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Merlin must have caught many, many, many, many more mice than I ever knew about. Either that or there has been a population explosion due to the round up of the stray cats this past spring. In either case, I have never had so many mice in the house as I have this year. I was trying to decide where to deploy the Tin Mouse next since I have been hearing movement in the wall right by my desk, and it occurred to me to see if there was space in the kitchen closet. When I opened the door and really looked with a flashlight, I discovered that the mice had, indeed, been partying in there. I managed to wriggle one Tin Mouse in there, but I think the best thing to do is to clear everything out of there and clean the space up. The biggest problem with having mice in there is that it's where I keep my towels and wash cloths and spare TP and such, as it's right across from the [downstairs] bathroom door, so I'll need to clear space in the bathroom for some of that. I'm also going to have to go through the drawers of the cheap dresser in there to make sure that there aren't mice nesting in my towels.

Ugh.

The odd thing about it is that Kethri's bowls are about three feet away from this high traffic area, and there's a space of about an inch under the door -- plenty of room for a mouse to get in and out -- but it doesn't seem as though the mice are getting into the kitchen. Kethri's no kind of mouser and never has been, so I'm a little surprised.

This is the sort of thing that makes me really, really, really tired. If it's not one damned thing, it's another.

And I totally blame HTWIWM, because why the hell not.
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This has been a reasonably shitty week, I have to say. I am missing Merlin's fuzzy little face and the way he would quietly curl up on my lap on chilly evenings. Granted, the weather this past week hasn't been of the curl-up-in-the-lap type, but the last couple of nights were. And, yes, I still have Kethri, but she doesn't curl up quietly. She is noisy and demanding and fidgety. She doesn't just want a lap, she wants to be actively held. It's the opposite of restful.

I have just finished dousing the Spare Oom (formerly the attic room) with enzymatic cleaner to try to get the smell out. The black light didn't reveal as many stains -- or in as many places -- as I had expected. I will have to keep the door closed for a while. Probably until tomorrow morning, really. I don't think Kethri will really mind, since she has found herself a nest in the shelving where I store the blankies and pillows. I need to do something about that, too -- maybe put a box in there or something. Or cover it all with puppy pads, though she seems to be less accident-prone than she was, and maybe that was all Merlin, after all. Maybe covering it all with clean rags will suffice. I did put a litter box in that room though it rankles. I have never wanted a litter box upstairs, but if she's refusing to go into the basement at all, then the fact that there are five litterboxen down there doesn't make any difference.

And it's not like I'm using that room for anything other than storage given that there's a bathtub sitting in it. (Thanks, Mom!) I have considered opening up the bathroom and putting a litter box in there; that would also give me somewhere to store kitty litter upstairs (right now, all the cat supplies are still in the basement because I'm still hanging onto hope that she'll deign to go down there again. Vain hope, I realize...). I could put something over the toilet pipe, and there's already something blocking the gaping hole where the tub used to be (thanks, Mom!). Heck, I could turn the space into a whole kitty spa...since it's not being used as anything at all right now, other than a way to raise my blood pressure.

Going from the upstairs to the downstairs, there have been mice in the basement this week. Actually, there have probably been mice for a few weeks; I think having the cats down there kept them scarce -- or Merlin was catching more mice than I was ever aware of. In any case, I had suspected for a little bit that I might be feeding mice rather than cats down there since the kibble I put out was disappearing, but the cats didn't seem to be going down there -- and Merlin was barely eating wet food, let alone kibble. Wednesday morning, it was confirmed; I went down there to get food for Jack and Kethri and Merlin's bowl was empty of food and full of mouse turds.

Ugh.

(I had left it, hoping that Kethri was eating it. It wasn't Kethri, unless she's a shapechanger.)

That evening, I deployed the Tin Cat down there right in front of Merlin's bowl, and Thursday morning I had two fat little grey mice in there. They were transported to the field near my office building and tipped out near the border between the mown lawn and the unmowed weeds. I have since caught and transported three more mice, including one last evening while I was trying to watch Labyrinth -- and that little one did not want to leave the trap, let me tell you. S/he was hiding out in the entrance chutes and no matter what I tried (including poking a bit of straw in there) s/he would not come out. I must look demented on the security tapes. I was there so long that the deer that frequent that field actually came over (for certain values of "came over") to see what the heck I was up to. "Oh, hi, deer," quoth I when I looked up nervously to see what the noise was.

Speaking of security tapes, I keep waiting to have a deputy come to my cubicle and ask me what I've been doing the last few days. I make sure that my van is parked so that they can clearly read the license plate, but it has to look pretty suspicious when I get out with a flat oblong object, walk over to the weeds, then get back in the van and drive away. Of course, it's not like I leave the flat oblong object behind.... I don't think there's anyone in the building after closing, though, so maybe they just monitor it from the county seat and don't pay any attention to what's going on unless there's an actual alarm.

Given the mouse problem, I have decided that it's time to finally clear HTWIWM's left behind crap out of the basement. I am going to see about renting a dumpster in a few weeks. I put out a call on FB for volunteers to come help load it. All the girls and one of my guy friends said they'd come. I was hoping for another local guy friend (so I could make them do all the heavy lifting), but we'll manage. Maybe once it's cleared out I can get Kethri to go back down there. Then I can decide whether I want to keep HTWIWM's little office/cave or tear down that wall (which is really nothing more than reinforced cardboard or possibly particle board, anyway) to allow easier access to the furnace. There's a lot down there because HTWIWM was a hoarder in training, and I'm not certain it will all fit in one dumpster. Well, I'll find out when I talk to the company; I have two to choose from, both of which have suscriber trash pick up in my neighborhood. I'm told I should use the company the other company (not the one I'm already a subscribe to) because they're cheaper. They're also, apparently, local(ish). Well, we'll see.

