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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.)


Aug. 12th, 2017 09:01 am
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Every time I think that girl is getting better, she starts stealing food again. The last couple of weeks, she's been sitting up in the chair, staying awake all day -- still not paying any attention to Jack, but at least not spending the day sound asleep on the couch. I knew she was stealing cheese sticks out of the fridge, but since I was only going to throw them away, anyway, I didn't say anything. But this morning, I pulled out the brand-new package of cheese danish that I bought Thursday evening -- finding a whole package of them at the grocery store is rare, rare, rare, and I was looking forward to them with fresh berries -- to find that she scarfed one of them yesterday. And then I found that the half-gallon of milk that I hadn't even opened was two-thirds gone. Granted, I was going to dump the milk, too, because it's a month old (I get on kicks with milk; sometimes I drink it and sometimes I don't), but still. She's stealing again, and I am pissed off. And even though, in the grand scale of things, it's terribly minor, there's also a feeling of violation. She's been going through my stuff again.

I wrote on the new milk jug "this does not belong to you" in big block capitals.

Passive-aggressive much?

I'm going to have to dock her pay next week, I guess, since she's already been paid for this week.
In other news, I decided, in the end, not to go to Sterling. The weather forecast for today didn't look promising. Though I was annoyed with myself this morning when I got up and it was clear. Still, while I was out getting groceries, it started to cloud up, and it's quite grey out there right now. The rain at Sterling, according to Accuweather, would start just about the time the Faire opened, which would mean that if it's the same rain it looks like we're going to get here, I'd've likely been driving in it. So...good call, I guess, though I am feeling a bit melancholy about the whole thing.

On the other hand, it means a Gecko-free day, because I'm certain she wouldn't have hesitate to eat a second danish out of the package of three.

And here I was trying to decide what nice present to bring her back from Sterling as a thank you for coming over an extra day.


In other other news, as I was leaving the grocery store this morning, a firetruck came zooming on by and turned down the street where Gram lives. An ambulance was about a quarter of a mile behind. There are only a few other houses on the street, so they were almost certainly going down to the end.

I have to go back out shortly; I want to check KMart's going-out-of-business sale. I have pantry moths in Jack's dog biscuits (for the first time in well over a decade) so I need to find something other than the box they come in in which to keep them. Probably a small plastic tub. I don't buy the huge packages I used to buy when I had four dogs, but I still can't quite bring myself to buy the smallest, least expensive boxes because the price per biscuit is too high.

There was a piece on NPR this morning about children and fallout drills. I was in elementary school on the literal tail end of that. I remember one drill when I was in kindergarten that terrified me (which is probably why I can still remember it). My elementary school was built in the early '70s, and it had a sort of open plan. Most classrooms didn't have walls between the room and the hallway; they just put modular locker cupboards in place to act as a wall, and many of the walls between classrooms were just folding walls. The folding wall between my first-grade classroom and the one next to it was almost always at least partially open; we shared the chick incubator, for instance. In any case, the building was built into a hill, such that the kindergarten classes on the basement level had doors to the outside, but so did the first grade classrooms on the upper level. The fifth and sixth grade classrooms were the only ones that were truly a second story, and when there were fire drills, those kids had to walk down the hallway to the main doors to exit the building. Everyone else just left by the doorway in their classroom.

In any case, I remember crouching in the cement-brick-walled hallway, with my head ducked and covered by my hands. We were supposedly safe in the hallway, and away from flying glass...except at the end of the hallway was a glass wall leading to the outside, and just above us was the completely glass-walled foyer. So even as a four-year-old (though I might have turned five by then), I knew that if whatever we were supposed to be hiding from happened, we were totally fucked. (Though I didn't know that particular word at the time.) So, yeah. I had my share of duck-and-cover nightmares.

I don't remember any other drills, though, so they must have stopped them shortly thereafter. But, yeah. That piece on NPR resonated.
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I am taking today off; it seemed like an excellent reward for the three Very Long Days of training -- up at 4:00 a.m., at the office by 6:00 a.m., in Buffalo by 8:00 a.m., traintraintraintraintrain, then not home until 6:00 p.m. or later. Sleeping in until nearly 6:00 a.m. this morning seemed like luxury. I am still feeling sleepy. It was definitely grueling.

I did miss Grama's birthday dinner last night, even though we got back in time for me to go since we finished the training four hours ahead of schedule. We had a big lunch on the way home, though, and I was still stuffed. And Really Tired, to be honest, and I just don't like seeing my grandmother when my parents are present, because my mother insists on being snarky at Grama under Gram's hearing, and it pisses me off. So I will take her a Birthday Cupcake later this afternoon and take Jack over to see her, which will make her happy.

So I am going to go out for groceries, and I do have to run over to the credit union as my car payment is due today. It's the Last Payment! Well. I could make a regular payment and then still owe the last $50 or so of the loan next month, but I will just write a check for the whole amount and have done. In fact, I should write that check before I go out for groceries so that I can do that in the same trip before the credit union gets busy (since it's Friday).

I might mow the lawn today; since I let it go so long before the last mowing, much of the grass didn't get clipped as closely as it should have, so it's already looking shaggy again. And, of course, there's all kinds of work to be done in the house. And it's my turn to mow Gram's lawn, so I'll have to haul up there and do that. Maybe tomorrow.

Isn't this exciting?

