malinaldarose: (Default)
So, it is Monday, and I have taken the day off. The van is at the garage to see if they can figure out what the heck is up with it. And I just remembered to turn the ringer back on on the phone -- though I'll probably spend at least the morning in my office working on eBay listings. Or maybe shopping; I have had a few thoughts about Christmas, and there's little point in waiting -- I won't have more money for shopping later than I do now, so....

Oh. My. God. Jack just farted. Wow.

I have the house opened up because after a week of fall, we're back to summer, with temps in the high 70s or low 80s, and it's a bit stuffy in here. It's supposed to be 80° again today, so I need to cool the house back down. It won't take long, and I won't have to shut things up again until midmorning when the fog burns off.

I should totally go do the dishes while it's still cool, and while it's still too early to listen for the phone.

There is apparently not a great deal to report here. I took BFT out to lunch on Saturday -- it was the first time she'd been out of the house since her surgery the previous Friday, and she was going a little stir-crazy. We stopped at Joann's on the way home and bought Halloween decorations. She's setting up a little Halloween display in her kitchen window, and I'm buying props for some still life photos I have in mind. Which reminds me that I have to go down to the basement and dig out my Rider-Waite deck. I used to have a teensy one with cards only about an inch or two big, but I don't think I'll be able to find those. Probably lost in some move or other. Or maybe I dreamed them, though I don't think so. I think I got rid of my Ouija board, too. Still, I probably have enough stuff around here to use as props.

Yesterday...I noodled around the house. Cleaned my desk off so that I'd have room to work on the eBay stuff, vacuumed the house (up and down), snipped the stems of the flowers I bought last week and re-vased them, and dropped the van off at the garage. (Walked home, of course.) Last evening, I had a fire in the firepit (after raking the downed leaves away from where I usually set it up). I burned four more envelopes full of cancelled checks and other financial paperwork, thus doing my part to save HTWIWM from identity theft. I do like watching those papers burn; whether it's the ink or the paper, the flames are green. It's so cool. (Well. Technically, it's quite hot, but you get the idea.) I think there are four envelopes left. When I found these papers, I had no experience with burning things to dispose of them, and I thought stuffing all of these checks and bank and credit card statements into business-size envelopes and burning them like logs would work out with no problem. Yeah, then I learned about burning papers. Individual papers will take off like...well, like a house afire, but compacted papers? Not so much. So I have to keep stirring them. Which is one of the reasons I don't have a fire if it's windy, because I don't want burning paper flying all over the place.

In any case, I think I'm nearly done with HIS papers, and can move on to my own, as I recently found a file box full of decade-old financial paperwork. Not much point in stressing the shredder, though I suppose I could gradually sneak them into the shredding bin at work and have done.

I found that little refund check on my desk yesterday afternoon. I still can't quite make up my mind what to do about it. It's for 79 cents. The utterly correct thing to do -- and also the utterly bitchy thing -- would be to stuff it into another envelope and mail it to some friends to have them pass it on to him. On the other hand, it's for 79 cents, so it might just as well go into the shredding.

Eh, I'll think on it some more. Probably it'll end up in the shredding.

Day of Moan

May. 1st, 2017 09:37 pm
malinaldarose: (Default) 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....
malinaldarose: (Default)
On Saturday morning, just as promised, the J-sisters and their mother showed up and took some of the drywall stash off my hands. There is a small dolly that we used to move the sheets from the breezeway to the garage, and we used it again to move the sheets from the garage to their truck. It's just a flat, open platform with wheels at each corner, but resting the individual sheets on it meant that they didn't have to be carried the whole way. They asked to borrow it to move the sheets on their end of the trip, and I had no problem with that. So J1 brought the dolly back yesterday afternoon, and we were standing in the breezeway chatting for five or ten minutes. I didn't have my coat on, so got chilled.