I am hoping to spend the rest of the day Doing Nothing. There does not appear to be a mouse in the trap this morning (could five really be it?). I mowed three-quarters of the yard yesterday. I should probably do a small load of laundry, but I did a major load on Thursday to take advantage of the Last 80° Day Of The Year (Probably), so there's nothing much left. I don't really count laundry as a terrible chore, though, as you can go and do other things while the load is washing. So....

And this morning, I discovered that refrigerator locks are totally a thing, so I will probably be ordering a couple from Amazon (one for the freezer and one for the fridge).
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His Imperial Majesty, Merlin I, Emperor of All Known Universes (Except The Boring Ones) passed from this realm on Tuesday (September 19, 2016) at the age of seventeen with his trusted human servant as witness.

Merlin was born July 1, 1999.  Although his first home was on a farm (where he did not go outside due to the presence of a pair of very large hawks), he soon moved to a spacious home in town where he had a four-story cat tree and where there were plenty of sunny windows in which to lounge.  Jingle balls, rustly balls, and the occasional catnip ball were provided by his loyal human servant.  He also enjoyed chasing the end of a string in endless circles until he had to stop to catch his breath.

His Imperial Majesty was also fond of his canine servants whom he would knead, groom, or cuddle as the mood struck him.  Garion was an especial favorite.

He won reknown as The Great Grey Hunter by displaying a talent for catching the bats that would enter his castle every summer.  Having been declawed in his youth, he could still bring them down by leaping upon them from the floor as they flew overhead.  He would then depart the scene in some haste, necessitating the rescue of the bat by the human servant.  He was also known the catch the occasional mousey interloper.

Not just a great hunter, Merlin was also a great warrior, being brave enough to wrestle the canine servant Cruiser whose head was larger than Merlin's entire self.  Such bravery will no doubt mean he will be escorted across the Bifrost by Feline Valkyries where he will no doubt finally catch the Red Dot.
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Have made The Decision. The Appointment is this evening.

I can tell that the vet doesn't agree with me, but she as much as said that even with the hospitalization I can't afford and the special food and whatever drugs might support his kidneys (and probably me ending up having to give him fluids at home), we'll end up in the same place we are now, and there's no telling whether it would be three years from now (the most I would expect him to live were he healthy, since he's now 18) or three weeks.

The only rainbow bridge The Great Grey Hunter will be crossing will be the Bifrost.

Not Good

Sep. 16th, 2016 07:39 am
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When last we left our Intrepid Heroine, she was going to have a cavity filled and take the cats to the V-E-T. Both of these things were accomplished, though not without some trepidation on the part of Our Heroine. Hey, dental work is nerve-wracking.

I don't know if it's standard practice, but my dentist, at least, gives a topical anesthetic before giving the Novocaine shots, a practice I thoroughly endorse. The dentist I had as a child (from whom the current dentist bought the practice) just gave the shots and it was not a pleasant experience. Meanwhile, of course, both he and the hygienist derided the screaming child-me for, well, screaming. Anyway. The entire process took about thirty-five minutes. My chin, tongue, and jaw were numb until about noon (my appointment was at 8:00), but that's okay. Of course, when the Novocaine wore off entirely, my jaw ached, but that wasn't unexpected.

So that's done.

The V-E-T appointment went less well. Both cats are infested with fleas. Infested. Having seen no sign of them on Jack, I am not certain how this happened, but Doc W suggested that they might even have come into the house on the mice in the basement (though I have seen no further sign of them, either). On the other hand, Jack's fur is so thick, that unless a flea was standing on the tip of a hair shaft waving a big flag, I probably wouldn't notice, though, again, when I was rooting through said thick fur trying to find skin on which to apply flea drops, I didn't see any sign of them.

Both cats had lost entirely too much weight: Merlin was down a pound since his last visit two months ago, to five pounds, and Kethri had lost about a pound and a half since her last visit in January. Doc W suggested that most of their symptoms could have to do with the fleas, so the first order of the day was treatment, and both cats got flea drops as soon as we got home. Merlin also had blood drawn while we were in the office and sub-q fluids for dehydration.

Doc W called last evening with the results of the blood work and they are not good: anemia, a blood-borne parasite the name of which I do not recall (but which he could have been exposed to as a kitten, and now I'm wondering if that's the source of his chronic respiratory infection), and kidney failure. Swell. But, hey, his blood glucose hasn't changed, so he could still be diabetic.

She suggested weekend hospitalization with IV fluids and antibiotics, but I can't afford it. She suggested that I go out and learn to give sub-q fluids at home. Having some experience in the area of sticking needles into cats, I have to say I'm not a huge fan. So we're splitting the difference and I have two appointments (one today, one tomorrow) for a tech to give sub-q fluids, and we'll check him again Monday.

The truth of the matter, though, is that he's 18 years old. We can't fix the kidney issue, only treat it, and that would buy how much time? And if he's going to spend it all hiding in some remote corner of the house, peeing wherever he feels like it, then is it really worth it? Truthfully, I think I've already made up my mind on the issue, it's just a matter of getting the words out.

