DAMMIT!!

Mar. 16th, 2017 09:00 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
The furnace isn't lighting. It was on this morning when I got up, which was as it should be. While I was walking the dog, the thermostat changed over to daytime settings. When I got home, I overrode them, then went upstairs to find clothing for the day. While I faffed around upstairs, I didn't pay any attention to the furnace, but when I got downstairs again, it occurred to me that I hadn't yet heard the fan come on. Checked the thermostat; setting was correct, but temperature was down another degree and a half.

Odd, thought I, but I suppose it's cold enough for the temperature to fall before the fan comes on. So I went to take my shower. Saw the lights dim a bit and assumed that was the fan coming on finally.

Nope. Not the fan. Because the furnace never lit.

I tried changing the batteries in the thermostat since I couldn't remember if I'd changed them in the fall or not, but that didn't help. (And I had to run out to buy batteries, too.) I didn't really expect it to.

The guy I've called before has a Facebook page now, so I messaged him, but haven't heard back. It's not yet normal business hours, though, so I'll wait another forty minutes or so. If I haven't heard from him by 9:30, I'll try actually calling him.

The temperature is down to 61°. I keep it set at 66°, and I know it got up to that earlier. It's...chilly. (Where "chilly" equals "damn cold.")

When my brother showed up with the Gecko, I had him leave her; if I can get someone to come out and look at the thing, I'll go to work later because I was NOT planning on being off today.

I'm already trying to figure out what I'll need to do in order to camp out at Grama's tonight....
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 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....
---
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)
Oh, man, is my back sore this morning. It took me two and a half hours (at least) to clear the driveway yesterday. I lugged the snowblower out, but apparently snowblowers are the winter equivalent of lawnmowers and the Lawnmower Curse struck. Which is to say that I couldn't get the damned thing started. So it sat on the sidewalk mocking me while I shoveled and shoveled and shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more. Usually when we get as much snow as we did, I only clear half my driveway, but since my brother is often sitting in the drive when I get home from work, I cleared both lanes. Because he sure as hell wouldn't do it, and I'm pretty sure he'd block me out of my own driveway if I only cleared half of it.

So. Sore back, and lots of ibuprofen. Yay.

The rest of my snow day was quiet. I read the last novella in Side Jobs, so my book count for this year stands at 4, although I have also read more than 70,000 words in an excellent Star Wars fic (set in the years before the latest movie) which has one more chapter to be posted. Last evening, I watched the first three episodes of Elementary courtesy of Hulu because Netflix doesn't have it. (I bought myself a Roku stick for my birthday.)

Today starts with a dentist appointment. Well, technically, today started with me shutting off my alarm clock, but one gets the point. And one will get the point, painfully, and several times, in a little over an hour. That is the second of this week's appointments, then I have a doctor appointment after work this afternoon, which will be the third.

I still haven't figured out what to get my father for his birthday. I'm so desperate that I considered getting him one of those retro candy boxes, but my mother would probably have a fit. He and Mom make frequent trips to the Buffalo area; maybe I should just get him a restaurant gift card. I could give him the one they gave me for Xmas; they'll be in a position to use it way before I will....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Merlin is put out with me because I am still occupying his throne (aka "my desk chair"). He is sitting next to my desk giving me an earful about that. Given that it's nearly 11:00 a.m., I should probably be listening to him. I should probably be out engaging in spring poonstix: picking up the fallen tree bits, picking up a winter's worth of poo, trimming the rose bushes (though I think one of them may have finally died the death), cutting back the grape vines before they really get going and strangle the lilacs, and so on. I should probably also be hauling the lawnmower out to take to the repair shop since portions of my lawn could already use mowing. (Seasons in western NY: Shovel, shovel, mulch the leaves, mow the grass)

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

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

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

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

It's going to look fabulous in my living room. (No, I haven't unpacked it yet, because I got home from work yesterday afternoon, picked up my spare change and went back out to the bank to open a savings account. Yes. I had a lot of spare change, because my spare change not only includes my change jar, but a small box into which I toss ones (and occasionally fives) when I have extras. Probably I should've used it to get my lawnmower repaired, instead, but I didn't. So there.)
malinaldarose: (dobby)
Today is Ice Dragon in the Hael. I had thought, at one point, that I would go this year, but as this week dragged on, I decided that I really didn't feel like navigating Buffalo roads.

Then I thought that maybe I'd just have a pajama day, though I generally reserve Sundays for that. But after a glass of soda and the perusal of my email, LJ, and FB, I was ready to go for groceries. Which pissed me off because WickedMart had no registers open other than the self checkouts, which I loathe. I was actually angry enough over the whole thing (because self checkouts are difficult to maneuver when you have a full cart of groceries, including heavy stuff) that I sent feedback. I've never actually done that before.

Oh, ugh. There are giggling teenage girls on my front porch. I really need to get a chain or something to keep people from coming to my front door. You'd think the weeds growing over the steps would be a Big Clue that the door is unused.