The weather is supposed to be lovely for the whole weekend. That would be nice.
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Yesterday was the day I took my grandmother to get her taxes done. It was pretty painless, though I was a bit stung when the guys offered to do my taxes, too. I'm not quite old enough yet to require AARP to do my taxes for me. Besides, I did mine as soon as my W2 was available, and could probably do Gram's for her, too, but she likes to have these guys do them. One of them is my aunt's college roommate's brother, and my aunt and her roomie have always been close, and the roomie adopted Gram, and so on.

It was a pretty day with bright sun and puffy clouds; the temperature was around 53°. Then quite suddenly, around noon, it got ridiculously windy. There is a line of pines in front of Gram's facility that I suspect were originally planted as a wind break. They are huge, now, and they were liberally littering the street with twigs and needles. It was...crunchy.

It remained hugely windy all night long, and it's still pretty windy this morning. It's supposed to be cooler today, then cold tomorrow, then I think the temps are supposed to head upward again.

Anyway. After the taxes were done, I drove Gram around to see her house. She's been cranky about the house for a long while because no one (i. e., my parents) will take her to see it. She's afraid that something is being hidden from her. Nothing is; it's just that my parents can't be bothered. Anyway, all that's left of the tree is a quite low stump, so we were able to clearly see the damage that the falling limbs did. Actually, I was pretty glad it was down because with yesterday's wind, it could've been bad. The soffit damage looks bad, but I think it's really just a case of nailing a board back in place. The window frames need a touch of paint, but otherwise, the house is in pretty good condition. I might still consider buying the place if it weren't so much farther from work (meaning I'd never be able to go home for lunch), and if the neighbors weren't practically on top of each other.

I asked her if she wanted to go inside, and she didn't, which surprised me a bit, but I suppose she didn't want to see the way it was left. It's actually not too bad in there; my sister got it cleaned up and got things sort of back where they belong, so the worst things are really the missing pieces of furniture (that are with Gram) and the master bedroom -- but she couldn't get up the stairs, anyway, so....

She also told me that I didn't need to visit with her when I got her back home, either. I think she wanted a nap before dinner, actually, and I did visit the day before. I'd've gone to McDonald's for early supper and to wait out The Gecko, but didn't have a book with me, so ended up home and walking the dog early.

And speaking of the Gecko, I stopped at WickedMart yesterday and bought a couple of soft PVC shower curtains which I will shortly put on the couch. I will cover them with the blankets, so she will probably not even know that they are there...but if they discourage her from sitting there, so much the better.
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  • 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?
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I am incredibly tired and sleepy this morning, thanks to the wind howling all night long and rattling the window right next to my bed in its broken frame. I woke up around 2:00 a.m., realizing that I had been sleeping huddled under the blankets with all my muscles tight (which means sore shoulders today) because of the cold air pouring through the cracks in the window frame. And then I couldn't get back to sleep because the window wasn't just rattling, it was thumping. I finally got up and found a roll of duct tape and taped the sashes together. That stopped the thumping, though the pane still rattled a bit. It also, coincidentally, stopped the worst of the airflow. I never did get back to sleep, though. So that's exciting.

I really need to get those windows replaced. Maybe I should get a home improvement loan when I get Das Woofenwagen paid off later this year.

The wind brought winter back with it. There is a dusting of snow out there this morning, and the forecast is for snow showers on and off during the day, and a high in the 20s. Yay. It's supposed to be winter for a few days, then start being spring again on Sunday.

I took a personal day yesterday. I have a doctor appointment today (which I found out about on Tuesday). It's first thing in the morning (probably the first appointment of the day) and I have to have labs done I decided to do them yesterday and maybe have the results today at my appointment (so she has something to lecture me about). So I messaged my brother that I wasn't working -- knowing full well that I would end up having to drive the Gecko home because he wouldn't get the message -- and went off to the medical group.

I got checked in at the lab and was reading my book and they called me back up to tell me they didn't have any orders and I'd have to go around the corner to the doctor's office to get the orders. So I did -- and waited twenty minutes there for them to get the orders ready and in the system so that I could go back around the corner and sit in front of the lab door. Whatever. Good thing I didn't try to do all that this morning, though, because as I recall, they didn't have the orders last year on the day of my appointment. Organization doesn't seem to be one of their priorities over there.

In any case, it got done. Then I had to stop and do some banking for my grandmother, and that took a while because I was closing a dormant account, and they wanted to make sure I was who I said I was and that the power of attorney was still in effect and blah blah blah. Basically, they were trying to make sure I wasn't stealing my grandmother's money. Which is fine and commendable, but I was beginning to think they were going to make me haul her in there, and neither of us were up for that. In the end, though, they gave me a check and I immediately took it to her primary bank and deposited it, so that's done.

On to WickedMart to purchase another blanket to throw over the couch because a single twin blanket is too small (as, it turns out, is a single queen blanket), and then I arrived home rather hungry at about 10:00 a.m. (fasting bloodwork, donchaknow) to find that, yes, the Gecko was sitting in the living room -- in the chair. Go figure. I knew she was there as soon as I opened the door, because I could smell her.

I'm not kidding about this; I'm really not. I can literally smell her the instant I walk into the house. One morning before I started keeping my doors locked all the time, her father dropped her off while I was in the shower, and she walked in and got herself settled without calling that she was here, and as soon as I shut off the shower, I knew she was in my house -- because I could smell her. (Also, creepy much?)

And, that, boys and girls, is why my house is kept locked now. Her father drops her off early like that again, she'll just have to wait in the breezeway until I'm ready to let her in.