And let me tell you...I am so tired of having to make these decisions on my own. So. Tired.
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  • It was a long damned week. It seems like four-day weeks always are.

  • There is always talk at work about switching to a four-day week. What people seem to forget is that in order to make up the hours, it means working longer days.

  • I can't decide whether to trust my muscle memory or not. Muscle memory says that I should have at least half of that half-gallon container of milk left (i. e., the container was a lot lighter than I expected it to be when I lifted it out of the fridge last night). But I have also been eating a lot of cereal lately, except for the last couple of days when I ran out. So I could be misremembering. A more likely explanation, however, is that my muscles are correct, and that The Gecko has been pilfering again. Goddammit.
  • I watched Now You See Me 2 last evening. Daniel Radcliffe plays the main villain. It's a bit odd to hear him talking about dabbling in magic.... I have to say, though, that this one played out pretty much as I expected, including Morgan Freeman's character.

  • I have been meaning to reread American Gods for a while. I read it many years ago and recall next to nothing about it, not even with all the bits and bobs surfacing about the new TV series. I was casting about for something to read yesterday to take a break from the mystery series I've been reading, and saw another bob about American Gods. Aha, thought I. I had moved my Neil Gaiman books from my office to the bookcase in my bedroom, and out of sight, out of mind.... So I grabbed the tenth anniversary, author's preferred text version, and started it yesterday afternoon.

  • I also mowed the damned lawn yesterday afternoon, which was an extremely unpleasant affair given how humid it was.

  • I had intended to not do anything today as the weather is not supposed to be particularly good -- though cooler and less humid. No matter my feelings on the matter, Autumn is just around the corner. But I have to go out and get milk....

  • I have been considering taking the three days of Thanksgiving week off and going to Michigan. It has been a long time since I was there for Thanksgiving -- since a couple of years before my divorce, in fact. The weather is always very unpredictable, and I loathe winter driving (wherein I actually mean that I fear it, despite having had to do it for more than two decades). HTWIWM always did the bulk of the driving when we traveled together, and he always drove in November. And so I haven't gone in a decade. Or maybe I'll just take the time off and stay home. Of course if I stay home, then I can't avoid Thanksgiving dinner....

  • I have been chasing an odd smell upstairs for a few days. Last night, I had to close the windows because it got cool. This morning, I realize that it smells like litterbox upstairs. Fabulous. So I'm worried about Merlin (who is still hanging out in the bathtub, meaning that I have to scrub it all the time) downstairs, and Kethri is upstairs being either lazy or ill. *sigh* I tend to forget that Kethri is actually six months older than Merlin, so she is also eighteen.... Since I can't find a location, I suppose I'm going to have to scrub the entire upstairs.

  • I am very tired today. I was up in the middle of the night for no good reason, and then soft rain on the tin roof outside my bedroom window sounded like bats crawling around, and so of course I couldn't get back to sleep....
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So...say you're catsitting for someone, and the cat yarks up a hairball. Do you clean it up or do you leave it for the owner?

Can you guess what my sister did? Multiple times?
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I spoke with the V-E-T last evening. Some of the values in Merlin's bloodwork are...high, low, or otherwise out of bounds. She is especially concerned about an extremely high blood glucose, though she says that might just have been from stress -- and believe me, he was S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D. He usually gets carsick and pukes in the carrier, but he has never been so upset that he messed it before. Plus, he was murdered several times while in the back getting blood drawn. She suggests that I bring him in so that she can see him (because the blood was drawn by the tech) and attempt to get a urine sample (to check for glucose). I'm going to wait until the thyroid test results come in (because for one thing, that'll be after pay day). I'm really hoping Merlin isn't diabetic. Yes, I have some small experience taking care of a diabetic cat, but I really hate giving insulin shots (so much so that I managed to avoid it with Nick). I'll do it if I have to, of course, but I'm rather enjoying Merlin liking to cuddle on my lap of an evening, and don't want him to decide that he doesn't like me anymore. On the other hand, he's so scrawny right now, that maybe he's just trying to steal my warmth. He is, after all, still a cat.
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It is 4:22 a.m. Jack decided at 3:00 a.m. that he needed to be in bed with me -- after refusing to come upstairs when I went to bed at 10:00 a.m. Of course, I couldn't get to sleep; I looked at the clock once and it was 11:18. I finally gave up and came downstairs; after forty-five minutes or so on my computer, I laid down on the couch -- which activated Kethri, of course.

They say that the purring of a cat is soothing. They have not met Kethri, who purs like a badly-tuned outboard motor or like, say, my lawnmower. The sound of her purring irritates the ever-living fuck out of me and makes me want to throw her across the room. No. I do not abuse my cat. But unless I'm especially comfy, I always move her elsewhere.

And then Jack started in again, and let me tell you, his breath is not the best, and when I'm lying on the couch, his face is actually higher than mine so he can pant down on me.

And so here I sit at my computer, having given up entirely. But not so entirely that anyone is going to get fed or walked even though I have already brushed my teeth and dressed. Well. Dressed for walkies. I'll change again before really leaving the house.

I have today off, at least, so I can take a nap later. Maybe. I have to take the van in for a recall this morning and have no idea how long it's going to take. (They have to change out the ignition module (the recall), then repair the back window wiper. Gram's neighbor says that it only needs a bolt tightened, but I am certain that they will replace it entirely so that they can soak me for $250.) I will either sit in the dealership's waiting room or walk down to Grama's house since the dealership is only a couple of blocks away. I haven't been in Gram's house for months, so I should probably go down, anyway, just to assess the state of things.