No, I didn't answer the door. They appear to be collecting cans and bottles, though, judging by the plastic bag one of them is carrying and the bags in the bed of the pickup that is shadowing them. Presumably, it's something school-related. (Church-related would mean Sunday.)

And, great; my mailbox is not quite facing the road. Neighbors must have hit it again.

I could use a nap, and I think as soon as the idling pickup moves on a bit, I'll go upstairs and have one. Right now, though, it's idling at the end of my driveway.

I did put on my Homeowner Panties this morning and tore down the remaining foamboard and removed the insulation from the front of the garage. (And I did wear a mask, whether I actually needed one or not.) It looks even worse, in my opinion, but my best friend declares otherwise. The only good thing about the exercise is that I discovered that the ground has thawed enough under the driveway that I could get the swinging garage doors open enough to move the trash and recyling bins. Naturally, I discovered this after I had unloaded six bags of used kitty litter from the bottom of the trash bin (figure 80 pounds altogether) and hauled the bin out through the breezeway. Since I had all of that insulation to dispose of, I was going to leave both bins in the driveway until I could get the doors open. Then, when I opened the doors to squeeze bags through, they opened far enough to get the bins through. So I ended up putting them back into the garage. Figures, right?
malinaldarose: (Default)
It occurs to me to wonder if the drive belt on the motor was tightened a bit, if the fan would run faster and push hot air through the house more quickly. Alternate Furnace Guy said that part of the problem was that the belt was too tight -- but that motor was also supposed to have oil in it, and motors that are supposed to have oil in them and don't will fail. It's just a question of when. Anyway, he left the belt loose. Maybe that's all it is?

(I have been out for groceries; it is now 8:37 a.m. The furnace thinks it's 9:37 a.m., which means that it has been running for three hours and fifty-two minutes and the temperature has gone from 60 ° to 64.5°. With another two or three degrees to go before the thermostat calls it good, it could run for another couple of hours.)
malinaldarose: (bra'tac explanation)
I'm not certain whether I woke up at 4:45 a.m. because it was getting on toward time to wake up anyway or because that's when the furnace cycles on for the day. The furnace is still not right. The motor seems to be working just fine, but it's not heating properly now. After Alternate Furnace Guy left the other afternoon, the furnace ran for something like four hours straight, and the thermostat showed that it was up to the set temperature for Quite Some Time before it finally shut down. Yesterday morning, it came on and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran and...well, you get the idea. When it came time to cycle down for the day, the temperature in the house had only gone up a degree or so -- and then the fan shut down. I pulled the batteries from the thermostat (I don't think I changed them in the fall when I should have) and put in new ones and shortly thereafter, the furnace came back on. I went to work with the thermostat setting overridden to bring the house up to 66° (which was where it was trying to go to begin with), and that's where it was at lunchtime. In fact, that's where it stayed all day because it was warm here yesterday (for certain values of warm) and very sunny. The temperature in the house didn't fall below 66° until after the thermostat settings had gone down for the night. And as it was, I overrode them for the night (from 55° to 60°). The furnace has now been on (that I know of for certain, anyway) for an hour and forty-five minutes and the temperature is now 62.5°.

I could cry. In fact, yesterday morning, when the furnace suddenly shut down, I did, a little.

Alternate Furnace Guy was telling me the other day how much less he charges for a new furnace installation than the Big Guys. Since I was with him the whole time, I'm pretty sure he didn't sabotage the thing; I think he was just confirming what Regular Furnace Guy told me a few years back, that eventually, the thing was going to have to be replaced. So I think Alternate Furnace Guy was just drumming up business, which is fine. But the only money I have right now was earmarked for my France trip. But I can't have the furnace running for hours and hours at a time, either.

I was telling With An Eye yesterday the whole saga, and she asked for Alternate Furnace Guy's name. "Oh, yes," she said, "he's great. We call him for everything." So there's that.

The joys, everyone always says, of homeownership. I tell ya, it was a lot more joyful when I had help with this stuff. For one thing, HTWIWM would have been able to fix all of this himself, so the only cost to us would have been the new motor.

I hope the paper mill he lives near is really stinky right now. And I hope the new wife is a Major Shrew.
---
In other news, my snowdrops have finally sprouted. I probably won't take any pictures of them, though, because they are surrounded by deer poo. Not exactly an elegant subject for photography. I noticed the other day that the upper half of the rose hips (the ones I was taking pictures of earlier this season) are now gone. I guess the deer decided it was time to get up on their hind legs and get those last ones. Either that, or it was birds. My mother informs me, as usual, that the robins are back, but I still haven't spotted one -- and neither has she. She can feel them, you know. Hear them is probably more accurate.