No big, right? I'll just have a cup of hot chocolate. So I put the kettle on and when it whistled, went to the cupboard to get a packet of hot chocolate. Now, I have loose powder in little barrels, but it's the Good Stuff and requires milk. I wasn't in the mood to mess with heating milk (because you have to stand right over it and pay attention, otherwise you get a helluva mess if it boils over -- which it can do in the literal blink of an eye), hence the kettle.

Well. Guess what I found when I went to the cupboard? If you guessed "no hot chocolate packets," you win a prize! (Well, not really.)

It's entirely possible, of course, that I forgot using up the individual Land o' Lakes packages that I buy, since I usually only buy a few at a time. But there is no way that I would leave empty boxes sitting in the cupboard, which is what I found when I went for the cheap and nasty stuff.

I had been meaning to clean that shelf out for a while, since I long ago gave up on trying to make myself like tea and there were all kinds of teas in there. So I did. Cleaned it out and put a little sign in there informing her Geckoness that she was to stay out of things that don't belong to her. I think that might actually deter her, at least for a little while.

I can't lock everything and I shouldn't have to, godsdammit. She's a grown-ass woman, and she should fucking well know enough not to act like a twelve-year-old.

Then again, her parents are hardly the best role models....


Dec. 27th, 2016 08:00 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I finally got to relax a bit yesterday. I noodled around on the computer. I called MyAuntie and talked to her for two hours. I watched a movie. I did fuck-all in the way of housework (which means I have dishes to wash this morning, but that's okay). It was good.

Today, though, is going to be a little busier. I decided a week or so ago that it is time to get rid of all the But I Might Be Able To Wear That Again Someday clothing that I've been hanging onto for years. I will never again be the size I was in college, so it's time to get rid of those jeans. I won't even be the size I was after my first divorce, so it's time to get rid of those jeans (and skirts and t-shirts and sweaters and so on) as well. Whether I save them for next summer's garage sale or simply bag them up and take them to a drop box remains to be seen. Anyway, that's the plan for this afternoon. Or maybe this morning (after the dishes). Given all the various things I have squirrelled away, it'll probably take a few hours. And maybe along the way, I'll find the tub of winter clothing that is apparently just missing.

It is warmer this morning than it has been, but it's the windy warmth of weather that is going to get sharply colder by noon. (Dammit.) It was also quite a lot darker during walkies than it has been because most of the snow has melted over the last two days. Only the banks and piles from plows and shovels are left. That won't last long; I'm sure there will be more snow soon, though perhaps not today. Today, I think, is for sleet and freezing rain once the temperature starts to fall. The early sky was lovely, though: clear and starry and the tiny sliver of old moon had just risen when we were out.

BFT and I are finally going to go see Rogue One tonight. We were going to go yesterday, but both agreed that we needed pajama days. I would prefer to go earlier than 7:30, but she is not on vacation this week. Ah, well -- it gives me time to sort the clothing, right?


Dec. 22nd, 2016 08:46 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am sitting here this morning thinking about how nice it would be if women's clothing were truly warm. I am wearing a tank top under a mock turtleneck under a heavy sweater over a pair of sweatpants and am still not as warm as I would like. I was looking in my drawers this morning for something warm to wear and all I had were office-worthy sweaters (i. e., not at all heavy) and sweatshirts that are not suitable for wearing out. Normally it wouldn't bother me, but I have numerous errands to run today -- lucky Jack is going to Go For A Ride! -- and then I'm going out to dinner tonight. As it is, I think that the sweater I am wearing (which I got at a garage sale some years ago) is actually a men's sweater. It's a heavy cable knit in navy blue and I have to roll the sleeves back by the whole width of the cuffs.

I have also come to the conclusion that it is time to let go of all the When I Lose Weight clothing. I own some lovely things that I have always hoped to size back down into, but they're just taking up space, and I'm not going to lose enough weight ever to fit into size twelve jeans again because I was 110 pounds when I wore those, and not entirely finished growing. I came to this conclusion when I realized this morning that I am missing at least one tub of winter clothing and I can't find it. I have many tubs of clothing, and when I opened them, they're all Stuff I Grew Out Of. I'll allow myself to keep one tub's worth of things (like that pink sweater with the navy stripe that I adore), but otherwise? Time to go.