Since I don't know how long the van is going to take, I didn't cancel the Gecko for today. Which almost certainly means that I am going to have to take her home myself -- and before I can have a nap. It also means that I am going to be leaving at the same time I usually do, even though my appointment isn't until 9:30. I will, perhaps, have breakfast at McDonald's (love me some hot cakes and sausage), and I need to pick up a few things that I didn't get when I went shopping on Saturday.

I am quite concered about Merlin. He has lost even more weight and is skin and bones. His hip bones are jutting out and his flanks are hollow. He is scheduled to go in for bloodwork on Friday, but he also started sneezing again on Saturday, and the reason this has been put off since his last visit is because he was so congested that he was panicking when they tipped his head to get blood from his neck (because they couldn't get it from the more usual leg). When Nimue got this skinny, she had an abdomen so full of tumors that Doc P called me in the middle of the exploratory surgery to suggest that it might be easier to just let her go. She was only seven; Merlin is eighteen.

I am not having pets again after this lot.

Aaaand I didn't post this. It is now 6:34 a.m. Jack and I have been for medium-length walkies and got back a little before 6:00 a.m. He is still clinging to me like I am a life ring in a sea full of sharks. I don't know what the problem is in his fuzzy little brain, but this had better not happen tonight, too.

I suppose that as long as I am whining, I may as well whine about how well the shire is doing now that I am no longer involved. Where were all these people when I was so desperate for new folks? Why were none of the people who were attending fight practices attending business meetings? And why the fuck am I still listed in the Æstel as seneschal? (I have twice been contacted by Kingdom officers about quarterly reports because they got my information from the Æstel .) Did the current fellow not report to Kingdom the results of the elections? I mean, I know that they don't read the quarterly reports -- I have vast experience of their not reading the quarterly reports. Anyway. They apparently had quite the successful demo at a local festival this past weekend, which has led to invitations to do demos in at least three other places. It's nice that the shire is making a comeback, I suppose. I just wish it had been two years ago. (And there's still no A&S except what's related to martial activities -- sewing tabards, smithing, and the like.)
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I didn't sleep very well last night; it was warmer upstairs than it has been, but too cold outside to open the windows. This means sleeping with only a single blanket and a sheet, and I sleep best with the weight of several blankets on me. So I was awake in the middle of the night, though I think only briefly. I was awakened a while later -- perhaps around 4:00 a.m. (my contacts were getting their weekly soaking, so I couldn't see the clock) -- by a godawful crash. Since it was not followed up by any psycho cat noises, or the sounds of burglars breaking into my jewelry armoire, I rolled over and went back to sleep -- which meant that when my alarm did go off at 5:00, I stayed in bed for fifteen minutes or so.

The crash turned out to have been a baby gate sliding to the floor. Whether Jack bumped against it or it just slid down on its own, I do not know, but I'll bet it scared the bejesus out of the dog. Guess he ought to have come to bed last night when I called him.... (And by "come to bed," I mean "he should have come to be shut up in the bedroom with me for the night to sleep on the floor," since he is not allowed on the bed.)

Yesterday, I weighed myself for the first time in many, many weeks. I have gained weight since the last time -- only three pounds, but it is the heaviest I have ever been in my life. Enough, as they say, is enough. I will be re-reading my Weight Watchers materials this week, perhaps going all the way back to my first batch of stuff when everything, including fruits and vegetables had Points. Yesterday morning, I started doing what the rheumatologist I saw last fall told me to do, which was to set the kitchen time for two minutes and go up and down the stairs. "When that gets to be easy," she said, "increase it to five minutes."

Going up and down stairs for two minutes straight sucks, I tell you what. Especially when a cat decides to supervise by plonking himself sideways across a step halfway up. Fuzzy little imperial bastard.

It was a beautiful weekend with temps in the 70s both days. I hung my laundry out on Saturday, and spent some time picking up sticks in the backyard -- the only part of "poonstix" that I have to worry about thanks to Jack's refusal to use his own yard. The first batch of sticks I tossed into the compost heap resulted in a black cat streaking out from underneath -- fortunately not into the yard. My neighbor tells me that the Crazy Cat Lady had someone come in and trap a bunch of the cats and relocate them, and she cleaned up her porches and no longer feeds them. She just felt sorry for them during the winter. Which makes me wonder what will happen next winter.

Anyway, there are a couple of them that are still around, including one of the original black cats. That one (I'm assuming it's just one) likes to hang out in my yard. I watched it cross the yard yesterday afternoon, and lounge for a bit on the patio, half under the ramp, then it wandered off and hunkered down for a bit in the tall vegetation around the daffodils, where I managed to get some photos of it with my extreme zoom. They'll probably end up being fuzzy.

I am still watching Leverage and the original The Tomorrow People. I am up to the fourth season on the former and the...sixth? seventh? season on the latter. (It's hard to tell what season (series) it is for the TP because it was packaged in three sets with multiple seasons per set.)