I went yesterday morning for my blood pressure check because I have now been on the medication for two weeks. 120/62, which is, I believe, completely normal. I'm not as excited about this as I might be because the nurse who took it is the same nurse who took it at my physical when it was 122/70 or something like that, but when the doc took it ten minutes later, it was back up to where it was usually. So I'm not certain this nurse can do the math properly. Anyway, I am directed to continue on the medication and call for refills when I need them. I don't have another appointment until August.

Here's my problem with the meds: it feels like a personal failure to have to take them. I wasn't good enough to keep my blood pressure down. Doesn't matter what my genetics might dictate (both my parents have high blood pressure), I wasn't good enough. Wasn't careful enough. Didn't moderate my habits. And this daily medication is the price of failure.

And I'm fucking freezing because my fucking furnace isn't working properly.

Maybe I will go cry, after all.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Thursdays hate me. I just thought I'd point that out.

The garbage dudes have just come and gone -- naturally, fifteen minutes after I went out in my jammies (and heavy coat) to haul the cans back up to the house. I discovered last night that my garage doors were not jammed shut with ice and snow as I had thought. Oh, no, it's much more fun than that. There is a crack across the concrete in the driveway, and the surface has heaved upward so that the doors, which swing outward, get caught. There are three possible solutions: 1) trim the bottom of the doors, which would necessitate taking them down and putting them back up, 2) just taking the doors down and getting rid of them, 3) replacing the driveway. I can't afford to have the driveway replaced (though it needs it; that crack is not the only problem), and I doubt very much that I could get anyone to help me with taking the doors down and putting them back up, so I guess the doors will just have to come down and go away...which I will probably also not be able to get anyone to help me with.

Let me explain the doors. When HTWIWM put his wood shop out in the garage, he did several things. He built a second floor into the garage, since there was height enough. He installed a furnace. He insulated the shit out of everything (but, as in the house, did not put, you know, walls over the insulation). He put swinging doors over the regular garage door in the first bay (it's a two-car garage) for insulation and for added security. (The second overhead door hasn't been opened in probably a decade, and does, in fact, have insulation and foam over the outside of it, though I suppose I'm going to have to make that go away this summer, since critters have nested in it and basically ruined it. But I digress.) Now that the driveway has heaved, I can open the swinging doors only far enough for me to slip through them sideways, and both doors have to be opened for that. No way I can get anything else out through them. I had to maneuver the recyling wheelie bin through the breezeway last night, which meant, basically, lifting it high enough to get it up the step between the garage and the breezeway. No way I was trying that with the garbage bin which has four sacks of used kitty litter in it. I'll have to unload it to get it outside. (Garbage went to the curb in the metal can that I had left outside back when there was too much snow and ice to get the doors open; that can never went back inside because I'm lazy.)

Anyway. When he built those doors, he actually went to the trouble of making them fit in with the rest of the house. I like the added security. I like that no one can just come up and peer into the garage. I like the doors. And now, like everything else, they're fucked.

I can't blame him for the winter and the heaving of the concrete. I can blame him for the doors, and for everything that's wrong with this house, and for breaking promises and sticking me with it. Sometimes I think that maybe I, too, should cut my losses and run away.
malinaldarose: (dobby)
The last time I vacuumed my house was the weekend prior to my surgery. (Mid-November, for those playing along at home, two months ago. Actually, more than two months ago, since my surgery was two months ago today.) Since then, I either couldn't, or didn't have time, or just put it off until later. I determined that today was the day. When I started, the vacuum smelled strongly of vacuum -- old dust, warm air, pet fur. I hadn't checked the canister and realized halfway through my first room that it was full, so I emptied it. Went back to work. Finished the back room, did the library, moved into the kitchen -- the kitchen rug is always nasty just because of the amount of traffic that the kitchen gets. Finished that, did the laundry room rug, moved into the dining room. The smell from the vacuum had been getting stronger, and at about the same time I realized that it now smelled of burning motor, I spotted the wisps of smoke. It took me about ten seconds to get it unplugged and ejected from the house, and it is now getting snowed on out on the patio.

What a pain in the ass. I only bought that vacuum a couple of years back, and it has hardly been overused. (I may have mentioned that I'm not the best housekeeper in the world?) Replacing it was not something I was planning on....

*sigh* And now that I'm thinking of household chores again (I took a break to read and feel sorry for myself), I'm remembering that I have sheets in the dryer to go back on the bed. But that's going to have to wait because I have to get ready to go out to my doctor appointment.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I just spent half an hour practicing my French on Duolingo. It's entertaining, and my brain is beginning to remember things from college (when I actually majored in Modern Languages, at least for the second half of my college career). I was actually inducted into Pi Delta Phi (the French National Honor Society) my senior year, but I think they must have been just a little desperate for members, 'cause I was certainly never that good. Well, I suppose my grades were that good, because I could test well and read well and -- for my level of knowledge -- write tolerably well. I just couldn't speak well!

And, oh, look, my alma mater actually has a Greek-lettered chapter name. How come I never knew about this until now?