Sorting it all will give me something to do on my vacation....

There is so much to be done today and tomorrow to get ready for company on Sunday. The bathroom needs to be cleaned, the addition needs to be dusted and straightened, I need to make sure I have enough chairs, otherwise I'll have to have someone bring a couple, the kitchen needs to be spiffed, the living room needs to be vacuumed and possibly dusted. The Bat Catching Kit can probably be relocated to the garage for now (a box with a clear glass dish to cover a resting bat, a tupperware container for if the bat is on a wall or similar instead of a shelf or floor, a piece of glass from a picture frame to slide under the container, and a badminton racket for desperate measures. I would never use that last, but a friend at work insisted that I must have one). The chair that the Gecko favors (the one I'm going to have to burn when I no longer require her services) needs to have its coverings laundered and possibly a good spraying with Febreeze. And maybe -- just maybe -- I'll clean up my writing desk which has a coloring project spread out all over it.

Speaking of which, yesterday was the office Christmas party. My unit ordered lunches from my favorite place (Caribbean salad, yum!), and then had a gift exchange of the sort where you pick your gift from a pile and the next person in line can either steal yours or pick a new one and so on. Last year when we did this, we had numerous steals, but this year, only one person stole a gift from someone else, and the last person to go ended up with her own gift and was happy enough. But the reason that talking about coloring projects reminded me is because I took a coloring book and box of colored pencils as my gift. I came home with a nice houndstooth checked scarf. Not too shabby. And I had Caribbean salad for supper, too. (Those suckers are BIG.)

I finished Murder in Montparnasse last night, and realized that I forgot to add a finished book to my list, so I only need to read two more to make it to my goal for this year. I might be able to manage that now that vacation is here at last....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Another busy day ahead of me: in the classic way of housecleaning, in order to get the rooms I cleaned yesterday presentable, a lot of the clutter was just moved elsewhere. The library and my office were already sties, and now they're much, much worse. So that's my plan for today. Plus, of course, I have dishes to do as the disposable dishes my mother brought with her last night were not the dishes she thought they were, so we ended up using my dishes. Which is fine, but it means I have dishes to wash.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have to say that I missed the turkey dinner far more than I expected to. I have leftover lasagna, and plenty of it, and a couple of pieces of pie, hot turkey sandwiches today unless I go out somewhere and get some turkey. Which I might do....

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

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

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

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

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

(And he probably will.)

He seems worse this autumn than he did last autumn.

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

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

Well, and maybe pie. I hope there's pie later to make up for the sheer amount of work I now have to do.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's Saturday again. I was thinking that I could finally have a weekend to just relax, but then the sun came out this morning, and I knew I'd have to try to get the fallen leaves mulched before the showers that were in the forecast moved in and brought down more. You've got to stay ahead of them or they just drift over the lawnmower when you're trying to take care of them.

My neighbor, whose regular job is a groundskeeper, also does lawns and a bit of handy-work on the side. He was mowing Mrs T's lawn this morning (across the street) at 9:30. I didn't get out there until 10:30, and I was mowing -- with short breaks to let the mower cool down every time it ran out of gas -- until 2:30. Ack. But I got it finished...for now. And as far as I know, it still hasn't rained. It's the sort of grey day where you look out the window and expect it to be at most 50°, but when you actually go outside, it's in the mid-60s. The wind was from the south, earlier; I'm not certain if it has tracked around back to the west or not.

Of my Saturday chores, I'm down to laundry. It's time to move the drying from the backyard to the basement (though I did hang my furniture cover-towels out there this morning; it was windy enough that they were nearly dry by the time I was ready to mow under them and brought them in), so I cleaned the lines this morning. I won't be doing any laundry tonight, though; it can wait until the morning, and if it doesn't dry by Monday morning, that's fine, since I'll be wearing a costume on Monday.