This is my 9-5 week, and I made sure to private message my brother via FB yesterday to tell him so, otherwise I'd've climbed out of the shower this morning to find my niece already ensconced in my living room chair. And, yes, that is just as creepy as it sounds. The last time it happened, I opened the shower door and because I had left the bathroom door cracked, I knew she was in the house because I could smell her. *shudder*

Any
way. I have removed her box from the fridge and tossed it in the recycling. Before I leave for work this morning, I'll throw some stuff into that spot to make it clear that the box is just no longer there, as my mother suggested on Friday afternoon that The Gecko likely didn't even bother to read the note with the New Rules on it. I bought her a box of Pop Tarts, a box of Swiss Cake Rolls, and a box of...something else sweet for the week. That should be sufficient, but I suspect she'll have them polished off by tomorrow afternoon. I may or may not come home for lunch today; when we work 9-5, we're expected to take our lunch from 1-2. Normally I'd sit in my cube if I weren't coming home, but taking the later lunch hour means people will bug you. "Oh, you're on lunch? Can I just ask you this one thing?"

Monday. Why did it have to be Monday?
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It has been a long, long week. I wish I could say I was looking forward to the weekend, but I still have to endure FamilyFest tomorrow evening. It is, after a couple of years of anticipation, finally my parents' 50th anniversary tomorrow. I am not looking forward to it. For one thing, it's supposed to snow tomorrow and I have to pick Grama up and take her to the restaurant. It's hard enough getting her into the van under normal circumstances, but it's worse when there's snow. Or maybe it isn't worse, maybe it's just me being nervous. Nevertheless.... After all the fussing about the card shower, I hope they do get a lot of cards. I can hope that my father's siblings mentioned something to his relatives (that I don't know), but given that SnootyAunt sent me a list that was nearly fifteen years out of date....

Work has pretty much sucked all week. Country Star still insists that the caseload numbers don't warrant adding a third person to the nursing home unit...and she's probably right. The numbers don't. But the work itself certainly does. Still, the HEAP season is nearly finished and the worker from our unit who went to HEAP to be a supervisor is coming back to her caseload as of Monday, so the worker who was filling in for her will have nothing to do as she hasn't been assigned to a caseload of her own. So she's going to be doing intake, and she's going to be "helping" with the NH applications.

There are a couple of problems with that: 1) Before she was promoted to a supervisory position, she was doing intake for the community unit and she couldn't keep up with that work. How the heck will she keep up with NH cases that are so much more difficult? 2) When she was a supervisor, she was my supervisor and I have to sit with her for two and a half days next week to "refresh her knowledge" of NH cases. To be fair, Co-Conspirator P also has to sit with her two and a half days, but still. I don't know about D, but I'm going to be a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing. And then there's 3) When I had a reservation for a refresher last summer, I wasn't allowed to go because I was too far behind, and my slot was given to the worker who is now my senior even though she didn't want to go. *sigh*

Whatever, right? No one cares about the work, it's all about the numbers. As the state takeover progresses, it's going to get to the point where the numbers will no longer justify keeping staff -- which, to be fair, is what Country Star is trying to do, but she's entirely likely to be retiring herself before the takeover is complete.

BFT and I went out to dinner last evening, which was nice. She's been busy with school, so it's been a few weeks since we last got together...I think the last time was when we went to see Gods of Egypt. We may try to catch Batman vs. Superman this weekend. We also may not, as all we're really interested in is Wonder Woman, anyway.

I am just...really tired. I say that a lot, I know, but...I am. Of course, this morning, there's a reason for that: His Imperial Fucking Majesty Merlin I decided to wander into my bedroom at 4:23 a.m. meowdeling his imperial head off. When it became apparent that he wasn't going to crawl up on the bed and settle down, I got up and ejected him from the bedroom, so he continued to meowdel outside the door for the next fifteen minutes until finally wandering off. I was just getting back to sleep when my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. So, yeah. Tired.
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The Great Grey Hunter has dropped the ball. I opened the kitchen junk drawer just now -- for some reason I don't even recall, now -- and found evidence of a mouse. Oh, joy. It seems that I was just in that drawer last week or so, so the mouse must be new. Looks like even mouses like their popcorn because that's what it was nibbling on.

I am hoping that what happened was this: The hole through which the kitchen drain goes into the basement is really wide and raggedy. I'm hoping that the mouse came up through that hole, found the popcorn in the kitchen trash (under the sink), and climbed up into the junk drawer to enjoy it and perhaps have a nap. Oh, and to check out all the totally awesome batteries and candles and matches and curtain hooks and pipe cleaners and twisty-ties and keys to gods know what and safety pins and Mr. Clean samples and rubber gloves salvaged from hair dye kits and pens that probably don't work and all the other wonders contained therein. Mostly I am hoping this because I don't want to have to clean out the rest of the kitchen cupboards this weekend. Courting hanta virus or chemical death under the kitchen sink (and, yes, the mouse has definitely been under there) is bad enough.

Anyway, if the mouse has only been in that part of the kitchen, then I don't have to fire Merlin, just put him on probation for not paying attention to the basement.

I wonder if I can use this as an excuse to bar the Gecko from eating in my living room chair. I suppose I can tell her I only want her eating at the dining room table...and then totally undermine that by eating at my desk, which is where I almost always eat.

Kree!

Mar. 13th, 2016 12:55 pm
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I managed to accomplish very little yesterday. I had intended to hang my laundry outside because it was supposed to be a nice day, but I ended up hanging only the rag towels and towels that I use to cover my living room chair out. The rest of the laundry didn't get done until this morning, and today is considerably less pleasant, and even if it weren't going to rain, it would still be too chilly for laundry.