I suppose, since I have done that, and read email and LJ, I should bestir myself to finish up a few things on my do-list. There are stacks of papers in the library that need to be filed, and I should probably start putting away the 2013 papers to make way for the 2014 papers, as well as getting Gram's stuff organized for taxes. I do my own taxes, as they're simple enough (or rather, I have H&R Block software do them for me), but Gram's will be done professionally. I could, I suppose, pick up a new copy of the software and get started on mine; we actually got our W-2s two weeks early this year! I don't have my 1099 from the credit union yet, but I can guess the pitiful amount of interest earned (under $10, I'm sure), and go from there. (This isn't going to happen today, mind you. It'll probably wait until my next three-day weekend, because no matter how simple it seems on the surface, it always takes me hours.)

The Christmas tree is down and all the decorations put away. Since I still want to reclaim the attic room, I stowed them in the basement, along the back wall where I cleared away some of HTWIWM's mess last year. (Only some of it, though; I'll need help for a lot of the rest of it.) They're in Rubbermaid tubs, so they should be fine, and the cellar is dry, anyway, so....

I have yet another followup appointment late this afternoon with my doctor regarding the infection on my one incision site. It's clearly still infected, dammit. I don't know if I want to go back on Cipro, though. Well, I suppose I'll deal with whatever he advises. It's aggravating.

I noodled around a bit with Circular Gallifreyan yesterday afternoon. Why? Why not? It's really no different from learning calligraphy, really. It's...confusing, but I managed to write my name, I think. Well, my first name, anyway.

It's my father's birthday today. I think he's 70, but I'm not certain. When I emailed my mother to ask about cake and ice cream, she didn't sound too enthused at the prospect, but said that Dad hadn't decided, but had talked about going antiquing. Frankly, I don't really want to spend the evening at their house, anyway, so I'll probably just wrap up his present and drop it off after my doctor appointment this afternoon. If they're still out, then bonus! If not, well, we'll deal with that later. (I'm hearing that in some actor's voice, but can't place it. It'll come to me. Oh, I know. Hagrid talking about Harry being introduced to Buckbeak.)

Right. I need to at least brush Sheila, if I can convince her to crawl out from under my desk. She smells like a dawg.
malinaldarose: (dobby)
It was nice to have a few days of early spring, this past week, but winter is back. It snowed overnight; not a whole lot, but enough that I'm thinking I should probably go out and shovel before the next batch arrives. It's also getting colder. It was 19° when I left for groceries at 7:00ish, and it was 15° and windier when I went back out to mail a couple of packages just after 9:00ish. It's supposed to be back down to single digits for at least one day next week.

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate winter?

I opened the curtains in the back room this morning because the sun was out for a bit and the cave-like atmosphere of the back of the house was beginning to bug me. Plus with the curtains open, I don't need to keep the kitchen lights on; I got through lightbulbs in those lights like crazy. To balance it out, though, I turned on the space heater. Le sigh.

Having been out for groceries this morning, I do not have to go out again until Monday afternoon, when I have a doctor appointment. I told the NP that that infection was still there, but the site looked good when I went in to see her the other day because it was freshly cleaned and showered. I didn't shower Thursday when I was sick, and it was clear that the infection wasn't cleaned up. So I called them yesterday and rather than calling in another round of antibiotics, they made me an appointment to see Doc on Monday. By then, the infection should have a really good foothold again. Grar.

I got an emergency slot at the vet's office yesterday for Sheila, so she got to visit Doc P. They have a bunch of new staff up there. Getting Sheila into the van was only a bit of a problem; there was a piece of board in the breezeway that might have been intended as a ramp¹; it was a bit steep, but once I got Sheila's forelegs on it, I was able to push her the rest of the way up it and get her in the van. I didn't put it into the van, though, as it was quite heavy -- probably thirty pounds, and I didn't feel like lifting it over the tailgate. No problem: Doc P said that someone would help me get her back into the van. The new tech went out with me and just lifted her right up and in. She's not quite as heavy as I thought: only 68 or 69 pounds (she kept fidgeting on the scale). She did well, though, and I had no problem getting a urine sample for the lab, though I had to sacrifice one of my good plastic storage dishes to the cause. It's funny, actually. When Deuce was having bladder issues (turned ou she had cancer), if we put a pan under her to get a sample, she'd get up and walk away. Sheila just looked over her shoulder at me to see what I was doing, and kept on keeping on, so I got a good, healthy (so to speak) sample for the lab.

