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I was getting worried because the garage didn't call -- and they usually call me quite early. Turns out that they couldn't, of course, replicate the problems I had. They did go ahead and replace the radiator cap and a cracked tube (also related to the radiator, I think). The mechanic still thinks the water problem (and we're pretty sure it's water, now) is from the exhaust. I'm still pretty sure that that's rather too much water to be coming from the exhaust. But he did say that he thinks the overheating problem is probably the a/c fan, and that's a dealer part, so he recommended that I make an appointment with the dealer across town to have it tested. He also says that as long as I don't use the a/c, it can wait until spring. And so it probably will.

Shortly after he called, I realized it was just after 1:00 -- which is why my sister takes her lunch, so I asked if she'd come get me and drive me up to the garage as it's rather muggy and there's no shade between here and there. She did, and so I'm home with the van. I may load Jack up in a little bit and take him to see Grama. And I may take a nap.

I did take him outside a bit ago, and wandered to the back of the yard to check out the grapes...and discovered that a huge span of the back fence is collapsed down to about waist height. I can't decide from inside the yard whether a deer did it or whether a sumac in the vacant yard collapsed on it. It may be a little of both. In any case, I'm going to need help to fix it, and preferably help with a chain saw. Well, it's about time to replace the fencing, anyway; it's been in place for seventeen and a half years and it's really only glorified chicken wire. I could probably do it all by myself if it weren't for the sumac. I'm going to have to look from the other side of the fence, but not today. The last time I went through it, I zip-tied the gate shut, and I don't feel like messing with it. Plus, there's nothing I can do without help.

Sometimes I just want to cry.

After being baked by the August sun, the grass in the lawn has started to grow again. I just mowed on...when was it? Tuesday? Anyway, the yard is getting shaggy again. I should really go out there this afternoon and take care of it...and I'm really not going to.
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On Saturday, BFT and I took off for Buffalo(ish) in order to shop for books. Amazon is nice and all, but sometimes, you just have to fondle the books first. I drove, and it seemed to me that there was a lot more traffic on the road than is usual, but I suppose it was people out doing their last-minute back-to-school shopping. We got there around 11:00, and went straight to the bookstore. We had decided on the way up not to bother with Pier 1 this time, and that's normally our first stop. We spent an hour or so browsing and filling baskets, then checked out and headed over to the Olive Garden for lunch.
We started back home around 1:30, and I complained about how nice the weather was -- if I'd known it was going to stay that nice, I'd've done my laundry and hung it out before we left. BFT wisely pointed out that I didn't know what it was doing at home, and it turned out she was correct; the weather was much different to the south; we drove into overcast in Springville, and shortly after that, we drove into rain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And having extra bookshelf space never hurts....
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Poor Jack has been egregriously abused this weekend. First, I dosed him with Interceptor yesterday morning (though he didn't seem to mind it), then last evening I grabbed his tail to get him off a young woodchuck that he caught in the backyard. (The woodchuck died.) And just now, I dosed him with his monthly flea/tick drops. He hates that. He actually ran away from me and I had to corner him to administer them. Of course, he might also have still been upset over me dragging him in by his collar last evening, so that when I grabbed his collar this morning.... Well, it's done for another month. I understand there are different meds out there now, but I just refilled these and can't return them, so that's that.

In any case, the abuse is ongoing because I won't let him go out and roll in the dewey grass until the drops have had a chance to dry. I am evil.

Aaaand I just ejected Kethri from my office because she was headed for the smelly corner where she has been peeing, and where the enzyme stuff is supposed to be taking the smell away (and hopefully when it's finally dry, it will have). Since last weekend, I have had a child gate across the doorway (she can't jump that high any longer), but I have it open right now because she was asleep on my bed. Apparently it's time for her midmorning yowl about starvation, though.

I went to my first garage sale of the season yesterday morning. These folks up the street -- across the street from where the kittens are now hanging out -- have a garage sale every summer and they always have great stuff. I missed it last year, so I wanted to make sure to get up there this year. I came home with a marble-inlaid side table, a fancy Deco-influenced floor lamp that was probably $150 new, what I think is probably a rag rug but which I am likely to use as a throw, and a few pieces of costume jewelry that were likely handmade, including a wire-wraped labradorite oval on a velvet cord. I do love labradorite. And I spent a total of $42. Not too shabby. The table will go in the breezeway. The lamp will be used in the house in one or another of my reading spots, all of which need better lighting. Oh, I also bought a winey-red quatrefoil-patterned poofy ottoman which will also go in the breezeway; in fact, I was using it this morning, while sitting out there reading for a bit. When I get the room cleaned out and redecorated, I am going to love it out there. I am already quite fond of it and it still has all the ugly hallmarks of HTWIWM's storage area. Unfortunately, I can't get it completely cleaned out without cleaning the garage and that's not going to happen until Mom and Dad get their crap out of there. It has now been two months since the first garage sale, and they have only been back once to get stuff. I am not really surprised, just tired of not having the use of my garage. Bleah.

The local KMart is closing, and their liquidation sale has started. There is a breakfast nook set of furniture -- a picnic-style table, a bench, and then two backed benches that form a corner, all in a light honey finish -- that I covet, that I was hoping would be reduced low enough to justify purchasing for the breezeway. Actually, I really only want the table; maybe when it gets closer to the place actually closing, they'll be anxious to sell the floor model.