The reason I didn't get as much done as I would have liked is that I had to take Merlin out to the V-E-T's office. And since I didn't have a sitter and had already left the house once and had plans to do so again, Jack got to go along. I considered leaving him in the van, but MyAuntie has a story about leaving a dog in the car and coming back to find the liner hanging from the ceiling. So...now. He was reasonably well-behaved, though; certainly more so than the Great Dane girl who was already in the waiting area when we got there. She really wanted to make friends with Jack.

So Merlin has now had his annual (more or less) check up, and is on antibiotics again. When his chronic infection clears up, I need to take him out for blood work because he is down to 6.4 pounds and so his thyroid meds probably need to be adjusted. They did try to get blood from him yesterday, but Doc W finally gave up; she said he was panicking and she didn't want to stress him any further. She figures it was because with the congestion from the infection, he couldn't breathe properly.

Didn't accomplish much else for the rest of the day, but I did sit out in the sun reading for a while, which was nice. I did have to go put a sweater on, though.

Last evening, BFT and I went to see Gods of Egypt. When it ended, we both said, "Well, that was long." She added that if she had been ten years old, she'd've loved it. It was a pretty movie, but...not that great, really. I kept looking for a stargate, and there was a rayed ring at one point, but it was meant to frame the sun, and Horus prayed to Ra in front of it. Two things kept bugging me: they pronounced "Apophis" with a long "o" (which may, in fact, be how it is pronounced, but after ten seasons of Stargate SG1 where it is pronounced with a short "o," it's jarring), and characters twice said "slayed" instead of "slew." Oh, and nobody at all said "kree!"

And then, of course, it was Spring Forward night. Because I'd been out, I wasn't sleepy, even though by the time I got home, it was my normal bedtime. So I noodled around on the computer for a while before going upstairs. That was all fine, but then the plumbing started squealing in the middle of the night, and wouldn't stop -- that was its new thing yesterday, to squeal and not stop until I went in and flushed the toilet -- until I went downstairs and flushed it. Twice. The second time was near enough to 5:00 a.m. that I gave up and got up, but Jack only got short walkies and I decided to try to catch some more sleep on the couch...where Kethri would not leave me alone. She kept leaping up onto the couch past my head; the first time, she missed (being the most ungraceful of cats) and scratched my hand with her hind claws (bad enough, I later found, that it bled). I finally went upstairs, and she followed me into the bedroom, so I tossed her out (almost literally, because I was pretty angry by that time) and went back to bed for an hour or so. Of course, that won't make any difference tomorrow.... I hate DST.

My parents are supposed to stop by this afternoon so Dad can take a look at the plumbing; I'm pretty sure that the innards of the toilet need to be replaced again, but maybe he can just wave his Dadly fingers at them and get them to behave....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I sat down this morning to complete the financial aid paperwork for Gram's hospital stay, and one of the things they seem to require is a Medicaid denial letter. I wonder if I wrote them a cover letter that says, "I'm a Medicaid worker, and trust me, she's not eligible, so why should I waste my coworker's time (since I can't do it myself, conflict of interest)?", they'd accept it. Probably not. I don't know if Mom ever got in touch with the doctor in order to get the admission code changed so that Medicare would cover the stay or not.

Merlin is still taking antibiotics (for certain values of "taking"). I seem to have completely lost any skill I had at getting them down him. I get them into his mouth, but he spits them out again, and lately, he's managed to spit them out after he has swallowed twice. It's extremely frustrating for me because I get angry, and then I'm afraid that I'm going to hurt him -- or that he is going to bite me, and frankly, he'd be justified. Just a few more days....

Kethri, meanwhile, is constantly underfoot because there was gushy fudz! Which means that every time I go into the kitchen, there will be gushy fudz! Even if I'm just walking through the kitchen to get to the laundry room. I have to constantly watch my feet to make sure I'm not tripping over a tiny dark calico body.

Which is also frustrating.

I have decided that since I have a dogsitter, a situation that appears to be going to continue indefinitely, I am going to by Dog hang some decent curtains, including sheers. I have never had what I would consider to be decent curtains in the living room (HTWIWM thought they were adequate), and never had sheers. It'll mean hanging new curtain rods, but as it so happens, I have a supply of those.

Of course, I'm not certain I have the ambition to do that today when all I want is a nap....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Grama finally got sprung from the hospital yesterday. It had occurred to me yesterday morning that perhaps the reason they continued to fail to discharge her was that they had decreed that she was to have a week of therapy, and by Dog, she was going to get a week! I did get the financial aid paperwork yesterday; the application form is much shorter than I expected. I'm going to have to see if Mom got in touch with the doctor about changing her admission code so that Medicare would pick up the rehab bill.

It's chilly again this morning, but in the teens, instead of single digits. When Jack and I went for a walk, the moon had only just recently -- like fifteen minutes prior -- risen. A big, yellowy crescent hanging in the sky, with the Morning Star (whatever it is right now) a little above it. The sky wasn't as clear as it was yesterday, so everything was visible, but fuzzy. It's supposed to get into the 40s later. I can live with that. Anything that puts off the Deep Winter temperatures is okay in my book.

Merlin is on antibiotics again, and I am having one hell of a time getting them down him. He won't take them in Pill Pockets. He won't take them mixed into food. And my skill at tossing them down his throat seems to have totally evaporated. Yesterday's attempt was exceedingly trying. He's had a week's worth, and I could probably get away with only giving him three more days instead of another week (ten days as opposed to two weeks), but I'd really like to get the whole dose down him. (When they first started giving me these antibiotics for his chronic respiratory infection, they were ten-day courses; it was only when I switched vets at one point that the course was increased to two weeks.)