Yes, I am finally doing my Dorothy Goes To College costume; it has been in my head for about a decade, and I finally decided to go ahead and get the pieces. It's incredibly difficult to find a blue gingham shirt, but I did find something approximate (it's not gingham, but close enough for government work (said the government worker)). And the checks even have thin red lines running through them which will match my red sneakers. Okay, here's the costume: a blue-and-white checked collared shirt over a white t-shirt (probably long-sleeved), jeans, bright red sneakers, hair in braids, and a backpack with a Little Dog Too sticking out of it. I'll have to carry the backpack around all day (maybe I'll do a messenger bag) so that people really get it, but it's simple and doesn't involve wrangling long skirts like wearing my SCA garb does.

I am annoyed about the shoes, though. I ordered a pair of $60 Propét sneakers, partly because they were bright red and partly because I'd been curious about the brand for a while. These get shown a lot as good walking shoes for travelers, so I was extra curious about them. Wow. Talk about disappointing. They have almost no padding and very little arch support in them. I wouldn't walk across the street to the mailbox in them, let alone walk all over Paris (for example). In fact, I picked up a $7 pair of bright red bobos at Wal-Mart this morning that has just as much padding. So the Propéts are getting boxed up and shipped back, and I will remove the padding from my regular sneakers and put it in the bobos for the day.

(Do people still call cheap sneakers "bobos?" That was what they were called when I was a kid. You didn't want to get caught dead in bobos, and that was, of course, all my parents would buy for us.)

I did decide to go to the SCA meeting last night. It was held at a Tim Horton's, and after about twenty minutes of sitting there with no one buying anything, I finally got up and went to the counter and bought a hot chocolate before the employees decided to chuck us out. They were pressuring me to have meetings at a restaurant instead of at the library when I was seneschal, and I always pointed out that it wasn't fair to people who were short on cash to have meetings in a place where you had to buy something to stay. As usual, no one sees it my way.

Anyway, the substance of the meeting was that we have gone from 60 paid members at the shire's beginning to fourteen paid members currently. I am not one of them. This is the main measurement that the kingdom uses to decide whether a group is in trouble or not. The shire to the east is worse off; they have only four paid members and less than $500 in the bank. We don't spend much, so we're better off (though I don't know if we actually have an exchequer at the moment). We have also not had an event in...two years? Three? I think the Hallowtide where I got my Cornelian was the last event we had.

No one, apparently, wants to see the shire dissolve, and even Current Seneschal, who is a big Bash-Them-With-Sticks guy wants to see more A&S. I don't know what's actually going to happen, though, and am still not certain whether I care or not. I mostly went so that I could hand over the shire's Big Black Book (which I should have handed over in January, so it's a good thing there's nothing terribly vital in it) which I found on a shelf recently. I am still deciding whether or not to dive back in....

The dumpster is gone. I am really pleased with the company that I rented it from. They delivered it when they said they would, they were friendly on the phone, and when I called on Thursday to say that I was finished with it and they could pick it up, they seemed genuinely interested in whether or not it worked out for me, and pleased when I said that it had. They told me that they would pick it up either that same day or on Friday; I expected them to come for it on Friday since it was pouring on Thursday -- but when I got home at lunch time, it was gone. So, yay. That worked out and the charge wasn't horrible. If only everything was that simple.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Right. Time to go find some clothing I don't care about getting oil on....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I have just come in from the garage where I was collapsing cardboard boxes and stuffing them into the recycling bin to go out to the curb tonight. (Well, to the foot of the driveway, anyway, since there are no curbs in my neighborhood, since it is technically country.) The recycling bin is now full, so I was tossing loose papers and small boxes on top, when I came to the box of cigar boxes that HTWIWM had squirreled away in the basement...and I paused. I can see the appeal of keeping them around. Even the plain cardboard ones are nice, but the ones made of thin wood? Those are really nice, and I could recover them in wrapping paper or Contact Paper or fabric and make really nice boxes out of them. And goodness knows, even thin boxes can be useful to have around -- especially when one is a hoarder connoisseur of office supplies such as myself.

