep again. It's probably a good thing that the cruise happened when it did, so I could actually get some sleep.

  • Maybe I need to find a new Great Hunter. Merlin could snag a bat on the wing, and it was easier to rescue them from him than it was to try to trap them without his assistance. Plus...fewer mice, apparently.

  • Speaking of which, I found a trail of gushy fudz across the kitchen this morning. I naively assumed that they were only after the kibble and picking that up was sufficient.

  • Which leads me to wonder exactly how much Kethri is eating.

  • I am so tired and so ready for a vacation and so not getting one until July. I'd call in sick this morning, but I did that only two weeks ago. I can't burn through sick time at the rate I have been lately; I might need it.

  • At least there is new Doctor Who this weekend, though I am disappointed that it is Peter Capaldi's last series. I really like him as the Doctor.

  • Right. Need to get up and get dressed. Need to not burn myself on the straightening iron this morning (by not straightening my hair; I'll pull it into a bun). I am definitely treating myself to a muffin this morning.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I completely forgot to annoy my coworkers by blasting Celtic tunes all day yesterday. And, lo, I am ashamed. I could've managed it nicely, too, because my neighbor with the loud radio didn't come in until nearly noon, so it was quiet in my corner. Which is probably why it didn't occur to me. One values the peace....

I am going to have to see if I can find the manual for my thermostat online. The small manual I have for it doesn't get into how to program it, only how to install it. And it's completely messed up now. I can't even tell what's going on with it. Maybe it's back to factory defaults or something, but it seems to be set for 62° at night, which is fine, but 70° during the day, which is nice, but far warmer than I want to go until I figure out what my gas bill is going to look like. HTWIWM would never let me keep it above 64° during the day and 55° at night -- and he kept it at 55° during the day, too, when I wasn't home. I started bumping it up to 66° when I was home and 60° overnight. It seems obvious, though, that both his programming and Friend P's attempt to get rid of that programming are both gone. Now I need to be able to put in my own. I'll search for it later.

At the moment, though, I'm waiting for the car to warm up (i. e., the frost to melt because I don't want to scrape it) so I can go hunt the grocery beast.

Jack met himself a German shepherd pup on walkies yesterday afternoon. We were turning the corner and this dog just came charging at us from nowhere. He was about seven months old, and had a collar and tags, and I had a vague idea that he lived in the college house (I think it's still student housing, anyway; both of the people that eventually came out looking for him were wearing college sweats). He was friendly; he just wanted to play (playplayplay). I was a little worried about how Jack would react on the leash, but he was okay. At one point, I had the pup's collar and was trying to lead him home, but couldn't control Jack on the leash while clinging to the pup's collar, so I let the pup go and tried to get him to follow me and Jack to where I supposed his house to be. Fortunately, his people did come out looking for him, but dammit, if they're going to keep a dog in that house, they can't just let him out the door and ignore him. They're only one lot from a main road, ferchrissakes. I Do Not Approve. I presume that they were eventually able to catch him; he didn't want to be caught and was tearing around. I took Jack away, hoping that that would help, and he didn't follow us.

So I guess I'm going to have to keep an eye out for Frankie from now on, and maybe start carrying an extra leash in my pocket. And then maybe this'll never happen again....
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • It is my not so humble opinion that if you're going to be in the SCA, you should at least be able to spell "medieval." And "renaissance." And perhaps "anachronism."

  • The Gecko is no longer making any attempt to hide the fact that she spends her days sprawled on my couch. It is getting me down.

  • I have an episode and a half and about four "extras" to go in my reread of Shadow Unit. All hell is just about to break loose...and I am reluctant to continue reading because I know what's coming.

  • Actually kind of hoping I don't survive this week's Idol vote. I won't quit -- probably -- but if I don't make a vote, I won't be too upset about it.

  • Have a new theory about Rey: What if, instead of being Luke's daughter or Leia and Han's daughter or Palpatine's or Obi-Wan's or Qui-Gon's granddaughter (did I miss anyone?), she's like Anakin, and is a vergence? Created (sort of) by the Force itself? Happened once, could happen again, right? It would explain why she's such a good pilot, how she's able to get the better of Kylo Ren not just once, but a few times, and so on.