So I got her home, and I turned onto the street a block above the house just as her father was turning onto the block below the house on his way to get her. So I ended up conversing pleasantly with him (which involves smiling and nodded and thinking Go the fuck away, you asshole!) for longer than I wanted to. (For those wondering about that newfangled telephone thingy, my brother doesn't have one; it's the first expense he always cuts when he's not working; he does have a computer, which is why I can FB message him, but he apparently doesn't check very often.)

But then I was finally free and sat down and wrote my Idol piece for this week. So...I guess it was a good day....


Feb. 14th, 2017 06:44 am
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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. :-\
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It's the last day of January and thus, one day closer to spring. Actually, by some measures, spring starts with Imbolc, which according to my calendar is tomorrow. (I always observed it on 2 February, though.) Regardless, I do have mixed feelings about spring this year. After last summer's Bat Episodes, I am just not looking forward to that again. I am beginning to think that when I get the van paid off later this year, I should take out a home improvement loan, get everything done that needs to be done (which is ridiculous; I can't get that much money!) and start looking for a house that doesn't have bats in it.

I won't, mind you. Inertia is my middle name, and while "inertia" also implies unending movement, I'm not in the movement phase. I am definitely at rest.

If I were smart, I'd buy my grandmother's house. But the neighbors are so close (they're actually on Gram's property on both sides; the line runs right through the middle of the one guy's garage). And the stairs are so narrow and steep and the only way to fix them is to completely remodel the downstairs and actually move the stairs elsewhere. And it's much farther from work; I wouldn't be able to come home for lunch on a daily basis. And it's smaller than my place; where would I put my books? It's not dinky, by any means, but really, where would I put my books?

I was bitching at work yesterday about that wellness program that I was enrolled in and found that a few others had received the flyer and just tossed it. I still don't understand how it's not a HIPAA violation, but I probably signed something at some point allowing the sharing of that information. Or maybe I didn't. Maybe they're just assuming that nobody cares or nobody knows HIPAA. But...well. Our agency is very much bound by HIPAA and we've had it drilled into our heads on numerous occasions.

In any case, I sent them a short, pithy, snarky (some would say bitchy) email to the effect that I had been enrolled without my knowledge or consent and wanted to opt out immediately. I received about half an hour later, a confirmation email. I said "thanks;" the person on the other side said, "my pleasure," and that was it. No, really. She said, "My pleasure." I let it go after that rather than devolve into a Chip and Dale exchange of pleasantries.

We're supposed to be playing around with the AVS practice site now that we've had the training, before we go live, but I haven't. Haven't even logged into it yet. I really should since I'll be using it a lot more than some of my cow-orkers, but I have better things to do with my time, I guess. Maybe I'll poke at it today; recerts are due in today, but as usual, I've only received a few. Good thing I'm not a terrible stickler about time frames; I'd be constantly closing and reopening cases. I do enough of that as it is.

I went to visit my grandmother last night. Casting about for a topic of conversation, I told her that I'd been watching Emergency!; I figured she'd relate to that because she spends a lot of time watching the classic TV station and I know they were airing it at one point. I laughed about how I had a crush on one of the actors when I was a little kid and I still kind of had a crush on him, but it was weird to realize that he's got to be in his 70s now. Gram laughed, too. "Maybe he can be your sugar daddy," she said. aunt and my mother both complain about Gram not being as sharp as she should be, but she sure as heck remembers the stuff I tell her -- like when I said that for my birthday (or for Christmas; Ican't remember which) I wanted a sugar daddy....

The weather seems to be unable to quite make up its mind whether it wants to snow or not. I've looked out the window a few times to find snowglobe snow falling, only to look out a few minutes later and find it clear. Last night, I looked out the back window and by the time I made it to the front window, the snow had stopped. Or maybe it was only falling in the backyard. At least it's not piling up too much.
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I am lying in wait for Jack. He needs to have his flea stuff, and he needs a brushing as he is shedding again. Might as well get him riled up just the once. The thing is, he's afraid of the brushing. Or hates it, or something. In any case, whenever I kneel anywhere near him (because obviously, I have to kneel next to him to brush him), he literally runs away. I have had to chase him into my office, up the stairs, all around the house. So now, I come into my office, wait for him to get settled, then close the door. The brushes have been in here since yesterday. He also needs to have the literally shitty fur from when he was sick trimmed out of his leg fur but I think trying to get that will be pushing my luck. I actually think I need someone else to help hold him and keep his tail up and out of the way.

I have an extensive do-list for this weekend, but I don't expect to get everything done. Really, it's sort of a master do-list in which certain items will just keep getting entered onto new pages as I fill up old pages. I even bought a blank book for the purpose, just because it's nicer than having a cheap little spiral notebook sitting on my desk all the time. Yes, I am totally ridiculous. In any case, not only do I have chores that need to be completed, but a list of movies that I have to watch (since I'm keeping my DVDs in binders now, I tend to forget what I haven't yet watched), a list of writing that needs to be completed (like, say, this week's LJ Idol entry), and a list of books that I am Totally Gonna Read This Year, Just You Wait.

Today's ambitions, though, are to get Jack groomed and flea'd, then take care of the places in the basement where the cat has been peeing -- which are, of course, in tight spots around the furnace and the hot water tank, ugh -- and get the holiday decorations put away. Oh, and laundry, but since that hangs in the basement to dry, I need to get at the floor first. J1 contacted me about possibly selling my hoarded drywall to her folks, so they're going to be stopping by this afternoon.