Diagnosis? UTI. So she's on Baytril for now, and if it works, she'll get another course, because apparently it actually takes two or three courses if it works. If it doesn't -- and I'll know because she'll continue peeing in the house -- then they'll culture a new specimen and use a more specific antibiotic...kinda like what's happening with me. I had two non-specific antibiotics, and then a culture and a more specific antibiotic. Hopefully, Sheila will have more luck with hers, than I have had with mine. It's a good thing I got paid for the comp time I didn't take last year, because that little jaunt took two-thirds of the extra. *sigh*

It is Saturday, so today is for chores. I have to start laundry, do dishes, vacuum (which, shame on me, I haven't done since before my surgery²), and a bunch of other tasks. I still haven't decided about shoveling, but it is on my do-list. (I keep a do-list just for the satisfaction of crossing things off.) I am going to take down the Christmas decorations this weekend, though. They're so pretty, that I have to leave them until I get really tired of them. And now I am.
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¹ It might actually have been a ramp; it's clearly something that HTWIWM made. It might also have been one of the utility shelves from the old vans. Whatever, it was overbuilt in his usual style, which is why it is so heavy.

² Despite having a set list of chores to do every Saturday, I'm a terrible housekeeper.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's back to being winter; there was a bit of snow overnight and it's cold again. Not nearly as cold as it was last weekend, though, so I may not have to spend the day huddling under a blanket pouring hot chocolate down my throat.

Wait. That doesn't sound like a bad plan.

Actually, I can't spend the entire day that way. I must finish a first draft of my Author Quest submission today so I can send it to beta. Since yesterday was pay day and I also picked up a bunch of bills from my grandmother, I must spend an hour or so at the desk in the library writing out checks for both of us. I already have the heat on in the back of the house (an electric heater, at this point, since the heat in the addition is extremely inefficient, and I really can't fathom what they were thinking, having the only heat in the back of the house being in the library and the bathroom). My little radiator heater, which my parents gave me...oh, when I was in college, I think, is actually pretty efficient. I turn it on at its lowest setting and it does a fair job.

I will probably also do laundry after my sister has been and gone. This will be her third Saturday of taking care of the litter boxes for me, with at least three more to go. I don't think I have any extra things I need her help with today (last week, I had her empty the recycling from under the kitchen sink, as it was full of catalogs). Maybe refiling the cats' water bottle in the basement.

I don't yet know what I'm going to get for her/do for her for helping me out with this, but I am going to give her the grocery card that the union sends us out every year as our Christmas "bonus." Fifteen dollars isn't much, but it'll help her get some things for the kids for when they come up for Xmas. And I'd only end up buying sweets with it, probably.
malinaldarose: (dobby)
Spent most of yesterday working on the house again. Cleaned out the middle bedroom as much as I could. Moved the Awful Jewelry Armoire of Doom. Moved the bedroom trim work to a corner so that I could use the wall it was resting against. It is all now stashed behind the tub, which will remain where it is until I have the money to redo the bathroom. So...forever, probably.

Mixed into the bedroom trim was a bookcase that my parents gave me for Xmas at least ten years ago. I had wanted a barrister bookcase -- you know, the kind where each shelf has its own door that opens upward? In the usual Malibu PJ move (wherein I want Malibu Barbie with a fierce, fierce, fierce want, but they get me Malibu PJ instead, something they have done throughoug my life), the bookcase turned out to be just a regular bookcase with long glass doors on the front. And not even a nice one, at that. *sigh* Anyway. It'll hold books, right? That's all I really need it to do. I spent an hour putting it together, and by the time I was done with it, I was so tired and sore that I gave up on the cleaning and went downstairs...and baked cookies. 'Cause that makes sense.

The reason the bookcase had sat around for so long was that I wanted HTWIWM's help in putting it together. And then, when he embarked on the Great Fuck Up The House Completely Project, I wanted to wait until things were back together. And then I wanted to wait until the trim was up. And then I realized that the trim was never going to go up until I hired someone to do it. And then I was going to have surgery and be in the house for six weeks and decided that I didn't want to spend those six weeks fretting about things, so I decided to Make Do. And so the bookcase got put together and put into place, but I was too tired afterward to fill it because I have been working my ass off this weekend.

*sigh*

I was very popular yesterday. My phone never rings, but the vet called to tell me that Merlin's preliminary blood work was completely normal; we're now just awaiting the thyroid results. My dentist's office called to tell me my appointment was Wednesday. My gyn's office called to tell me my pre-op appointment was this morning. (Good thing about those, too, since I was shifting them both by a day, with the dental appointment on Thursday and the pre-op tomorrow.) The delivery people called to tell me that they want to deliver The Chair on Thursday afternoon. And someone called and just hung up. I figured it was my grandmother and waited for the phone to ring again, but it didn't. But Julie From TracFon didn't call me to remind me that my service is ending this week. I feel unloved.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Remember how I said I wasn't going to buy the tools to make the screens? I might just as well have, since I'm buying different tools to make the screens with wooden frames. Which makes me think I should just go back to the original plan. I won't, of course, because now I'm actually invested in this method. But, jeez.

Yes. I need to get myself in gear and get out to get what I need before things get busy at The Store. That's why I didn't go out yesterday as soon as I realized that I needed More Stuff -- because I hatehatehate dealing with busy, crowded stores.