And so the cigar boxes were spared....

Since this is my 9-5 week, evening time is at a premium. Monday night, I did just come home and collapse because Monday was One Of Those Days. The phone rang off the hook and I was constantly being interrupted. People came in to see me and stayed an hour. One Of Those Days. Last night, I came home and rushed to mow the front yard (and mulch the leaves under the maple tree) before it a) rained, and b) the mower ran out of gas. Fortunately, I managed both, though the air was so heavy it felt like it was already raining -- even though no actual water fell from the sky until well after dark. But that meant that I didn't really have time for messing about with the dumpster and hauling more stuff.

Fortunately, I knew that would be the case, so yesterday morning, I hauled a bunch more stuff upstairs -- some of the stuff that HTWIWM had collected for Halloween staging. He had almost an entire shelving unit stuffed with old radio parts, things with lots of dials and scopes and switches and so forth, all very '40s-ish. I hauled them all out to the curb yesterday, figuring if he liked them for Halloween, maybe someone else would. And if no one took them by the time I got home from work, then I'd toss them in the dumpster. They were still there at lunchtime, but gone in the evening.

This morning, I didn't haul anything new up, just spent some time dealing with what got hauled up yesterday (other than the Mad Scientist stuff), which was mostly empty cardboard boxes which were mostly put down there by me back when I was still selling things on eBay. HTWIWM is not entirely to blame for the mess down there -- only mostly. Like 95%.

I went upstairs a little bit ago to scoop the litter box only to find it unused. But I could smell ammonia.... So I went hunting in the Spare Oom with the blacklight, but couldn't find any new spots. Nor could I find any wet spots. I guess at some point, I'm going to have to rent a carpet cleaner and take all the furniture out of that room (fortunately, not much and nothing I can't manage on my own) and simply clean the carpet within an inch of its life.

I expect today to be a bit quiet in the office since a good chunk of my unit has to go to Buffalo for training. I'm hoping it's everyone in my corner so maybe I'll have a little peace today. That would be nice, since I have a lot of old cases I need to get through. And a lot of new ones for that matter....
malinaldarose: (Default)
So the dumpster was delivered while I was at work on Friday. They set it down pretty much where I asked them to, on the south side of the driveway. I'm not certain why I thought they would put it with the hatches facing the house; a moment's thought would have shown that to be impractical. It's taller than I expected at the back; I need to use a broom to be able to get the leverage to flip the hatches open -- but that's fine because it means there's more room at the back, and a lot of what's left is lighter stuff that I ought to be able to loft back there with little difficulty.

But I get ahead of myself.

Yesterday morning, I got up with my alarm clock a little after 5:00 a.m. Then followed the usual morning routine: pilling the cat and the dog, feeding same, brushing teeth (mine), walking dog, and so on. A grocery run came next, then I had an appointment to get my roots touched up and my ends trimmed at 8:30. Waiting for the color to bake was pretty much the last chance I had to really relax for the rest of the day.

I got home about 10:00, checked Facebook and email to make sure no one was cancelling on me, put drinks in the fridge to get cold, and basically got ready for people to be in my house. (I never have people in my house, so it's weird for me.)

J2 showed up first, then J1 -- who had my Delta check, so I will have to make sure I get to the bank on Monday -- then Second Boyfriend (who used to have a LiveJournal, but he hasn't posted in years, and I can't remember his user name). We went down to the basement, and they marveled at the amount of junk down there. At one point, I was conversing with Second Boyfriend who was friends with both me and HTWIWM in high school (and remains, so far as I know, friends with HTWIWM) about the amount of crap down there. I was skirting the issue of why there was so much stuff down there. "Oh, you know," I said, "he liked to have stuff if he needed it." "He's a hoarder," SB said. "Let's just call it what it is."