My grandmother has been complaining about lack of space in her room for storing things, especially since my mother buys her stuff BJs. She lives in a single room now, she really doesn't have space to keep four boxes of Kleenex or three huge bottles of lotion, but my mom just takes everything in and dumps it in her room. She has a superfluous chair in her room. It's a nice chair that she brought from home -- or it was, at any rate, but isn't any longer, as the side is wobbly and not suitable for Gram to use because she has to have sturdy arms to push herself up against. So the chair was tossed into a corner by the door and just has stuff piled on it. I have suggested to my mother that we take that chair out and put in a cupboard or bookcase, and Mom has left it up to me to convince Gram. She says that if she suggests it, Gram will reject it out of hand -- and she probably will, since she and my mother can't seem to ever get along. I tried to get my aunt and uncle to just help me haul the chair out of there, but they weren't interested. We could take it back to the house...or it could just go straight to the dump. The house is probably simpler; we can put it right back into the space it came out of until it's time to finally clean the house out. Gram has been making noises about selling the place, but I don't think she quite understands what that would entail. Just inventorying her collection of angel and bird figurines would take an entire day, for instance.

Ah, well. That's something for another day. Right now, I think Jack has had sufficient lulling-into-a-false-sense-of-security. Time to deploy the Furminator.
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  • I am a terrible, terrible person. I bought a $10 box of totally non-denominational "season's greetings" / "joy of winter" cards just so I could send one to my aunt in Texas. They're very pretty cards, all silvery and pale blue and glittery -- and they will make her fundie head explode. Apparently, this year, I am a foot soldier in the war on Christmas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ugh. Snow.

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

  • I have been watching Emergency! lately on Netflix. I used to watch it when I was a little girl. My brother and I used to play Paramedics with an old plastic tool box that we acquired from somewhere. That was way back before my brother turned into an asshole. Ah, the good old days. It's...interesting. The characters all look older to me than their stated ages: "Rampart, we have a male, approximately 40 years of age...." Yeah, he looks 60 to me. Of course, the show aired in the '70s, and I think maybe people weren't quite as obsessed with looking younger, then. Hard to say, since I was about 8 at the time.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I did a fair amount of work yesterday: laundry, changed kitty litter, cleaned the gutters I can reach, swapped screens for storms where able, paid bills for myself and Gram, filed the paperwork that has been accumulating for the last three months. Not a bad list of cross offs.

  • Discovered that there is nothing wrong with Kethri. Well. Nothing wrong-er. She has just been peeing in the Spare Oom, instead of her litter boxes. I finally found at least one spot by getting down on my hands and knees and running my hand over the carpet. I cleaned it up with my little spot vac, and will have to stop and get that pet urine remover stuff on Monday. In the meantime, I put up a child gate, which would never have stopped her even as little as a year ago, but which she is no longer agile enough to jump over. I heard her failing to do so yesterday, and shortly after that, the litter box started being used again.

  • It is snowing. I hate snow.

  • Jack, however, loves it. He was trying to roll in it this morning during walkies. I wouldn't let him because I am mean. I made him wait until we got home, then I let him out in the backyard.

  • My Trump-supporter, control freak neighbor (The Gossip) was out walking his dog as well, and he blathered something about cleaning off the car before going to church. "Yeah, I'm not going to church," I told him -- mostly because I couldn't figure out whether he was offering to clean mine off or just talking about his own. "I'm thinking pancakes and hot chocolate instead." Given the close eye he seems to keep on the neighborhood, you'd think he'd've realized after sixteen years that I don't go out on Sunday mornings.

  • I am probably going to put up the Christmas tree today. I didn't bother last year, and my grandmother was disappointed. Gram is coming over on Thursday for dinner, so I guess the tree is going up today. I might even have enough ornaments to put up both trees, but I'm not sure about that. (I have two tabletop-size trees because I bought a pre-lit one last year because I was tired of messing with the light strings. And then I didn't put either tree up.)

  • I want to finish putting the DVDs into binders, though, so I guess that's this morning's project -- though I should be working on my Idol entry. But I've got nothing on that topic. Not a great way to begin the competition.

  • I didn't give Jack any benadryl last night; it doesn't seem to make any difference. (Nor does the far more expensive Rimadyl, for that matter.) He was bugging me again. And when he wandered downstairs, I closed the door behind him...which was great until I heard a thump from downstairs and found that he'd tried to get at the library window again. The thump was the stack of stuff I'm selling on eBay falling over, because of course it was. He doesn't seem to have done any damage to any of that, though frankly, I'd rather he tore all of that stuff up -- and some of it is pretty valuable -- than clawing or eating the house.

  • It just occurred to me that maybe I should douse that window frame in Bitter Apple. I think I have a bottle around here somewhere, though it's probably a decade old.

  • Some years back, I bought a pretty green padded bench with Queen Anne legs and rolled ends at a garage sale for $20. It has been in the library ever since, but last night, I sacrificed it to the cause of Getting Some Fucking Sleep and took it upstairs. I spread the blankie on it that came with Jack when I brought him home, and after the Library Incident, I called him upstairs and invited him to get up on it, which he did after I assured him that I actually meant it. He curled up and I got back into bed...and even though he eventually got down, he left me alone for the rest of the night. So much so, in fact, that it was nearly two hours after my normal time that I got up. So...a cautious huzzah?

  • I have eBay auctions ending around lunchtime; I finally hauled out a bunch of stuff that was left in my house over a decade ago and am selling it. I'm hoping that the auctions take off in the next few hours because Jack needs to have his teeth cleaned, and that's expensive because it involves anesthesia. Also, my property taxes will be due at the end of January, and that's going to be $1,200, and I have no idea where the money is going to come from. Oh, wait -- eBay auctions....