Hmph. Just had a neighbor knock on the door with his daughter -- had to run upstairs to put on a bra before I answered the door -- she wants the tub. Actually, she was hoping I'd give it to her, and when I told her it was in my garage sale for $125, she asked if I'd take $30 for it. I told her the best I could do was $75. But really? $30 for a cast iron claw foot tub that even has faucets? I know I've had a helluva time selling it, but really? It's not my problem that they live in Maryland and would have to figure out a way to get it there. Not. My. Problem. I'm perfectly willing to put it back in the garage forever (and stop people from knocking on my damned front door).

Oh, whatever. Time to think about mowing the lawn.

Day of Moan

May. 1st, 2017 09:37 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
Well...no bats so far. Not that I'd really expect to see them this early in the season, anyway, it's just...well, it's just. I think maybe the next thing I have tackled will be the bathroom, even if it's just to have someone come in and put up the ceiling. I have the names of three different contractors: the guy who fixed the kitchen light (and who I thought was a little expensive, and does it really take three hours to change out a light?), and two others. Well, four others if you count the guy who installed the new furnace (he's not just a furnace guy) and the guy who he subcontracted to -- though my neighbor warned me against hiring that last guy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But at least the smell of wet dog overpowered the smell of unwashed Gecko, so....
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I just got a call from the Bat Guy -- he's running late and won't be here for a couple of hours; he says he got involved with moving a mama fox and her kits. I was kind of hoping he'd be done and gone by noonish, but the earliest he'll even get here now is eleven-ish. I'm not sure whether to get involved in a cleaning project that will take up a couple of hours (like cleaning the breezeway) or whether I should take it easy until he gets here in case he needs my help (because my feet will only take so much). I should probably go out to the garage and see if I can figure out how to get the stairs to the second story down. As far as I know, it hasn't been down since HTWIWM left. No, I take that back. I think my folks had it down once when I was gone on a trip because I seem to remember Dad saying something about how they broke one of the things locking it in place because they didn't know it was there. (Maybe I should pull the stairs down and have another Dumpster Day; I'm certain there's stuff up there that could Go Away.) Maybe I should call my folks and ask, but I am reluctant to let my family (other than my sister, anyway) know that I got a loan. I'm not sure why, but I am.

Of course, when they come 'round and the house has been painted, they're gonna know something's up....

Speaking of which, it occurred to me that if I'm going to get the house painted, I should probably do something about the landscaping, too. I was discussing that with a friend at work yesterday. She has hydrangeas and daisies in front of her house. I don't like daisies, but I love hydrangeas, especially blue ones (and the soil around here is good for blue ones). And hydrangea bushes look good even without blooms. I also want bee balm. I love bee balm. What I hate is gardening. I positively loathe it, so if it's going to get done, it's going to be hired done.

I wonder if I could get the ramp turned the way I want it while I'm at it? The folks who put it in told me it would only last a few years because the material they used for the decking (from stuff that HTWIWM had hoarded) wasn't the appropriate stuff, and they were right. The decking will last this year, but next? Maybe not.

I could spend the entire [rest of the] loan just on the outside of the house -- even without worrying about siding.
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So far, it has been an interesting week. Monday was the car repair and inspection. On the way home from that, I heard a godawful noise coming from the rear end, but then it went away, so I thought perhaps it was parts "settling in." I haven't had a new muffler in a vehicle in probably twelve years, so who knows, right? I didn't hear it Tuesday...until I was driving home from work, so I called the garage as soon as I had walked Jack. They said to bring it in first thing in the morning.

While I was in a rare Make The Unpleasant Telephone Call mood, I called the number for the bat specialist in Buffalo to see if he/they came this far south -- all of the towns listed on the website that weren't Buffalo suburbs were toward the east. I talked to the guy for a good twenty minutes, and he said that for bats, he would definitely come this far south...and I ended up with an appointment for him to not only come look at the house on Saturday, but to do the work, as well! I'm not even sure how it happened, but when I hung up, I was in a panic wondering where the fuck I was going to come up with that kind of money by the weekend when I was flat broke. (I mean that literally. Flat. Broke. The stone cast by the furnace replacement is still causing ripples.)

I had been talking about getting a loan later this year to get some work -- including the bat-proofing -- done on the house, so I decided that I would do just that. I poked at the credit union website, then decided I'd go to the bank instead. So I gathered up my bills and added up my debts...and this is the first time I've actually totaled up my credit card debt. Holy fuck. Holy, holy fuck. I am in so much trouble....

But. I went to the bank. And...unbelievably, I actually got the loan, and the payments are totally reasonable (apparently I have excellent credit), and when I finish paying off the van in a few months, I might actually be able to pay down some of that horrendous mess...and still be able to pay for the trip -- which will have to be done in six months or so, probably. You know, assuming that a) Americans are still allowed to leave the country, and b) Americans are allowed to enter other countries. And I am so taking my trip, goddammit.

So I feel...much better. I have been living in a state of low-level dread ever since the weather started getting warmer. I have been ducking when I go from the kitchen to the living room because I am always, now, expecting to see a bat. I keep checking the ceilings. I need this to end. And this nice man from up Buffalo way is going to take care of it for me.