So much for diplomacy.... Bird showed up shortly after that, and the party really got rolling.

We got a metric fucktonne of stuff out of the basement, though. All of the computers are gone, as well as other sundry junque. The recliner was the first thing to go; the J-sisters hauled that upstairs and disposed of it. The roll of carpeting remains; I don't think it will actually fit in the dumpster. Actually, a lot of stuff remains. I would probably need two dumpsters -- possibly three -- to get rid of it all. But it's a good start.

After a break for lunch, we moved the drywall from the breezeway into the garage, so I can finally have my nice breezeway that I've wanted ever since moving into this house. Of course, it's a little too late in the year to enjoy it this year -- there actually is a wall furnace out there, but I'm reasonably certain that HTWIWM capped the gas line or moved it so that it went to the furnace in the garage instead.

We did start a pile of scrap metal, so I have to figure out when and how to get that taken care of. There are two scrap metal places locally (that I know of, anyway), and I'm certain either will work. I'll probably go to the nearer one. We actually found a fair amount of copper -- without having to strip power cords, as my mother suggested.

I am pleased with what we got done yesterday, though I also feel as though I did relatively little of it myself, and I feel slightly ashamed of that. Mind you, I am sore as anything today and have a raging headache, so I must have done more than I feel like I did. The dumpster is about three-quarters full and I have it for all of this week and most of next, so a lot more stuff will be going out. I was going to take today off because it was supposed to rain, but the weather forecast has changed since last night, and now it's supposed to be only cloudy and quite warm for October (high of 73°), so I may do some more hauling. Or I may just go in the backyard and mow/mulch leaves, because they've only started to come down and it's probably a good idea to try to stay ahead of them.

After I posted on FB yesterday to publicly thank my friends and my sister, my mother commented that she was sorry that she and Dad "forgot" to show up. I did not respond with what I was thinking: that I hadn't been counting on them to show up because they never do. (Though to be fair, if it's an emergency, they do. On the other hand, one does get tired of broken promises.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
After all the fuss and running around of last week, I was really looking forward to having a nice quiet day off. Unfortunately....

I was awakened at about 5:30 a.m. by something running around in the attic. A squirrel or a mouse or a chipmunk. Possibly even a bat, but I think not; they'd glide, mostly. Besides, I heard it scrabbling on the outside of the house first, so probably an actual rodent of some sort.

I noticed, when I took the dog for a walk, that my neighbor had parked his trailer in the street, which is very unusual, but I figured he must need to take it out somewhere this morning.

And then, about 8:00 a.m., while I was sitting here in my not-exactly-jammies-but-still-comfy-clothes noodling about on the computer, a bunch of trucks pulled up, and when I peeked out the window, I saw the logo on the trailer.


Godfuckingdammit! The neighbor to the south -- the side of the house my office is on -- is having his roof replaced. So much for my peace and quiet. And about an hour ago, the radio came on.

I was wavering about whether or not I should go mow my grandmother's lawn today. It's going to be a nice day, but it's also my last day off and the only one of five that I've had to myself, so I was planning to just laze about and enjoy the peace. Yeah. Guess I might just as well go mow; it won't take that long, and then it'll be done for a couple of weeks. Maybe I can just take a book and hang out in Gram's house for a couple of hours....

Ugh. On the other hand, I just remembered that the neighbor reports that my brother is at the house almost every day. Suddenly the thought of going up there is much less appealing.

In other news, I just arranged to have a dumpster delivered, and I got the smaller one, so I hope Friend P is correct that the recliner in the basement is only held together with a couple of screws. I just hope that everyone who said they'd help does.

No Mow...

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

Um. Tangent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It never did.

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

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

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

But that's for next weekend. I have to get through this weekend with my family first....
malinaldarose: (Default)
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.