  • I do believe that I'm going to go make some chocolate chip pancakes.


Nov. 5th, 2016 09:30 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • It's still early -- only quarter after 9:00 -- and I'm a little ahead of schedule this morning. Yay?

  • My over-the-wall neighbor at work is utterly useless. I've described her before as a shirker, and she is. And yet twice this week, I've heard her telling people absolutely wrong information about what will happen to their coverage if they're in a nursing home instead of passing the call to a nursing home worker. I've rolled my eyes so hard I had to chase them across the floor.

  • Yesterday turned into a gorgeous -- though chillier than I prefer -- day.

  • Today is supposed to be in the 50s and cloudy.

  • The oak tree in the backyard is nearly finished dropping leaves, but the maple has just gotten started, guaranteeing that I will be running the mower at least until the end of the month.

  • I need to change the air filter, I think. I hate changing the air filter.

  • Kethri has started using the litter boxes in the basement again. I was worried, at first, when I saw how little use the one upstairs was getting, then I saw that she was going into the basement again, and I was much relieved.

  • I am still not putting her food down there, though. I know that if it lingers too long in the kitchen, Jack will clean it up. (Dammit.)

  • I finally actually said something to The Gecko yesterday at lunchtime about the fridge. I had previously just been leaving her notes, because I dislike confrontation nearly as much as she does -- and I try to avoid interacting with her as much as possible -- but something just clicked yesterday. I opened the fridge to find that half of the milk I had left was gone, so I hooked the milk jug over my finger, went into the living room and woke her up. As soon as she saw the milk jug, she mumbled an apology, and I very calmly, without raising my voice in the slightest said that I had told her before to stay out of the fridge and that there was nothing in there for her. Then I turned around and walked away. I heard her clicking on her laptop behind me, so I'm sure all of her little internet friends now know what a horrible person I am -- but so do all of my own little internet friends (sorry, guys!), so whatever. And shortly after that, she was asleep again. Good thing Jack doesn't require active company.

  • My sister, who still gets mail at my grandmother's house, so goes there a couple of times a week to check on the house and get the mail, told me yesterday that she had gone there at lunchtime on Wednesday and someone had put a Trump sign in Gram's lawn. She pulled it down in disgust and tossed it in the back with the garbage cans, and when she went yesterday to get her mail, the next-door neighbor had two Trump signs in his yard. She says that she didn't check to see if that was the one she threw out, but it's likely. We're not going to tell Grama -- she'd be horrified and disgusted. She has already voted by absentee ballot -- for Hillary.

  • I will probably tell MyAuntie, though, so she can be horrified and disgusted.

  • BFT, J1, and I are going to see the cheap matinee of Doctor Strange this afternoon. That gives me plenty of time to change the air filter in the mower and mow the leaves beforehand. Dammit.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am beginning to understand why we get so many calls at work from people who are frustrated with their medical billing -- even though there is often nothing we can do to fix it for them.

This ER bill that Gram received earlier this week was obviously misbilled, since it was linked to the accident she had a few years back (when she was hit by that pickup truck). So I called the company that bills for the ER. The rep was very nice, but told me that I would have to call Medicare and speak to a Resolution Specialist (since Medicare denied the claim). I asked her if that was 1-800-Medicare or some other number, and she said it was the number on the back of the card. Since I wanted to get this taken care of as soon as possible and didn't want to wait until after work to look at the back of Gram's Medicare card to see if it was the same number or not, I just started there. (Well, that's not entirely true. I started by Googling "Resolution Specialist Medicare," but got nowhere, then tried the Medicare website but couldn't find anything, which is when I decided to just call the 800 number.)

1-800-Medicare starts with a voice-activated auto-menu. I loathe those. I did my best to navigate it, though, but finally ran up against a dead end. I couldn't zero it out (or star it out or pound it out (though I wanted to pound it)), so I just sat there and waited it out, and after three attempts to get me to input data (to which I did not respond), it finally transferred me to a human.

Who told me that I would have to call a different division of Medicare. (I don't even remember what; it was governmentese for Fix This Right Now, Dammit.)

Of course.

So since I was at work, I set it aside for a bit, did some work, then picked it up again. I didn't want my coworkers complaining that I spent hours on the phone doing Gram's stuff. Because they would.

The new phone number had a smaller menu, at least, and it offered a call-back option, but I decided to just wait on hold. Which I did for about thirty minutes while trying to do my recerts for next month (simple work that can be done one-handed, or with a phone tucked between chin and shoulder). When the guy finally came on (Antonio), he was as helpful as he could be, but since Gram wasn't in my cube with me to give him permission to speak to me, he couldn't. (Dammit!) So he told me to write out a statement and have her sign it, then fax it to them; it would take about 48 hours to get attached to her file, but then they could talk to me.

I had a statement mocked up when some poking around on the Medicare website turned up the proper HIPAA release form, so I filled that out and printed a copy. Just for good measure, I had Gram sign both of them. I will fax them Monday morning (along with my power of attorney, just for good measure), and then on Wednesday, I will hopefully be able to get this resolved...though Antonio told me that resolution will probably have to come from the insurance company that was paying for Gram's accident-related medical care. (Dammit!) I will probably have to dig out her accident file and see if there is anything from her attorney stating that the matter is resolved, so I can send it.

But it's no wonder that people get confused and turned around and start yelling at us. I was ready to yell at us by the time I got done with all of that, especially since it didn't get me anywhere.