The loan is not large enough to take care of everything, of course. I couldn't get that much money, and I didn't ask for it. But I should be able to also get the exterior painting done, pay off a couple of credit cards (stupid to have even opened them -- I know better than that, but deals), and maybe get a few things done inside the house. I probably don't have enough to get the upstairs bathroom done unless I go ahead with turning it into a closet, but I can get someone in to put up the molding and window trim and maybe fix some of the damage that Jack did. And speaking of Jack, he needs his teeth cleaned. I was going to have it done in February when they always have 10% off, but I didn't have the cash. And maybe I will go ahead and get a new stove.

I have possibilities now. It's...a nice feeling.

Oh, and the van? One of the hangers for the new muffler was bent, so that the tailpipe was rattling against the frame -- but not constantly. Fortunately, it made the noise while the mechanic was riding with me. We got back to the garage, and they fixed it for me in five minutes.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Feeling a bit better than I was earlier. The house is company-ready, and I still have a couple of hours to myself...I hope. I haven't heard from anyone other than my sister (asking if she needs to bring anything) and my aunt (asking if I want a photo of the gift they couldn't send -- I suspect she is giving me the needlepoint piece that we talked about in October). I finally figured out what to do with one of the banes of my existence, the utility shelf in the back room. I put a couple of bins on it to hold my gloves and hats, and used the rest of the shelf for pretty things. When it comes to this house, my eyes want pretty things so badly....

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

I am dressed in festive clothing, and as ready as I'm going to get for the hordes to descend.
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I have a lot of Christmas music on CD. It's a toss-up as to whether my favorites are Loreena McKennitt and Straight No Chaser or Christmas All-Time Greatest Records, Volume 1 and Volume 2. Those are the Christmas songs I grew up with (minus Jingle Bones). My parents had a stereo, but it never got used except at Christmas, when Mom would load it with a stack of Christmas records and just let it play for hours. The modern equivalent would be an mp3 player playlist, I suppose. I have a CD-player with a six-disk changer, so I basically do what my mother did, except with slightly more updated music: the aforementioned Loreena McKennitt and SNC, plus Pentatonix.

And there are some creepy, creepy Christmas tunes out there, let me tell you. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?" Future serial killer right there. "Mary, Did You Know?" When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God? Ugh. "The Cherry Tree Carol?" Worst of the bunch. Mary's fetus commanding trees to give her cherries. Gross.

Anyway. It is my 9-5 week, so I have a little time in the mornings -- and none in the evenings. I get home and have to immediately think of dinner, so I generally discuss it with Jack while we're going walkies. He doesn't actually care what I make for dinner -- he knows what he's having. Last night, I had some of that leftover lasagna from Thanksgiving. Probably the same tonight. Though I do have lunch meat and tomatoes and sourdough bread, so I will probably make some variety of melty sandwiches at some point.

Jack seems to be doing a bit better again. He hasn't tried to get into bed with me the last couple of nights -- a true relief, let me tell you. I was actually asleep when my alarm clock went off this morning. I have no idea what the problem might have been, and I might not have any idea even if I'd had him from a pup. I'm just glad he seems to be settling again. Of course, the real test will be to leave him alone long enough to see a movie. On Saturday, I left him while I went for a grocery run, but every time I left the house after that -- and I went out a few times -- I took him with me. He does like going for rides.

I have a new couch. Well, new-ish. My mother asked me a couple of weeks ago if I'd like a couch that is only three years old -- she said it was in the way of putting up the Christmas tree. Presumably, she is planning to either get a new couch after Christmas, or has decided that she only needs one after all (she's had two in the living room for ages). I told her that if I could figure out what to do with my existing couch, I would take hers. A few days later, it occurred to me that it could go in the breezeway, as I'll need furniture out there...and on Sunday, my dad called and said that as soon as he could round up my brother, they'd be down to move furniture. I was not, of course, ready for that, but I managed to get a space made in the breezeway, so it all worked out. And now I have a new couch. It's a dusty dark sage green, so it goes well with my living room. Not that it matters, because I immediately put my purple coverings on it. It's not the couch I would have chosen for myself, but it'll do, and it's a vast improvement over the one I had that was second-hand eighteen years ago and which Garion tried to eat all by himself when he was a puppy, sixteen years ago.

Speaking of my brother, he told me on Sunday that the Gecko had an appointment yesterday afternoon and would have to leave early. Because it's my 9-5 week, I knew I wouldn't be allowed to leave early, and said so. He offered to leave the Gecko's next-youngest sister with Jack when he picked up the Gecko. Now, the Middle Gecko is an actual-facts sets-fires-in-her-bedroom psycho, and I absolutely do not want her in my house. The Eldest Gecko is bad enough, but the Middle Gecko steals more than food. She has stolen jewelry from both my mother and my grandmother, and actually stole money from Grama's purse -- and admitted to it, proudly. It was to the point where Gram told them that they couldn't be inside her house unless she was (she used to watch them after school).

And then there's the fire-setting (though I don't think she's done that of late).