  • Kethri was driving me nuts tonight. She was extremely needy and insisted on being in my lap. I, meanwhile, was in no mood to be climbed on by a cat. I ended up shutting her in my office because I couldn't get her to leave me the fuck alone.

  • Today is my mother's birthday. She is...71, I think.

  • I am really just killing time here because I can't quite justify going to bed at 8:00 p.m.

  • It was warmish today -- nearly 60° at lunchtime when the sun was out, though the temperature had fallen about five degrees by the time I left work because the sun had gone.

  • 7:00 a.m. is apparently the time to go to the grocery store.... I left the house this morning at 7:00 a.m. and was home by 7:20 a.m. Of course, I had a list and stuck to it and didn't wander, except for when I went looking for barrettes, and discovered that they had them buy one get one free. Score!

  • The rabbit has been hanging out in the backyard again. I wish I could figure out a way of dissuading it from doing that -- other than letting Jack catch it, of course.

  • It's probably not even the same rabbit; it's probably a previous year's puppy/cub/kitten/whateverthefuckyoungrabbitsarecalled returning to the ancestral birthing grounds.

  • I was reading up on sonic pest control devices a bit. I want to try one, but am a bit concerned that five minutes after I plug one in, I'll be standing in my living room in a cloud of bats like Bruce Wayne fallen into the Batcave.

  • People think I'm exaggerating when I say I can smell the Gecko as soon as I open my back door.

  • I'm not exaggerating.

  • Was watching an episode of Graham Norton this evening. I wonder if Daniel Radcliffe realizes how very rapidly he speaks He never seems to slow down.

  • Can't believe he's 27 already.

  • Was watching a featurette (one of those before the movie, but not a trailer things) on Shirley Maclaine's new movie the other day. BFT said, "She's not a nice person." Apparently she frequented a shop that BFT worked in when she lived in...Santa Fe or Flagstaff or somewhere in the Southwest.

  • Still reading 1984. I am reading it on breaks at work. At home, I am reading MyAuntie's book because it has been many years since I last did. I told her I was rereading it; she was surprised that it was still in one piece. Well. I do have two copies: a reading copy and an autographed copy. I had two autographed copies, but I lent one to my creative writing professor and never got it back.

  • It's not like I couldn't get her to sign another one. It's not actually that difficult to find used copies. Or it wasn't the last time I looked, anyway.

  • Oh, look. 9:00 p.m. I can now justify getting ready for bed.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • It is very cold this morning. When I first checked the temperature, before sunrise, it was -1°F. By the time Jack and I went walkies, it was up to 2°. Yay. It is supposed to get up to about 40° today.

  • Cream of Wheat is a very disappointing breakfast when you're used to pastries or nice muffins on Sundays, but I didn't go to the grocery store yesterday, and won't go today, and haven't the ingredients to bake my own. (Or the desire, for that matter.)

  • I liked Logan more than I expected. Don't stay through the credits, though (unless that's your thing); the Fun Thing happens at the beginning.

  • The local cinema has modernized their lobby (instead of, say, repairing all the sprung seats), so that at the concession stand you get only your popcorn, candy, and soda cup, which you then have to take to a separate dispenser and fill yourself. It eases some of the congestion at the concession stand, by moving it to a different part of the lobby. I don't buy drinks, anyway -- they're too expensive -- but I'd get Really Seriously Annoyed if I had to stand in a second line to get my drink.

  • Logan is not a movie for kids, despite having a number of children in it. And yet there was an eight-year-old girl in the seat next to me, installed there by her redneck male relative (couldn't tell if a father or older brother...or both), who never bothered to ask me to move my stuff, just plonked his kid nearly on top of my purse. And the whole family reeked of stale cigarette smoke. Ack. At least the kid was well-behaved, unlike the last batch that got seated near me in a movie.

  • No. I don't like children. Why do you ask?

  • Or most people, for that matter.

  • I rescued a spider from the tub this morning, and it is now sitting in an upside-down glass on my kitchen counter because it seemed stupid to rescue it from drowning and then eject it from the house to freeze. I'll take it outside this afternoon, I guess, when it's much warmer.

  • The matter of Gram's house has been resettled for the moment, with the sale being tabled for now. My mother won't be pleased. Apparently, Gram didn't understand that when my mother said she'd like to get the house cleaned out, she didn't mean just "cleaned," she meant "emptied." MyAuntie explained what Mom really meant, and Gram vetoed the whole thing.