Oct. 25th, 2016 05:50 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
The weather has turned cold; I don't think the temperature reached 50° today. It's sunny (mostly), and the sun on the remaining leaves is very pretty. I really hate this time of year...though not nearly as much as I hate February.

I called the dumpster company today because I wasn't sure whether I had to call them to come pick up the dumpster or whether they'd just come and get it at the end of my allotted two weeks. It turns out that I have to call them. So I will probably be doing that on Thursday, just to make sure that Bird does actually bring flats to work tomorrow so that she can help me get the last few pieces stuffed in there.

I am actually wavering about the shedlet roof that is in the backyard leaned up against the front of the loader. I moved it the other day (to see if I could manage it on my own) and the loader is not smooth on the front like a bulldozer; the bottom edge of the scoop has teeth. Now I'm thinking I should leave that piece there until I can find some way to dispose of the thrice-damned loader so that Some Dog doesn't injure himself on the teeth.

And I'm wondering now if that's why HTWIWM left that one piece out of everything else that was piled on that thriced-damned thing. I told him that I wanted that mess cleaned up before he decided he was done with me for good, and he did clean it up, except for that one piece. Maybe he wasn't quite such an asshole after all, especially as there were four dogs in The Pack at the time.

Maybe I'll get Bird to help me budge it up closer to the scoop and maybe see about wedging it in place. I hate it, but it's probably not a good idea to leave the teeth exposed.

Besides, as I discovered last night, it gives the skunk a place to go when Jack chases him about the yard. (There was no spraying. Either Mr. Skunk wasn't particularly worried about Jack or Jack learned his lesson earlier this summer and that's why he stopped short of pouncing on Mr. Skunk.)

In other news, I had intended to visit my grandmother after work yesterday, but got out of work late. But when I was feeding the dog, my phone rang, and Gram left a message on the machine. So when Jack finished his dinner, I packed him up and we went to see Grama.

She had called because she received a bill for nearly $1,000 from the hospital. Turned out that it was from the company that does the ER billing, and there were two charges on it: one from August, and one from 2014. (Seriously? 2014? Come on, people!) Gram couldn't remember going to the ER in August, but if I remember correctly, she had a fall. The facility pretty much automatically ships anyone who falls to the ER. Liability, doncha know.

The 2014 visit, though.... That really irritates me that it's just showing up now. Apparently, they tried to bill the no-fault from her accident some years back, but these visits are unrelated to her accident. I'll have to call them and see if I can get it straightened out. Hopefully they'll talk to me without too much fuss. Before I do that, though, I'll have to dig through her papers to see if I can find any reference to the two visits. Or maybe just check my own journal; I'm sure I mentioned both visits.

In other other news, I have been reading Mercedes Lackey's Vanyel series (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, and Magic's Price). I'm not sure what it says about my life that thirty years after first reading the series (and however many times I've read it since), I still identify with Vanyel. That's probably sad.

I was much surprised earlier today to learn that our shire and the shire next door to the east are both considered to be in failed status. Apparently the shire to the east is nearly broke and will have empty officer positions come January, but I had thought that we were doing okay -- though it has been a year since I attended a meeting. A discussion was begun on FB about whether or not the shire will survive. There are some options, including combining with the shire to the east. There was supposed to be a business meeting tonight, but it was postponed until Friday. I probably won't attend.

I have sort of complicated feelings about this. I'm still annoyed that the same six people have to do all the work, despite all the new faces in the shire. I'm still kinda pissed about the way no one would attend meetings during my last tenure as seneschal (not malice, I don't think, just laziness). I'm not sure I actually care if the shire dissolves. On the other hand, having stepped up a couple of times and served as seneschal in order to save the shire, I'd hate to see those efforts wasted. On the other other hand, our officers are pretty much down to seneschal and exchequer; the guy that wanted to be webminister hasn't done anything, and the guy who wanted so badly to be chronicler has never done anything, either. So.... *shrug*

Right. Time for grilled cheese sammich and tomato soup.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I am glad that this past week is over. Unfortunately, another one just like it looms.

  • My grandmother had her toe amputated on Thursday. One of her toes had lifted and was rubbing on the other and hurting her terribly. It is hoped that once the incision heals, she will be able to walk without [too much] pain again. It was an out-patient procedure done with a local anesthetic, so she was ensconced in her chair by midafternoon.

  • I hauled a few more things from the basement yesterday. I found Yet Another Server down there, and it's too heavy for me to move on my own -- though perhaps I should see if I can get at it enough to take it apart like we did with the other one, since it's undoubtedly the power supply that is the problem. On the other hand, it makes a nice endcap for that section of the basement, so perhaps I won't worry about it.

  • I finally found the back corner of the basement yesterday, and what I found there was...nasty. The main sewer pipe runs along the back wall of the basement to the corner, cuts across the corner (so as not to make a right angle), then heads for the street along the north wall. I discovered, when I moved all of the things stuff into the corner that one of the cats had walked along that broad pipe, hung her butt over the side, and pooed in the corner. For quite a while. There were two piles of mummified poo there. When I first saw the curls of...stuff back there, I thought I'd finally discovered the mouse nest, as it looked in the dim light to be dirty insulation piled up. But then I got a flashlight.... Ugh. I didn't wear a mask when we were clearing out last weekend, but to clean this up, I did get a mask and rubber gloves. It was long-dried, so the easiest way to clean it up was just to pick it up and put it in a bag. Which I did. It's in the dumpster now, along with the mask and gloves.