So I told him we'd just manage, thank you very much, but when I mentioned it to the Eldest Gecko at lunchtime, she said her dad was going to reschedule her appointment. Okay. Fine by me, then. Turns out the Middle Gecko ended up in the hospital yesterday from an upper respiratory infection combined with her asthma, anyway. I'm afraid I didn't evince any proper auntly concern. I tried. Didn't take. Alas. Ah, well. We all know what a wretched excuse for a human I am. Just ask Jack.

Cross-Offs

May. 31st, 2016 07:41 am
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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)
I just deleted the bio section of my profile. I've been meaning to rewrite it for years, since it talked about a beloved husband and four dogs and three cats. Only two of that set of eight entities are still with me. I suppose eventually I'll put something else in there. Or maybe I won't. I'm not particularly good at that sort of thing.

Yesterday's weather was quite nice for the beginning of March: sunny, temps in the 60s. As I was leaving for lunch yesterday, people returning from their earlier lunch hours kept telling me that I wouldn't want to go back. It occurred to me that such a statement assumes I ever wanted to go back to begin with, which...not so much. It's supposed to be a bit warmer today, but drizzly, I think. When Jack and I went for walkies -- late because I overslept -- the pavement had that dappled look it gets after rain that never progresses beyond a good hard sprinkle, but the grass wasn't wet.

My reading has definitely slowed significantly since I finished the Harry Dresden books, but I finished my twentieth book for the year last evening: Svaha by Charles de Lint. I have decided that this will likely be a year of rereading, as I want to delve back into the works of some of my favorites that I haven't read in years. Svaha, for instance. This may have been the third time I've read it, but it may only have been the second. My copy is a first edition paperback; the pages have passed yellow and gone straight to tan. I thought about buying the Kindle version, but I don't actually like reading on my Kindle -- and I find the cost of e-books offensive¹, so.... *shrug*

I see, upon re-reading that paragraph, that I make it sound as though Svaha is a favorite book. It actually isn't. I don't got in for post-apocalyptic dystopias, much. No, it's the author who is a favorite, though my favorite of his works are The Riddle of the Wren and Moonheart, both of which I have definitely read more than twice.

Over the weekend, I took down an organizer/mail sorter thingy that had been hanging in the kitchen for fifteen and a half years. It was a wedding gift from the nice people across the street (we invited all of our immediate neighbors to our wedding, since we'd lived here for six months by the time we got married and they were all nice people and since it was going to cause a lot of traffice since we were getting married in the backyard). HTWIWM used to keep his wedding ring on the hooks at the bottom of it when he was going to be doing something where he shouldn't be wearing rings. I still occasionally looked for his ring to be hanging there. Anyway. I hadn't really used it for ages, and it was a symbol of something long gone, so I decided to take it down and replace it with something else. It was, of course, screwed into place with his favorite three-inch drywall screws, so getting it down was a bit of a job, and now there are screw holes in the panelling², but that's okay; I'll cover them. The organizer went straight to the garage and will go in my next garage sale.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that my kitchen looks weird without this thing hanging on the wall. It wasn't huge, but it wasn't small, either, and it was smack in the middle of that section of wall. So the whole kitchen looks kind of empty without it. I can't quite decide whether to put a selection of photographs there, or some of the art I've acquired over the years. I remember once seeing a nice arrangement of photos of France and trivets in a kitchen that I quite liked. Okay, fine, it was HTWIWM's kitchen back when he was still He With Whom I Am Having A Long Distance Relationship, and the photos were probably taken and arranged by his ex-girlfriend who is a nice person with whom I am friends on FB, mostly because I contacted her there to return some of her property that I found in my house after he took off.

I had vague thoughts of putting up a photo I took of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the kitchen because I took it while leaning back from my chair at a cafe (well, the Italian version, anyway) down the street. It's a busy street scene with the Tower in the background, and it's one of my favorite of my Italy photos, none of which have ever been framed and hung.
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¹ If I'm going to pay that much, I want something tangible.

² Who panels a kitchen³, for fuck's sake?

³ I loathe panelling, and great chunks of the house are panelled. Paneled?
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It's supposed to be quite a nice day today, though I don't think I'm going to spend any of it outdoors. It's supposed to be sunny and nearly 60°. I'll take it. Perhaps I'll let Jack spend some time in the back yard by himself, even though it makes me nervous to do so. He has never shown any inclination to try to get out, and he does enjoy it. He also doesn't make any noise; we always went out with the dogs just to ensure that they didn't make nuisances of themselves. But Jack doesn't actually seem to need that kind of monitoring. Mind you, if I do, I'll be spending the time in the back room so that I can look out the window and see what he's up to, but that's all right because I have all kinds of art to frame.

I obtained some half-price calendars to take apart for artwork, and I also bought some art books that I'm going to slice pages from (heresy!). I wanted some Alan Lee artwork for my bedroom (because the plan was to decorate à la Rivendell), and the only way to get any was to order some old Tolkien art books to take apart. Not to mention, of course, the bits and bobs of art that I have obtained on trips. I have an abundance of frames, so I could keep myself occupied for a while doing that.

First, however, I have chores. I didn't do all of them yesterday because of my hair appointment -- I had to go get groceries this morning, for example, because I didn't want Jack to be alone for the time it would take me to get groceries and to then go back out and leave him alone for another hour or two. (In fact, it took an hour and a half.) I did get most of the laundry finished; I still have to do a load of furniture coverings, and find what nasty stuff awaits me under and around the chair that the Ravening Gecko favors.