My mother sent me email yesterday indicating that she is somewhat bent out of shape that my entire birthday weekend is booked. I guess we won't be doing anything, she wrote. I rather rudely replied that we weren't going to be doing anything anyway.

Had a bit of a shock when I came downstairs this morning and the clock on the VCR proclaimed it to be 4:41. I had forgotten that it automatically resets itself for the end of Daylight Saving Time...which is no longer the last weekend in October. Of course, that means that on the Real End of Daylight Saving Time weekend, two weeks hence, I will have to listen to Merlin caterwauling for his breakfast starting at 4:00 a.m....
malinaldarose: (dobby)
The do-list is long. Fear the do-list.

The basement screen project is a true project now: blood has been sacrificed. I was sawing -- no, I did not cut myself with the saw -- and realized that I could really, really, really use some clamps (before something slipped and I did cut myself). I was reasonably certain that there weren't any left behind (though with the crap that was left behind, that's no guarantee), but then I remembered that I was given a tool chest of my grandfather's, so I went out to the garage to check it out. In the end, it turned out to have nothing useful in it, but in attempting to open the bottom drawer, I managed to tear the cuticle on one finger. As with most torn cuticles, I only really noticed it when my finger felt wet.... No clamps were found. There was a moment of hope when I found a clamp set box in the basement, but it turned out to have electrical crap in it. I was not pleased.

So the screen project is on hold for now until I can get back out to some store to buy clamps. It's okay; it's not like I don't have a brazillion other things to do. I did actually get frame pieces cut for the first screen, but they need to be cut on the diagonal now, and I don't want to try that without clamps to hold the pieces in place. (I am beginning to appreciate power tools, I tell you what.)

The usual items have been ticked off the do-list: groceries, kitty litter, laundry. A chunk of what remains involves work at my desk, so I may get a start on that. Given that Hallowtide is a week from today, I should probably get the shire's website updated, even though it's no longer linked to the kingdom website, Google will still turn it up. Probably. I assume someone finally paid the bill, since the site is still there. I also brought the form letters home from work since I have absolutely no time to mess with them there, and I have been firmly told that I will have them done before I go on leave.

I nearly managed to blow up the house at lunch time. I was cooking rice-and-chicken to use up the leftover chicken from the other night, and I dropped the heavy glass lid into the frying pan. Since I'm not a huge fan of glass slivers in my food, I checked the lid to make sure it was all right, and it was, so I put it back on the pan and went back to filing papers in the library. Came out ten minutes later to a strong smell of gas: it seems that when the lid slammed down, it created enough movement of air to blow out the burner which was on low. I thought I had perhaps splashed liquid from the pan, but there wasn't any on the burner when I checked it later. So I had to open the house up and put the fan on the kitchen counter. Fortunately, there were no explosions....
malinaldarose: (dobby)
It had been raining since I got up at 6:00 a.m., but the rain stopped while I was in the shower. Still, I think it's going to remain too wet to mow for the rest of the day (since this wasn't just a passing shower, but a full-on downpour), which means that I won't mow now until next weekend. C'est la vie.

Yesterday's attempt at mowing ended up being like a bad comedy. The mower wouldn't start. Spark plug was fine, which indicates air filter. I had hoped to get through the entire season on one air filter, since they're a pain in the ass to change (it's a sponge filter, which means it has to be soaked with oil), but it seems that the mower hates me. Which I knew. So off I went to KMart to get a filter...which they didn't have. The Garden Center has been converted to the Christmas Shoppe already, and there were no mower parts back in automotive, which is where one usually finds them in the off-season. So I stalked out of there in high dudgeon. Next stop: Home Despot...where I found them displayed on an endcap and three feet over my head. After being ignored by four guys in orange HD aprons, I picked up the tiny broom from a display of fireplace tools and hooked the damned thing down myself. I know one of the guys saw me do it, too. By the time I got home from that little adventure, though, it was starting to rain, so I ended up not mowing, anyway.

Figures, right? It rained most of the evening and overnight, as far as I can tell, and the weather map indicates that just about the time it might be getting dry enough to consider mowing, the next band of rain will arrive. Can't really say that I'm heartbroken over that.

Haven't heard from my mother in over a week, so I suppose I'll have to break down and email her. Usually, I just wait her out, but if she hears from Auntie that my surgery has been scheduled, she'll pitch a fit. She's probably already going to pitch a fit about it being right before Thanksgiving, and I'm sure that'll be my fault, since I took the first date they gave me and didn't quibble about it. I'll tell her I have to go to Buffalo four days this week; she can have vapors over the fact that I'll be driving in early morning fog, just begging for a deer to jump in front of the van.

Merlin is very demanding this morning. I suppose I need to go take up station on the couch so he can curl up in my lap. Or possibly my desk chair....