  • I said "her" because I believe it was Princess Nimue Isis Morgana who did it -- it was nowhere near fresh enough for Merlin, and Kethri is not that agile.

  • I met the girls for dinner last night at my favorite restaurant. The place is popular, and we had to stand in line for twenty minutes or so. Before the J-sisters got there, BFT and I were in line in front of a woman who insisted on speaking to us. I really hate having to make small talk with friends, let alone strangers. Fortunately, once the J-sisters got there, she didn't try to speak to us again. We had a good time, but I can see that I'm going to shortly have to advance my ideas of what I want to do on our next trip or it'll be planned for me. For instance, the trip is suddenly England and Scotland, and I don't recall saying that was what I wanted. Ah, well. No matter what we end up doing, I'll love it. And there was talk of making Iceland our next trip after that, though J2 mentioned that she'd like to go back to Assisi, and I want to go back to Venice.

  • Today...I have to do at least one load of laundry. I also have to finally clean up the oil slick in the garage, which I plan to do shortly. There are a few more things that need to go into the dumpster before I declare it officially full and call them to come pick it up. They will likely include the pieces of the filing cabinet that HTWIWM was supposedly building for me and just never found the time to work on; I think that's what's piled in one corner. It's supposed to be dry today, so I should probably try to mow the yard/mulch the leaves -- my backyard just looks brown right now because of all the leaves out there, but the oak is only about halfway finished and the maple has barely started. There'll be more mowing to do. I may leave it until tomorrow or Tuesday after work.

  • I started to read my Robin Hood manuscript (which I wrote, oh, fifteen years or so ago) this morning. Oh, ye gods. Talk about painful. Wow. I hope I write better than that now, and I'd like to apologize to the Empress (my writing/lit professor; I asked her if she wanted me to call her "Doctor" and she said she'd always wanted to be an empress) for making her read even the first chapter. I had not-so-vague thoughts of posting it to AO3 as an AU (which it is), but there's no way I would inflict that on anyone else.

  • Right. Time to go find some clothing I don't care about getting oil on....

No Mow...

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

Um. Tangent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It never did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My brother, ladies and gentlemen, is an asshole.

And mowing that lawn for the rest of the season is going to end up being one of my tasks -- if I want it done at all, because I know him, and he'll decide that he can let it go for the rest of the year.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is two weeks until the cruise, and I am freaking out about what to pack. I suppose that's no different than my last two big trips, really; I kept checking with BFT to see what she was going to pack. Really, it boils down to 1) pack for autumn, 2) bring at least one nice outfit, and 3) don't forget your camera. I'm trying to figure out what sort of bag to carry for the camera, though, especially if I'm going to be ending up a) stuffing outer layers in it later in the day, and b) smuggling soda back aboard after a grocery-store run (because soda isn't one of the beverages included, and I need my caffeine, dammit). Maybe a small backpack or messenger bag. I have some foam and I could cobble together a foam enclosure for the camera to go into a bigger bag.
In other news, yesterday was Grama's 93rd birthday. I took the afternoon off work, and though my plan was to spend the afternoon relaxing, I ended up wrapping her presents and packing Jack into the van and going to see her. I spent some time messing with her phone because it's been giving her grief, then let her talk to Auntie on my cell phone because I think her phone is b0rked. My mother is convinced it's the "router" box or whatever the thing is (it's one of those "cell-to-landline" services, so there's a little converter box), so she insisted that I give her the account number so she can call the provider today. We'll see. I replaced both the handset cord and the cord from the box to the phone and that didn't fix the issue. On the other hand, it could be the telephone itself...I wonder if it needs batteries? It's not cordless, but I think it does take batteries for the little display thingummy. Hm....

Anyway. Presents were delivered, Jack was petted, then I had to run him home to meet up with her and my folks at Ponderosa for birthday dinner. And now that's all done; I think it was a relief for Gram to have it behind her, too.
Another thing I'm trying to figure out is whether to carry my tablet on the cruise or just my Kindle. I took the tablet (which does have a Kindle app on it) to France and used it to go online (except when the crappy internet service at the hotel in Paris was down, which was most of the time), but I'm given to understand that doing that on the ship will be pricey.

I am reading The Lions of Al-Rassan, mostly on breaks at work because I am also reading Shadow Unit from the beginning. I am on the last story of the second season, and find myself drawn to reading that at home instead of my book....


May. 31st, 2016 07:41 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I finished nearly everything on my do-list this weekend, including hanging curtains in the living room. All of my windows match now, for the first time in the sixteen years I've lived in this house. When we first moved in, HTWIWM just tossed curtains at the windows -- he didn't give a fig about what they looked like; his only preference was that they blocked as much light as possible. (His aversion to light was the reason why the north-facing room that is now the library was his office and the south-and-west-facing room became my office.) I always hated those curtains, but even after he left, I didn't change them because I was waiting for the remodeling to finally get finished. When I realized, several months back, that it was just never going to get finished (and after the dog destroyed so much of the window frames), I decided to just attach curtain rods to the drywall and hang some decent curtains. It took a while to get them right, but I am quite pleased with the final result.

Plus, they hide the dog damage and the fact that there is no window trim, and there's just insulation hanging out.

Take victories where you can, I guess.