Segue¹: Of the amount I spent on groceries this morning, two-thirds of it was for junk food for the Gecko so that she'll stay out of my food. This just makes me so angry. I am trying to reconcile myself to it just being part of what I pay her for the week, but it's really difficult because she is such an objectionable waste of protoplasm. Well, not a total waste, I suppose, since her presence, as offensive as it is, keeps Jack from a) destroying anything else, or b) hurting himself.

Segue 2: Jack tried to crawl in bed with me again last night. He was quite insistent about it, too; I finally turned on the light after the third attempt in under a minute to see what the heck the problem was. He was in my face, panting and licking his chops. It's not the first time I've wondered about seizures, but if he were having seizures, it wouldn't always be in the middle of the night. I watched him try to stuff himself between the bed and my nightstand, and he flinched so violently when I reached to pet him that it was almost a dodge. I got up to take him out, and he walked to the end of the ramp, looked at the backyard, and turned around and came indoors. He basically plastered himself to my side. That's when I started to wonder about doggy nightmares instead of seizures. So we came into my office, since I was wide awake by then, I checked email and FB and Tumblr, played a couple of games of Solitaire, then took him back upstairs. He was fine for the rest of the night, but I'm pretty sleepy. Unfortunately, I have a lot to do today....
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¹ Guess who's too tired to come up with a proper one.
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Merlin has spent the last twenty minutes circling my chair and meowdeling at me to get the fuck out of it so that he can have his morning snooze. (He swears like a sailor.) He jumped onto the chair back twice, with me dislodging him both times, and he has finally wandered off...no, wait, he has just wandered back and recommenced with the meowdeling. Tough. I'm busy, here.

I had intended to spend much of the weekend just relaxing, but instead, I found myself doing a lot of puttering yesterday. I went out for groceries, of course, then loaded Jack into the van and drove out to the V-E-T's office to pick up meds for the cats, then did laundry, brushed Jack (who didn't appreciate it), vacuumed, repaired plastic shopping bags (for walkies), reframed a couple of pieces of art that I've had for years¹, found a place for the extra shelves I had that hadn't fit the bookcase I recently bought (the replacements arrived last week and are snug, but do fit) and put them in place, and so on. Lots of small stuff, but at the end of the day, my dining room table is still covered with bits of art to be framed and put up. I've been saving things for so many years, and of course the things I really want to put up are awkward sizes, so I either have to figure out how to mat them or have them professionally framed, and that costs a fortune.

When I vacuumed I moved the chair in the living room for the first time in a while. I found the floor beneath covered in crumbs, and, oddly, the cotton ends of Q-Tips. Lots of them. I am not certain what she is doing with them -- unless she eats the sticks, which, frankly, wouldn't surprise me. They were unused for their normal purpose, at least. I am not pleased about the crumbs, though, especially as it will soon be ant season. I really need to sort things with Jack so that I can fire her. And out of a cannon would be nice.

I received an order from Zulily yesterday: a pair of book ends (sorely needed) and a decorative finial (not needed at all, but it appealed to me and it was cheap). The heavy-duty ceramic bookends were packed in their own separate box-within-the-shipping-box with lots of styrofoam padding. The finial was wrapped in a single layer of bubblewrap and laid in the shipping box next to the bookend box. The empty space was packed with air pillows, but at some point, about half of them had deflated, and the finial was smashed. I checked the return policy on the website to find that one had to have permission to make returns and one had to do it within fourteen days of the date of shipping (not receipt. Shipping.). Yesterday was the tenth day from shipping, and I emailed their customer service with some trepidation, expecting to be disappointed.

Instead, I heard back from them within two hours. They not only gave me a refund on the spot, but also gave me a $10 credit to the site, and also put me on a notification list in case the finial becomes available again. My flabber was well and truly gasted (to quote Harry Dresden (or maybe it was the other way around? Whatever.)). I am quite impressed -- and I don't have to make a trip to the post office.

Well...I do, actually, but that's because I have some things to mail to MyAuntie.

Right. I have delayed long enough. Time to go clean the kitchen....

Edit: I was just contemplating my tags. "I Need A House Elf," indeed. A house elf would keep Jack company during the day when I was at work....
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¹ Michael Whelan's cover art for The Snow Queen and The Summer Queen. I had thought that I had taken them from the pages of a copy of Spectrum that I bought ages ago, but when I turned the mats over to inspect the backs, it turned out that they were just snipped from the pages of Starlog. They've held up remarkably well for magazine pages, and don't look shoddy. I was surprised.

Monday Off

Jan. 18th, 2016 07:41 am
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I'm glad I don't have to go out out today. Walking the dog doesn't really count, even though it's outer than I actually prefer. It's snowing, or was when we went for walkies...and I just checked. Yup. Still snowing. My back hasn't recovered from the last big snowfall. Bleah. Jack seems to like the snow, even though it's only 8° out there according to the weather wiseacres. Maybe I'll let him go out and play in it later. I have realized that one thing I can actually trust Jack to do is not try to get out of the yard, and not make a lot of noise if I leave him out alone. So I do let him out occasionally and just check on him through the window every couple of minutes.