(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).
malinaldarose: (Default)
Monday. Why is it always Monday? I didn't sleep well (after the excitement -- fight or flight -- of the bat), plus I didn't get to bed until an hour or more after my usual bedtime, plus it was Sunday night, when I often don't sleep well, anyway. So I'm not particularly bright and shiny this morning.

One of the things I am doing this week is a bit of cleaning so that I don't return home to a mess. I was vacuuming yesterday and moved the chair in the living room to clean behind it -- after picking up all of the bits of litter in front of it. I found another pile of used Q-Tip ends, a drink-mix tube, and a sunflower seed. I knew, of course, that she completely ignored my prohibition on eating in the living room, but the sunflower seed really pissed me off. And then I found the cup ring on my piano.

She's been putting drinks on my piano. There's a TV tray right next to the chair and it's there for a reason! And still she puts things on the piano. I also noticed that she's been shoving things on the bookshelf on the other side of the chair out of her way; my little Eiffel Tower figure was knocked all askew and there was a dead mechanical pencil on the shelf.

I am not happy. Did I mention that I was not happy. She is such a useless waste of protoplasm. Honestly, I think I'd be better off to invest in a Resuci-Annie and prop it in that chair.


Mr. and/or Ms. Bat was gone from where I left him and/or her last evening. I was a bit worried because after I set him and/or her on the ground and lifted the baking dish away (and this time, I'm going to hang onto it for the next Bat Emergency because there will be another one), he and/or she just laid and/or crouched there. I hope he and/or she wasn't sick and carried off by one of the feral cats, but I suspect that he and/or she was just stunned because the first time I tried to move him and/or her, before I decided to find something sturdier than cardboard, he and/or she set up such a racket. He and/or she was absolutely outraged and was chittering so loudly that I could hear it across the room (even muffled by Pyrex), and I could count all of his and/or her teeny little teeth. (Picture a teeny-tiny Fizzgig with wings.) So I think he and/or she probably deafened him- and/or herself.

I am hoping today will be quiet at work. I have a meeting this morning, which will, I hope, be short, on how to process spousal long term home health care applications -- there's always some confusion about those, so this is probably a good thing. I want to comb through another section of the SSI cases, and, of course, I need to get my recerts and undercare finished since I won't be around for payroll this month. (Payroll is next Friday, and I'll be in Alaska. Darn.) And my senior started bugging me on Friday about getting pending cases done, even though my pending is really low (since the caseload split) and the ones she's bugging me about aren't due until the end of the month, so I have at least a week and a half after I get back to finish them -- and I've told her repeatedly that I won't deny cases ten days into the process when I have forty-five to get them done, dammit. (Granted, if people haven't responded within those first ten days, it's likely they won't, but jeez.)

Right. I need to go write a note for a gecko informing her that she is not to put things on my piano. And then I need to go hunt up some coasters for when she does it anyway. Stupid cow.
malinaldarose: (Default)
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, 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....
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.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Grama is still in the hospital. She didn't see the doctor at all yesterday, nor did they perform the test they were supposed to. Gram was not best pleased. We'll see if she gets discharged today.

The weather turned just about the time the weather seers said it would. We had...I'm not sure what. Sleet? Freezing rain? Freezing sleet? Anyway, it's supposed to be warmer and rainy today, so the stuff that's piled up should melt.

I was a bit concerned about how slippery it was going to be for walkies this morning, but there was more danger from the plow, I think, than the stuff on the road. Still, walkies was slow and short. Jack doesn't like it when I walk slowly; he pulls a lot more then. Tough.

Today's plan is to go upstairs shortly and work in my bedroom for a couple of hours. I haven't cleaned up there in quite some time, and there are dust elephants in the corners. Plus I haven't cleaned up the splinters from the lat time Jack attached the windows, so I need to do that. I may also hang some art on the walls up there, as that is another room that is never going to get finished, so I may as well go ahead and stop saving the art for that mythical time when my house is complete.

Someone posted an "Angels have the phone box" photo on Facebook, with eight or so Christmas angel figurines. I have decided that I'm going to have to go up to Gram's house and take one with her angel collection. I'll show those amateurs....