I also got a start on gathering the paperwork to apply for a VA benefit for Gram. Now that I've begun, I don't think she's going to be eligible after all (based on some stuff from the VA that I found in her papers), but I'll submit the paperwork anyway, just on the off chance because her assisted living place costs twice as much as her monthly income, and she is burning through her savings. I have to find out if the VA considers her house to be a countable asset now that she's not living in it. I have to stop thinking like a Medicaid worker while I'm doing this because the rules are going to be completely different!

My next-door neighbor, who is terrified of snakes, found a snake in her backyard yesterday. How is she so lucky? I haven't seen a snake in ages. It was almost certainly a completely harmless garter snake. I hope she doesn't spot it again, because she'll kill it. Both Mrs. P in back and I urged her to leave it alone, but.... I did read up a little on how to catch and transport a wild snake yesterday just in case she spotted it again; I'd rather try to move it than have her kill it. I had been napping in the sun, but had to come inside just in case she found it again and killed it instead of calling me.

This is my normal 9-5 week at work, and I don't know that I have much to do. I should be getting recertifications in since they're due by today (for certification periods ending June 30), but I probably won't. Everyone knows that we won't act on lack of paperwork for at least a week -- there's no point. Oh, I know. I got a new application for that case in the box on the end of my desk. I need to go through that...oh, poo. I can't do that, either; there's a trust that I have to wait for Legal to go through and clear. It's the longest trust I've ever seen; it runs to 50 pages or so and actually has a table of contents. You know you're in trouble if your legal document has a table of contents....

In some ways, I wish that we had never had someone assigned to help us with applications, because now there isn't enough to do. Two people can't really handle it, but three is too many. She shouldn't, perhaps, be getting every other application, but maybe every fourth one. (Plus, I hate having to deal with cases that go out in my name, but which I haven't ever touched.)

Anyway. Time to get back to Gram's app. I can get everything completed and maybe speak to someone at Aging or Veterans later. Aging first, I think, since I know that our local veterans agency isn't actually the VA.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It has been a nice weekend. I did end up making a list of Things To Do this weekend (some of which were never going to get done); of the twenty-five items on the list, I changed my mind about one and scratched it off, and have accomplished 17 others. I expect to get at least one other cross-off today, maybe two, but probably no more.

Much of the crossing-off was accomplished on Friday. I finally called the Dodge dealership about the ignition recall on my van, so have an appointment for that (and to fix the rear window wiper, after two years of not having it). I called the V-E-T to arrange Merlin's long-delayed blood test (because he's pretty much down to skin and bones, and if he needs his meds adjusted, we need to get on that; I don't have the money for it, but that's what credit cards are for, right?). I scheduled my mammogram (since I skipped last year because I hate driving to Rochester. I should really pick a new practice. There's a good one in Buffalo, I'm told). I rescheduled my eye appointment because with our new insurance coming on Wednesday, they asked us to put off vision stuff until after 7/1. I had already been waiting six weeks for an appointment; what's another month, right? Then I mowed the backyard, which really didn't need it, but if I can keep a little ahead of it, it takes less gas and less time. A tank and a half of gas as opposed to three, for instance...which is why I should probably mow again today, because it's already starting to get shaggy.

Friday evening, I met the girls at the cinema for X-Men Apocalypse. (Is there a colon in there?) It was surprisingly empty for opening weekend, but I guess there was a benefit going on across town. It was...not as good as the last one, I didn't think. I didn't like the actress playing young Jean Grey; I quite liked Famke Janssen.

Saturday was spent in doing my usual Saturday chores, which netted me a bunch more cross-offs.

Yesterday, I spent about eleven hours working on my assignment for the My Old Fandom exchange. I had thought it was due at the end of June, but it is actually due on the tenth. Yikes. I had intended to have it finished this weekend, anyway, but wasn't fussing about it if I didn't...until I found out the deadline was three weeks closer than I thought. But I got it finished and off to beta last night after 11:00 p.m. (Thanks, Beth!) It might have been a bit earlier, but I did take a break to watch a movie.

Today, it's back to the do-list, at least for a while. I want to apply for VA benefits for my grandmother, and doing that while her records are right here and handy (as opposed to trying to do it on a break at work). I called MyAuntie on Saturday, and somewhere between the time I left her on Friday afternoon and she made her daily phone call to MyAuntie, Gram started freaking out about her finances. She never said a word to me about it while I was there Friday, but she informed Auntie that she needed to sell the house because she was broke. Well...that's why I want to apply for benefits for her; I think as the widow of a WWII vet, she might be eligible for something, and since she's at an assisted living facility, she might be eligible for Aid & Attendance. Anyway, I discussed this with Auntie, who was telling me to find someone to help me fill out the application -- which was the least of my worries; I am very familiar with government paperwork, and the VA app actually looks less complicated than ours. I may consult someone at the county veterans agency (which is not the actual VA); I may not. We'll see how it goes.

I am a bit worried about Gram's needing to feed her tablemates at mealtimes. She was always feeding people ("What'll you have?" "Is that all you're going to eat?" "Have some potatoes." "How about some stuffing?" "Have another roll." "What'll you have for dessert?"), and now she obsesses about how much everyone else is eating. There is a new guy at her table, and she can't get him to eat anything. (He is apparently subsisting on Ensure.) We've told her to leave him alone. It's to the point where the facility has told her to leave him alone, but she tells me that she just can't watch someone not eat. She's afraid he's going to starve to death. Well, if he does, it's not her responsibility. I'm hoping that the facility either assigns him or her to a new table and that's the end of it.

Anyway. Gotta go close the house up because I got it down to 69° overnight and it's supposed to be in the 80s and humid again today, and then go out and get milk.


malinaldarose: (Default)

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