Yesterday turned out to be a busier day than I had initially planned. I had decided not too long ago that I needed more bookshelves (mostly for DVDs, actually), so when I saw that KMart was running a sale, I bought two three-shelf units. These things are pretty easy to put together, and I have a lot of practice, anyway, so that went pretty quickly. Got the first one up and settled, got the second one put together...and the two adjustable shelves were cut just too long to fit into the cabinet. By about an eighth of an inch. Really? Really? RLY?!? Fortunately, the company will supply parts; you just have to order them. So I did, but in the meantime, I have one finished cabinet and one unfinished cabinet sitting side by side in my living room. I did move a few things around; the shelf that had been in the space is back in the corner in the other section of the room by my secretary again, and the shelf that was there is in the back room in place of the chair that I bring up from the basement for Grama to sit in for holiday dinners.

The non-fitting shelves leave me with two finished board sections, and I'm trying to come up with non-brick supports for them so that I can use them elsewhere, because why not?

Today, I have no plans. I want to have a day with no work in it. I would like to do something arty, even if it's just coloring, though I never have even started, let alone finished, redoing that Middle-Earth map; I could spread that out on the dining room table and get started on it. Or there's a cross stitch project that is finished all except for the backstitching -- of which there is a lot. Or maybe I'll just read for a while, then watch movies.

There is a new guy in the shire who wants to Do All The Things. Seriously. He wants to be Herald and Chatelain and he's been agitating lately about Why Isn't There A Business Meeting. I suppose, since we haven't yet had elections, even though my term is up, it's my responsibility to set up a meeting, but I...just don't want to. The last meeting I set up, I had to bail on because that's when Jack tore out the laundry room wall. And of the several meetings before that, I think we had one where we had sufficient people to conduct business. They want me to be Webminister again (or still), and I'm not interested. I'm not interested in any of it at the moment, to be perfectly honest. I feel...like Belle, I suppose. There's so much more than this shire's provincialism; just look at the shire immediately to the east of us (from whence we came, in fact). But it seems that the only thing that one can really drum up interest in is hitting people with sticks, and the only time people can get together is Sunday, and I don't like giving up my Sundays. Sundays are mine. (Well. Every day is mine, I suppose, but Sunday more than the rest.)

Bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan. Time to go do something different.
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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....
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I am trying to convince myself to get up from my desk and do something useful, but I really just want to sit here and read Yuletide stories. I started going through them yesterday and have found some amazingly beautiful work. But...there are things I need to do, like pay bills. On the other hand, I don't think I have anything that absolutely needs to go out today, and my property tax bill didn't arrive on Thursday like it should have, and I'm sort of reluctant to start writing checks until I see how much money I need to scrape together this month in order to pay my tax bill. On the other other hand, if I do it this morning, it'll be done and I won't have to worry about it tomorrow. Plus I've already got the heater going in the library (where my bill-paying desk¹ is located).

While I was out getting groceries this morning, I picked up some more of the square frames that I used for my unicorn calendar pages. It turns out that I have something on the order of a dozen calendars going back five years or so just waiting to find a way to frame some of the art. It's chiefly Kinuko Y. Craft and Brian Froud, but there is also the Artist's Italy which has some nice paintings, and a few others. Not sure why I kept the Marjolein Bastin calendar, actually, since I like her work, but wouldn't hang it in my house.... So I may work on framing stuff today. I still have plenty of wall space in my bedroom and the living room, and I may change the art in my office, too.

On the other hand, I may not. I may just get my book and retire to my chair and read all day like I did yesterday.

I hate the end of my vacation; I have to put the furniture covers back on (though I found some cheap fleece blankets that will be easier to wash than the towels I was using), and fill up the Gecko Boxes in the kitchen. It has been so nice to NOT have to smell that girl for the last week....

I watched the Sherlock special last night. I rather enjoyed it, though once they revealed how it tied into the actual series, I was a bit disappointed. I did catch the theme from the Jeremy Brett series a couple of times (I think Sherlock played it on the violin himself, once). Did enjoy the betting between Sherlock and Mycroft as to when the latter would die from overeating. That was fun.

Right. Time to go be productive.

Or not.
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¹ I have, not counting the work surfaces in HTWIWM's former basement office, five desks. He left behind his mother's rolltop desk; that's in the library, and that's where I sit to pay bills. My secretary is in the living room; I only use it very occasionally for writing as I don't have a good chair for it. In my office, I have my computer desk (a conference room table that I have used as a desk for more than twenty years), a child's desk that I picked up at a garage sale for $2 that I use for writing because it's at a comfortable height for me, and my mother's desk. The only reason I have Mom's desk is that my grandfather made it and she didn't want to get rid of it. So she offered it to me as part of the Store My Extra Stuff In My Daughter's Home Program. I took it mainly because it has drawers, which my conference room table sorely lacks.
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I expect I'll be doing some bookkeeping stuff today, since it's the last day of 2015, and good riddance. Here's hoping that 2016 follows the Star Trek Movie Principal: The even-numbered ones are better.

Since I have to go out this morning, anyway, I may just get dressed and go see Star Wars again. I should check to see if there's a morning show....