Actually, I do have to go up there to see if I can locate the Yak Trax in the closet, assuming my brother hasn't already absconded with them.

But not today. I am going to have at least one day when I don't leave the house and I get to snuggle on the couch, dammit! Yesterday, I had to go out for groceries, then just as I was getting a movie started, my mother called to tell me that Gram was still in the hospital -- which I already knew because I'd called MyAuntie and talked to her for over an hour.

It's a conspiracy, I tell you.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am waiting for my parents to show up with the first part of the Christmas feast. My mother will be in a foul mood because she always is on the holidays. Dad will be quiet -- Dad's always quiet. I probably get it from him.

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

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

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

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

Ye gods. Has it been so long?

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

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

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

Jack treed himself a cat this morning. When we went outside to hang the towels, there were two cats in the yard. One was right by the low spot and zipped under the fence. I don't think the other realized that there was a dog in the yard, and then couldn't find, or couldn't get to, the low spot. Anyway, s/he zipped up the maple tree and sat there for a bit, but then inexplicably decided that the Dog Threat Was Gone and crawled back down. The Dog Threat Was Not Gone and noticed the cat immediately. Fortunately, the Dog Threat also responded to his mistress' voice when she told him to leave the damned cat alone.... Of course, by that time, the cat was back in the tree, so that probably had a lot to do with it.

The S-Word

Nov. 22nd, 2015 08:04 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
The forecast for today contains the s-word, the phrase "lake effect," and the word "inches." Now, mind you, here, we will probably get a dusting if we get anything at all. It's other parts of the county that get affected by lake effect snow. Still, I'm not best pleased. It was cold and windy while I was walking Jack this morning, and we went for an extra-long walk because it's Sunday. He enjoyed it. He kept giving me the side-eye and grinning at me.

And speaking of Jack, I guess I'm going to scrape together the money for the fee for the local dog whisperer. Maybe when my mother asks me what I want for Christmas, I'll tell her that I just want help with that fee. The rescue place didn't call me back so that I could go out there yesterday, but I didn't really expect them to. I expect that the scrap of paper on which she wrote my name and address was promptly lost as she claimed to be in the middle of six separate things and hadn't actually been intending to answer the phone.

Like so many other people, I have gotten into coloring lately, and am loving it. I use gel pens mostly, because coloring with pencils really aggravates my wrist and elbow. As it is, my wrist and elbow aren't happy with me, and I suppose I should break out the wrist brace that I use when I crochet or cross stitch. I have quite the collection of coloring books now, as I've picked up several for myself and got a couple for my birthday, including the Harry Potter one (which is going to need pencils for parts).

When I was in my early twenties and newly married (to my first husband), I had only a part time job, so I was mainly a housewife (ah, the good old days). The only adult coloring books in those days were huge, poster-sized things with half a dozen or so drawings. I had one that was either fantasy-based or fashion-based (think Gibson Girl)...or maybe both. Anyway, I remember a day that I didn't have to work, or didn't have to work until the evening shift, anyway (I worked retail), and I sat down at the dining room table with this huge coloring book. And I spent a couple of hours working on whatever it was...and I still remember how guilty I felt about it: Here I was wasting all this time that I could have spent doing housework or writing, and I was coloring like a little girl.

Ah, how things change.

Speaking of house cleaning, I still have tons of work to do. I feel like I spent all day yesterday working and accomplished basically nothing. But I wrote out checks for Grama, balanced my own check book and paid my own bills, filed paperwork that had been lying around and piling up since August, changed the filter in the shop vac, though I still couldn't get it to work properly (I need it to clean up drywall dust by the back door), ran the (regular) vacuum in the kitchen and my office, did laundry, and so forth.

Well. I'll work for a couple of hours today, maybe just on the library, then spend time this afternoon putting my trip photos into albums so that Grama can look at them when she comes for dinner.


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