  • I am feeling my usual lack of ambition. I walked Jack around the block, did my fifteen minutes on my treadmill, washed my hair, and am going to do the dishes and two loads of laundry (one in now). Surely that's enough?


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. :-\


Feb. 12th, 2017 12:23 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
There has been a visitation in my backyard. The ground under the maple tree looks like a chipper-shredder has been running there, and in the tree above, there is a hole that appears, from the ground, to be as big as my head. Higher up the trunk are smaller holes that appear to also be quite deep.

The consensus on Facebook is that the yard was visited by a pileated woodpecker. I am bummed that a) I missed it, and b) Something Is Likely Going To Have To Be Done about that section of the tree before it falls into the neighbor's yard (it's quite near the fence) or worse, onto the neighbor.

This must have happened the day before yesterday and I just didn't notice it that evening. I noticed it yesterday morning, but if the woodpecker had been going at that tree for as long as necessary to cause that huge a cavity, I'd've heard it, and, having heard it, gone out to check. And then run back indoors for my camera.

I'm told that pileated woodpeckers aren't uncommon around here, but the only time I've ever seen any was at least eighteen years ago when a family of them was checking out the pear tree outside the kitchen window on the farm. They're quite a bit bigger than you expect to see in a bird that's not a raptor. I was half an hour late for work that morning because I wanted to stay and watch them. Got in a fair amount of trouble over it, too.

Totally worth it.

But I wish I'd seen this one. Or these ones, if it wasn't alone....


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.


Oct. 6th, 2016 08:26 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is apparently kitten season in the feral cat realm. I posted earlier this week about seeing a small black kitten in a neighbor's driveway whilst walking Jack early in the morning; when it saw me watching it, it scarpered. Then a couple of days ago, I saw a mama cat lounging in a front yard a few houses in the other direction, and she had four eeny-weenie-jelly-beanie kittens with her, of approximately the same age as the first kitten I spotted.

Then last night, I was on the phone with my aunt past the time I have been giving Jack his last outs lately, so I went out with the flashlight to check the perimeter before letting him out. I was glad that I did because there was a black cat back by the fence. When I shone the light on it, it slipped under the fence, but didn't immediately run away. I didn't pay much attention to that, really, just continued to slide the light around the yard. I don't normally check by the house, but I did last night, and I was really, really glad I did because there was a black kitten crouched under the hydrangeas by the ramp. When I shone the light back toward the fence, the black cat was still there, watching, and I thought, "Aha. Mama?" The kitten didn't move when I put the light back on it, and for a wild moment, I thought about trying to pick it up and bring it in, but instead, I went and got Jack and leashed him up and took him for a brief walk. When I got back, both kitten and Mama were gone.

I got to thinking about it, and decided that it might have been the same kitten as the one I saw the other morning. If not, it's almost certainly from the same litter.

After the original colony was caught and transported (or as many as could be rounded up, anyway), the survivors split into two. There are a few who hang out up the street where I saw the mother and kittens lounging; I think they live in the hostas around that house's foundation, and I think the people who live there feed them. The other batch are living in the back parking lot (fenced in and not used) and wooded bits across the street from the house where they were all being fed last winter, so I still occasionally see them in my yard.

I really hope they're not hanging out under the ramp, but the only way to be sure is to get down on my hands and knees on the patio with the flashlight, and I wasn't about to do that last night.

In other cat-related news, Kethri seems to be doing well. The awful scabs on her head have healed and her fur is sleek again. She is still scratching some, but is no longer biting at herself and pulling her fur out. So I am guessing that she does still have the odd flea, but that they are mostly under control. She is using the litter box I put upstairs, and I am scooping it twice-daily to keep her from using the Spare Oom -- but she still does occasionally, like this morning. Four pee-clumps in the litter box seem to be the limit; after that, she uses the Spare Oom. (I am guessing based on the last two times she used the Spare Oom.) Anyway, I have litter upstairs, and a "diaper pail" into which the clumps get dumped (a little trash can that takes four-gallon bags), and air freshener in that room. I was sniffing around this morning, and either I'm getting used to it or it does smell better in there. I guess I'll find out next week when I have people in my house. Or this week, as I'm sure Auntie and I will stop here at least once during our peregrinations.


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