I also couldn't get his thyroid medication down him this morning, but he did yark up his breakfast, so.... I'll try again at lunchtime, when I'll wrap his pills into Pill Pockets and hide them in gushy fudz.

I've been thinking about The Grey House again of late, and rewriting it in a Regency or faux-Regency setting. (I've also been thinking of giving it to MyAuntie for her merciless criticism.) Certain aspects of it would work better than way, especially as I began writing it before everyone carried miniature computers in their pockets. I dunno. I haven't touched the thing in years, but I could finish it and give it to Niece as a birthday or Christmas gift. (Publication seems extremely unlikely.) She likes fantasy, and she loved the AuthorQuest Dark Crystal chapters. Or said she did, anyway.... Maybe I'll rewrite the first chapter that way and see how it goes.

There's nothing really to say about work -- which is the best thing when it comes to work, because if I have Things To Say, it means Things Aren't Going Well.

And Merlin has decided that it's time that I got out of his chair....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is Saturday morning, and I find myself having a hard time getting started on the chores I had planned for the day. I have already been out to hunt the grocery beast. I prevailed, and the carcas has been put away. I am waiting to see if the weather clears (it's supposed to) before starting my laundry. I do still need to put away my suitcase and the rest of the things in it (the clothes are all put away; what's left is stuff like airplane blankies, travel-sized toiletries, slippers, one little souvenir spoon that I'm saving for the weekend Niece spends with me, and so on. I do want to get started on the upstairs, but...don't feel like leaving my desk and actually walking up the stairs.

I could just sit here and edit photos all day; I still haven't pulled out highlights for anything beyond the day we went to Versailles, the Catacombs, and the Eiffel Tower (the day we walked fifteen miles and stood in lines for around four hours; the day that convinced me that I need to carry a backpack and one of those little foldy chairs the next time we go on a trip).

My mother emailed to say that her uncle (my grandmother's younger brother) fell and broke his leg. He lives in Oregon and I have only seen him a handful of times in my life...all funerals, I think.

Merlin is making a pest of himself. He wants his morning nap to be in my desk chair -- the one I am currently occupying -- so he is wandering around the room meowdeling at me, jumping on surfaces where I don't want him (like my desk), knocking things over, and bugging the dog, who is growling in response. Pest. What's that charm for pixies? Pesky piskie pesti...something or other. I wonder if it works on cats, or if I'd just call up a swarm of pixies.

Ah, well. I suppose I should get to work so that if the weather does clear up later, I can then go out and mow. Yay?
malinaldarose: (Default)
Granted, it's not Easter weekend, but still. It's cold and there is snow in the air. Do. Not. Want. According to the long range forecast, it's supposed to get warmer every day this week until around Thursday, when it's supposed to be nearly 60°. That, I do want. Unfortunately, it's then supposed to cool down again.

Weather, right?

I somehow agreed to let my niece (the good one) stay with me for the weekend that my sister travels to Germany and back to retrieve Nephew for his summer visitation. (She'll fly out on Saturday, pick up Nephew, and fly back home on Sunday. And I still think that if she'd go to court, she could get the travel expense thing changed. The current order says that she will pay all of the travel expenses, but when that was ordered, Number Four still lived in Texas. I think him being in Germany presents a clear hardship. But whatever. Not my problem.) It's a little ridiculous that I want to impress a fourteen-year-old, but now I want to get the house cleaned up a bit and get some artwork hung and so on. Bird says the kid's not gonna care about anything except my library. Hm. I wonder if she'd like to help change the closet into a reading alcove....

That's the weekend of Pax and while it's not an event I've ever considered going to before, I wonder if she'd be interested. She'd fit into some of my garb, I'm sure. The problem is that it's a martial event and I'm not interested. I'm not sure she would be, either. Probably better to just take her to Sterling later in the summer. Maybe I could lend her a camera and we could visit a state park. Or maybe I should just let her go through my library, as her mother suggests.

Merlin wants my desk chair, and so he is being obnoxious. So far, he has jumped on my desk -- which I am no longer allowing since the time he dumped my Doctor Who replica fob watch into my soda glass -- and now he is wandering around my writing desk (what, doesn't everybody have three separate desks? Actually, if you count the former mother-in-law's rolltop desk in the library and the secretary in the living room, I have five desks, and that's not counting the work surfaces that HTWIWM created for himself in the basement office/cave) cheeking the books stacked there. And as soon as I got up to put a stop to that, he jumped down and tried to get into the chair. I am not impressed.

...and then he jumped into the chair behind me and somehow managed to sink his back claws into my tender pink body. I am definitely not impressed.

I have been watching a lot of Forever Knight recently. Oh, who am I kidding. I've been binge-watching because I signed up for the Fic Exchange Formerly Known As Rare Women, and the person with whom I was matched and I intersect only on FK. And only on one character, which is...limiting. I'll get through the end of the second season this weekend (today, I hope) and make a stab at the third. I've only ever seen the third season once, and it's not my favorite. (I like Janette and Capt. Cohen and Schanke.) Anyway, I think I have an idea, but it's not really a story so much as a series of vignettes. And not really that, either, but it's what I'm going to have to go with unless something really strikes me after I start watching the third season.