I did watch "The Husbands of River Song" again last night. That's four times in one week. Is it that good? Well, perhaps not, but the scene where River finally realizes that the tagalong doctor is actually the Doctor is worth the price of admission. (As is the bit where he leads her through a complicated explanation of why she can't get the TARDIS to work, she compliments him on his knowledge, he says, "not bad for a Doctor," she still doesn't get it, and he says, "Seriously?") (Also, "A thing happened.") Someone somewhere theorized that River might be the companion for the next series. I could get behind that.

In keeping with my desire to get my bedroom in shape, I spent a few hours trying to hang some pictures on the wall opposite my bed. One of my 2015 calendars -- the one for my cubicle -- was a Unicorn Tapestry calendar. (The ones in the Cluny, not the ones in the Cloisters.) I found some frames at WickedMart that are almost perfect for framing calendar pages; all they needed was a bit of gold washi tape for a "mat,"et voilà.

I saw online recently a hint for hanging groupings of pictures when you don't have a laser level (which I may actually have since I have my grandfather's tool box): Use painters tape to outline where things are going to go. So I did. I measured, and I taped, and I double-checked my measurements because the tape didn't look straight, and I measured again, and... The frames had two hangers on them, and no matter how I tried, I couldn't get those little suckers to line up. So I ended up tacking saw-toothed hangars to the frames, which made things ever so much simpler, and I finally, after about three and a half hours of effort got the things hung -- and with only one extra hole in the wall! And I stood back and gazed admiringly at my work...

...and they still weren't entirely straight. But I don't think the wall is, either, so I guess it's all good. I tell you what, though: it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to climb into bed last night with my tablet and see something pretty on the wall. (The grouping consists of four pages from the calendar, a square mirror in a gold frame (garage sale), and two smaller tapestry pictures that are actually note cards (also garage sale). Note cards, I have found, are very economical ways to have art, as long as you don't mind the size.)

Mind you, the rest of the bedroom still isn't clean, and when I moved the dresser, the dog fur under there was mixed black and white which means a good amount of it was Sheila's.... Well, I did say I hadn't properly cleaned up there in a while. Maybe a little bit more today; the rest of the art hanging shouldn't be nearly as traumatic.

No plans of note for tonight. I will probably watch a movie and go to bed early. It's really just Thursday here. I was invited to a party at J1's house, and I'd kind of like to go, but I have to consider Jack. J1 has a dog herself, and would welcome Jack, but we haven't had a chance to get the two of them together, and it's just easier at this point if I skip it. I wouldn't enjoy myself after about 9:30 p.m., anyway; it's hard to stay up to midnight when you normally go to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 and get up at 5:00 a.m.
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I have been looking for a quilt rack for a while, and had decided to pay $80 for this lovely Victorian reproduction, but when I was walking Jack this morning, I passed some of my neighbors getting ready for a garage sale, and they had a simple wooden quilt rack. It's not exactly what I was looking for, but at $10 versus $80 and shipping? No contest, really, and it will hold the patchwork quilt that my grandmother made me when I was little just fine. I may even put the quilt top that my mother gave me for Christmas a few years ago -- made by my great great grandmother and discovered in a cousin's garage sale -- on it. No point in having these things wrapped up in boxes. I also bought a cute little wooden cupboard thingummy from them; it's the sort of thing you find in those Indian-import shops, with four drawers with half-sun faces painted on them. I may put it in the corner of my desk since my desk is a table and has no drawers.

I have also decided to paint the back room. nattering about home improvement )

I am also considering using some of my tax return in February to get a small table saw because I am clearly not going to get any help in putting up the trim in the bedroom and living room, so I'm going to have to learn to do it myself, and I have been told that the trim must be trimmed because the drywall that went up was slightly thicker than the drywall that came down. *sigh*

On a completely different note, one of the feral cats was in the yard last night when I let Jack out. Not only was the cat in the yard, it was apparently under the ramp. Had it stayed under the ramp, everything would have been okay, but it bolted. Stoopid cat. Anyway, Jack chased it all the way to the fence, and then it couldn't figure out how to get out, so Jack got all up in its tail, and with the kitty at bay, he...stopped. He just stopped. If the cat moved, he chased it, but he either couldn't figure out what to do with it when it turned to face him, or he realized it was a cat, and therefore off-limits. Not sure which thought was going through his fuzzy little brain, but I'm glad I didn't have to clean up dead (or worse, dying) kitteh.

Arg. I have to go write checks now, including a check for my school taxes. Bye, bye, pay check....
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I decided this morning at 5:30 to take the day off. Personal days are supposed to be spontaneous, so I didn't have to ask and be told no. Besides, if I was caught up enough to spend an entire week training, then I'm caught up enough to take a day off, even if this is payroll week. Besides, I didn't sleep last night, and I just...couldn't face it today. So there.

The dog has been walked and groomed and the subsequent massacred-tribble mess cleaned up, and now I'm just being a rat-bastard about not letting him go outside because I put the flea/tick stuff on him, and that stuff's expensive. He doesn't get to roll in the dew-damp grass and wipe it off.

I didn't sleep well last night...there may be a nap today.

There are huge expanses (for certain values of "huge" and "expanse") of breezeway empty. I spent some time yesterday morning cleaning out there (where "cleaning" can be defined as "tossing all those empty boxes into the garage to be collapsed and put into the recyling later."), and now there is room to maneuver the drywall and get it into the garage. Whether it can be swung to go through the inner door, or whether it'll have to go out the outer door, then through the outer garage doors remains to be seen. I won't even attempt to move that until I have help (promised by my sister and Number 5) which is unlikely to be before this weekend, if then. There is still a great deal of work to do as far as emptying the cabinets against one wall and cleaning out the corners, but progress is.