Breakin'

Oct. 5th, 2013 11:52 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
Taking a break from house work. So far this morning, I have gotten groceries, changed the kitty litter, done two loads of laundry, unpacked my suitcase (yeah, it took me a week. So?), and made headway in cleaning up the basement office. Some cat or cats used it as a litter box and I completely missed it, so the room is a complete mess. The carpet is unsalvageable, but since I'm planning to use the place for storage, it doesn't really matter. I think they peed in a box, rather than on the rug, so it's just old puke stains on the rug. It's pretty ghastly. I rather suspect it was Nimue, since there doesn't appear to be anything fresh in there. I have hauled a few things out to the garage, thrown a lot of things away, stared at some photos of HTWIWM from the very beginning of our relationship (I can tell by the length and color of my hair, as well as my weight), tried to decide whether to save his yearbooks or toss them in the recycling, and changed some lightbulbs. There is still a lot to be done down there, but it's more headway than I've made in months. Having the goal of getting some of this done before my surgery toward the end of next month is really motivating, I guess. Now if only I could get the trim up in the bedroom and living room.... (I've pretty much given up on the upstairs bathroom. That is clearly not going to get done until the house is paid off, which is ten years away, not the six I previously thought. Dammit.)

I was also planning to mow some portion of the yard today, but I think I'm going to leave that for tomorrow. For one thing, even though it hasn't rained in several hours and is now partly sunny, everything is sopping wet. There is enough water still unevaporated in my driveway for the birds to be bathing in it. So I'll work inside today, and maybe mow (and mulch leaves, since they're starting to come down with a vengeance) tomorrow.

There was a guy wearing a safety vest going up the street a little while ago aiming a radar-guy looking thing at everyone's houses. I hope he was a meter reader....

I agreed to help out with Hallowtide. I offered to help set up on Friday and work troll on Saturday, but specified that I would not help with tear down, since it's my birthday. I'll stay through Court -- maybe. I definitely won't stay for the feast. If there even is one, since we lost our usual cook.

Sheila has been much more lively the last couple of days. She is definitely loving the new kibble, plus I've been taking her for a walk when I get home from work. She has almost started meeting me at the door again, which she had not done for a couple of years. Not quite at the door, mind, but usually she's peeking out from the living room instead of being sacked out in my office (where she is at the moment).

Should I mention that I have watched Iron Man 3 three times this week? No, I probably shouldn't....
malinaldarose: (dobby)
My south side neighbor caught me as I was coming home from work this afternoon. He wanted to know if he could have my permission to trim up the bottom branches of the apple tree in my front yard because it was making it difficult to see to get in and out of his driveway. Well, it was also making it difficult for me, and it's hard to mow under, and my parents had even mentioned that it probably needed a trim, so I said he could. "Okay," he said, "I'll probably do it in the next couple of days." So I'm minding my own business in my office with the window open, and I hear zzz-zzz-zzz...he barely waited for me to get into the house before he started on the tree, and he trimmed it up much higher than I would have preferred. (I don't think I'll be picking any of the apples without a ladder.) I am not best pleased, but there's really not much I can say, since I did give him permission. For a groundskeeper, he really doesn't seem to like trees very much; when he bought that house, the first thing he did was cut down all the trees on the property except for the big maple in front. The next thing he did was to cut down the hedge on the property line. I miss that hedge. Wasn't mine, but I miss it and the other trees.

I'm really not all that fond of him. When he moved in, he immediately wanted to know if my fence was mine or his -- if his, he was going to take it down. Given the way it runs, I would think he'd've been able to figure that one out for himself. He has offered to get rid of the loader for me, but not until the weeds surrounding it grew up higher than the fence in the last few weeks. I'm half surprised he hasn't offered to trim the hedges in the front or paint the house for me, since it all looks like hell and will have to continue to look like hell until I win the lottery. I keep waiting for him to start on my compost heap. Mind you, I'm not fond of the compost heap either, but it's on my property and not really harming him at all. I don't think it's even all that visible from the back of his house.

I suppose now that he's done that, the north side neighbor will just go ahead and trim my holly bushes so that she can again start mowing the strip of land alongside the house which is not her property, but which she has always, for some incomprehensible reason, mown. She is aware that it's not her property, since she made a point of letting me know that her new fence was on the property line, and this strip is outside the fence....

Neighbors. Bah.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It had better not rain today. I am doing laundry, and the basement is now too damp for drying clothes. On the other hand, it's so humid outside that it may be too damp out there, too, but at least it's warmer and I can pretend. We're supposed to have scattered thunderstorms according to the forecast. Yesterday, we also had scattered thunderstorms, which meant one cloudburst just about the time I was considering closing up my garage sale anyway. Fortunately, my folks were here to help me haul things in.

As I said to BFT at dinner last night, after this past week, I have to take back at least three or four of the things I've said about my parents recently. Maybe even five.