That's not where I was originally headed with that paragraph. I've been watching a lot of Forever Knight lately, and I have to say that I am not a fan of the ridiculous camera angles. Most of the flashbacks seem to have low angles or have the camera at about 45° (or both). It's probably not as noticeable if you're not watching episode after episode after episode, but once you do notice it, it can't be unseen -- like noticing that throughout the Matrix trilogy, all the scenes that take place inside the Matrix are slightly green-tinted. After a while, it's just really fucking annoying.

Remember how I said I had been enjoying Into the Woods and was kind of surprised about that? Yeah, well, then I got to Act II -- or what I am assuming was Act II, since there wasn't an intermission in the movie. Anyway, it was what happens after the Happy Ending. I didn't like it after that.... I am a fan of the Happy Ending.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Here's a few days' worth of stuff I've been meaning to post about, in no particular order:
  • My snowdrops popped right up as soon as the snow above them melted. I have seen them up as early as the end of January before. Not this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • There is still plenty of snow, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • And that, I think, is that.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Merlin is put out with me because I am still occupying his throne (aka "my desk chair"). He is sitting next to my desk giving me an earful about that. Given that it's nearly 11:00 a.m., I should probably be listening to him. I should probably be out engaging in spring poonstix: picking up the fallen tree bits, picking up a winter's worth of poo, trimming the rose bushes (though I think one of them may have finally died the death), cutting back the grape vines before they really get going and strangle the lilacs, and so on. I should probably also be hauling the lawnmower out to take to the repair shop since portions of my lawn could already use mowing. (Seasons in western NY: Shovel, shovel, mulch the leaves, mow the grass)

I am going to do none of those things. Because I am tired. And also lazy.

Instead, I will finish up some of my indoor poonstix: balancing my grandmother's checkbook, cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, writing my LJI piece (at least I have something in mind for that) and so on. I have already accomplished groceries and changed the litter boxes. Whee.

I am back in contact with My Twin, who was my bestie-at-work until she retired and vanished off the face of the earth two years ago. She deleted her FB account and I didn't hear anything from her, not even a card on my birthday six months later (and we used to not only exchange cards, but get each other both birthday and Christmas gifts), or a "hey, those Italy pics are fabulous." This year, partly to see if it would be returned in the mail, and partly to see if she'd respond, I sent her a birthday card. She sent me a postcard in return, and we've been tentatively emailing one another. We're trying to work out when to get together for dinner.

My purple Pier 1 lamp arrived yesterday. I was so amazed to see it sitting in the breezeway waiting for me at lunchtime that I immediately found my receipt from Wednesday and called the store. Fortunately the line was busy, so I didn't end up embarrassing myself by gushing all over them. But no wonder the shipping was as much as it was; they must've sent it two-day FedEx or UPS. (Probably FedEx; UPS would've come while I was home for lunch; FedEx hits the neighborhood earlier. I suppose I could just check the shipping label, but that would be too easy, now, wouldn't it.)

It's going to look fabulous in my living room. (No, I haven't unpacked it yet, because I got home from work yesterday afternoon, picked up my spare change and went back out to the bank to open a savings account. Yes. I had a lot of spare change, because my spare change not only includes my change jar, but a small box into which I toss ones (and occasionally fives) when I have extras. Probably I should've used it to get my lawnmower repaired, instead, but I didn't. So there.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am off until Thursday this week. I decided I needed a couple of days away from my desk, but as life would have it, I'll be spending the time mostly at my desk at home (or otherwise seated in the house with my laptop), because the deadline for this year's Rare Women Fic Exchange is the weekend after this coming one, and I have only a bare start on mine, and no sure grasp of where it's going to go. I had intended to spend most of the weekend on that, but ended up spending it on my LJ Idol entry instead (which, frankly, I think is subpar, but is at least finished). Of course.

I have been arguing with Merlin this morning about who gets to occupy my desk chair. Every time I get up, he hops up and makes himself comfortable, and looks quite put out when I move him to the little rocker on the other side of the room. At the moment, he is loafed up right behind my chair (note to self: don't back up) waiting for me to get up again...which I will probably be doing shortly, as I do have packages to mail and intend to stop at the library and inquire in person about setting up a shire business meeting.

Sheila peed in the living room overnight again. Well, I don't really think it was "overnight" so much as "just before I got up." I suppose I could just start laying out puppy pads, since she seems to go to the same general area. My poor old girl.

FamilyFest was...as annoying as ever. The Lizard made no attempt to show up, nor my brother's two elder spawn. For whatever strange reason, the Lizard's eldest daughter and her spawn did show up, and they're no relation to us at all. They've been coming to family dinners for...going on a couple of years now, I guess, and I still find it objectionable. Not my call, though, and my mother is so infatuated with young children that she'll play great grandmother to anyone's if she gets the chance. With the Lizard not there, it was up to Cousin V-Ger, to fill the silence. All of the silence. Which is fine; at least she's not as stupid as the Lizard, though from the sound of it, she is the one who creates the problems she has with her neighbors.

Getting Gram up the steps into Mom and Dad's house (four steps up) took less effort than getting her down again, then up into my van. Still, my van is actually lower than my parents' or my sister's SUVs (they both have the same model). Bird brought Gram's remaining dog up, which made Gram happy, but Nick was too excited at being somewhere else to settle down, so he only stayed about ten minutes.

According to the forecast, today is supposed to be the nicest day this week, with temps in the mid-70s. I might also have to make time to swap some storms and screens around. But Wednesday is supposed to be the worst day of the week, and they're actually calling for snow showers. Naturally, since that is the day this week when I am traveling. Grrr. I guess I won't swap my winter clothes for my summer clothes just yet.

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