I also finished cleaning up the middle bedroom and the no longer an attic bedroom upstairs. I do still have boxes in the living room that I need to either collapse or put things in -- and not just cats. Paper boxes salvaged from work are too nice to just collapse; maybe I'll use them for storing papers. I have boxes of paperwork from Grama, for instance that I could consolidate.

So...not a lot was accomplished this weekend, but I am not displeased by what was.

I also got out to see two movies: Fantastic Four and The Man From UNCLE. The former was your typical superhero origin movie, a little darker in tone than the previous Fantastic Four movies, and with much younger protagonists. It was sort of like the difference between the most recent sets of Spider-Man movies. I have decided that I prefer the earlier set by a smidge, mostly because it greatly amuses me that Chris Evans played both Johnny Storm and Captain America. As for UNCLE, it was fun. I was rather hoping for cameos from Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, but unless there was a post-credits scene.... Ah, well. Actually, now that I reread that paragraph, the latter was pretty much a superhero origin story, too.
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I really want to do fuck-all today, but I really can't leave projects half finished, so I shall shortly be heading upstairs to work in the Spare Oom for an hour or so before going out to finish mowing the backyard. Well. I may leave the section under the maple unmown. The grass is sparser there than in the rest of the yard, so it can go unmown for longer periods than the rest. I should probably get upstairs and strip the bed and get the bedding washed.... Also, the house will shortly have to be closed up. It cooled down overnight, but only to about 72° -- which is why I am not baking blueberry muffins this morning. Well, that, and I hate kitchening. If it traditionally occurs in the kitchen, I hate doing it.

My foot is somewhat better this morning, It hurts, but it always hurts, so I'm accustomed to a baseline of pain. But the swelling is much better. It's still slightly swollen, but apparently what it needed was not for me to baby it for ten days and take Arthrotec religiously, but to be on it for most of the day, mow the lawn, walk the dog, move furniture around, and forget to take the Arthrotec. Of course, one of the Arthrotec's side effects is edema, so it's entirely possible that I was doing it to myself....

I made many posts on FB yesterday about cleaning out the attic room, which is a project that actually got started a year or so ago, then got derailed for a long while. HTWIWM did move nearly all of his stuff out of that room; whatever was left ended up in one garage sale or other. Given that a couple of days before the last time I saw him, my wedding gift to him (a very nice sterling torc) was sitting on a shelf in there, I'm actually surprised that the only memory mine I actually found was a piece of blue ribbon about a foot long that he had pinned to the hem of his kilt when we went to the Ren Faire. ("I don't know where ye've been, laddie, but I see ye won first prize!") Still. I am very reluctant to throw it away. It's sitting on the kitchen counter right now, while I nerve myself up to do so. I'm probably going to end up hiding it in the same box as the wedding photos.

Anyway. The shelving units that HTWIWM put up there are massive, with coated metal frames and heavy pressed board shelves. They're taller than I am and the shelves are at least two feet (and maybe three feet) deep. There is no way that I can get them downstairs on my own, but it looks like the frames can be whacked apart with a hammer. The shelves just lift out. I got the first one emptied and was contemplating whacking it when I realized that it would make a splendid storage space for all the bedding that I had just piled atop a trunk in the middle bedroom. Now, the middle bedroom is truly useless since that's where my parents dropped the bathtub when they decided to "help me out" with my upstairs bathroom. So I swapped the dresser in there for the shelving unit and loaded the latter up with all that loose bedding. It's fantastic, and there's room on the top shelf (which is over my head) for my suitcases and maybe a box of travel gear (hotel laundry line, packing cubes, airplane blankies, etc.). I'd store the gear in the suitcases, but then I'd forget that's where I put stuff. (Which just happened, actually.)

There are three categories of stuff I am taking out of that room: garage sale stuff, stuff I am moving to the basement for storage, and garbage/recycling/shredding. Of that last, I found a box full of papers that I had kept for tax purposes, but they were all from the late 90s. Paystubs from 1997, '98, and '99. The orientation packet and some old memos from work. My divorce papers from my first divorce. (Well, those I'll hang onto.) Stuff that is really trash, but that I can't just throw away. When I came across a similar box of HTWIWM's stuff, I burned the majority of it (and actually still have some stuff ready for the fire). I'm not certain where to set up my fire pit now, though, as the end of the ramp comes down right into the middle of the spot that I used to use in the backyard because it's relatively free of overhead branches. I suppose I could set the firepit up in the driveway, but then I'd have neighbors wanting to know what I was doing....

Jack was quite anxious about all of yesterday's activity. He'd never seen the attic room before, so as far as he was concerned, I opened up a secret room behind the wall at the end of the hallway. He also backslid a lot while I was gone, so I'm guessing I won't be going to see a movie this weekend as I had sort of half-planned. On the other hand, maybe I'm misinterpreting excitement as anxiety. Hard to say where dogs are concerned....

Ah. It's 9:00 a.m. Time to close up the house and get to work.
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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.)

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