I was dismayed to learn yesterday morning that Mr. T across the street died night before last. I felt kind of awkward having a garage sale when people would be trying to visit Mrs. T, but as it happened, not very many people did stop. Her grandson was there early in the day helping her clean the house, and I saw three people stop by with food. Mr. and Mrs. T were/are a fabulous couple, at least as old as my grandmother (though when we first met them when we moved in, we would have sworn they were only in their 60s). Poor Mr. T had a series of increasingly worse physical problems and he ended up in a nursing home a couple of years back. Last time I saw him, he was sitting stiffly on the bench in front of the house trussed up in a clamshell-style back brace. I'll have to keep an eye out for his obit, though it's possible that the Neighborhood Grapevine will let me know when the funeral is to be.

I have a lot of stuff to do today, and very little ambition, though fortunately, several things are already done. The grocery run is done, the litter boxes are cleaned up, the downstairs has been vacuumed and swept, Sheila and Merlin have both been brushed, I've been showered and my hair washed (and believe me, with as humid as it is, after doing all of the rest of that, the shower was sorely needed), and the first load of laundry should be spinning out any second now. Of course, because it's beginning to cloud up. :-\

At some point this week, I have to figure out when to get an oil change. I suppose I could do it today, but I also have to run up to the mall to return some things and maybe try to find a pair of jeans that fits (for certain values of "fits"), since I only have one and they're getting worn.

All I really want to do, of course, is take a nap, because there was very little sleeping accomplished last night....
malinaldarose: (dobby)
I have spent much of the day hauling stuff out of the attic room¹. HTWIWM was (and probably still is) definitely a hoarder (which he disguised by pretending to be readying for the Zombie Apocalypse, I think), but I seem to be doing a pretty good job of it myself. So far, I've pulled four VCRs (which may or may not work), one DVD player, boxes of fabric (some of which were his pre-marriage and some of which I bought years ago, and some of which I don't remember buying), craft projects in varying stages of finishment, curtains, curtains, curtains, a box full of white tablecloths (I have no idea), a fancy silverware set that he brought home from somewhere, and all sorts of other crap. I have already cleaned out the middle bedroom as much as I can; there's a box of floor tiles (ugly, linoleum-style that he got free (or very cheap) somewhere) still in there that I will either have to carry down in batches or find a Strapping Young Lad to carry down for me. (Probably I'll carry them down in batches.)

Whilst cleaning, I have also gone through my video tape collection (I have been taping things from TV since...1987?) and ruthlessly culled anything that is now available on DVD (or Netflix) or that I haven't watched (some of those things I taped and never watched, let alone rewatched). Basically, I threw away (since they can't be recycled) more than half my collection. Which was large, as you might imagine after twenty-six years. I also think I'm going to get a binder (or four) for my DVDs because they're starting to take up rather a lot of room. The only thing I tape these days is Doctor Who, and that's only in case I want to rewatch episodes before they're available on DVD (in whole series, that is; this half-series crap is for the birds).

I have cleaned out enough stuff since last evening to warrant a run to Friend P's dumpster, though I will probably just stack it all aside and put it out in my own trash as it fits into the enormous container I was given when I signed up for removal. (Which I did so as to avoid having to run out to Friend P's place....) I'm still going to end up renting a dumpster, though, I can just tell.

I have decided that I am getting rid of everything that HTWIWM acquired for the house. Right now, that chiefly means the toilet-in-a-box upstairs (which is too large for the upstairs bathroom in any case), the faucets for the bathtub that is not going back in there, and the pedestal sink. When I have the wherewithal to hire someone to do the work for me, I will just start from scratch. Since he loathed spending any more money than was strictly necessary, everything he acquired was either given to him or the cheapest he could manage to get, and he didn't care a fig for aesthetics. (The aforementioned tiles? Hideous.) He'd've been perfectly happy with dorm room chic (including milk crate-and-board bookshelves) for the rest of his life. I, on the other hand, am a bit more particular, and it's my house now. Has been for a while, in fact. (We're coming up on the anniversary of the first time he announced that he wanted a divorce; it's in a few days, and I'm getting cranky. At least the anniversary of my first meeting the Twinkie and naively thinking what a charming girl she was passed without notice this year.)

Anyway -- tl;dr -- I still have a lot of stuff to pull out of that room, and I suppose I really need to contact Skeeter and ask him what the hell he wants me to do with his four or five milk crates packed with D&D stuff....

I wish Iron Man 3 and/or Star Trek Into Darkness were still playing; I could really use a movie tonight, but I'm not all that interested in anything at the cinemas right now. I suppose when I come back from sitting on His Felinity (whose people have cruelly abandoned him to his furry fate), I could stop by the cinemas, get my popcorn bucket refilled, and come home and check my Netflix queue and see if anything grabs me. Probably nothing will; I'm in one of those moods where driving to Buffalo just so I can see a movie I've already seen four times seems like a reasonable plan.
---
¹ When I say "attic" I don't mean the house's actual attic. I mean the third upstairs bedroom that HTWIWM for some reason decided would be used only for storage. The second bedroom was also used for storage, and as his wardrobe.

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