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  • The weather forecast called for rain all day, and I was sort of relieved because it meant I could watch movies on the couch all day without feeling guilty. Right now? It's sunny, and although the forecast is still calling for rain, sort of, I don't see any on the map.

  • I just painted my nails bright red. I only paint them this particular shade in the summer. In the winter, I use darker, wine-ier, metallic shades. This is just red. Bright red. Popsicle-red. Summer red.

  • The cat has apparently decided that she will now be peeing in my office, thank you very much. I thought it smelled in here, but I also know that she has been using the litter box upstairs -- and I have been endeavoring to keep it clean for her -- but I heard some rustling over by the window -- and all of a sudden she came bounding out of there. I had thought it was Jack dreaming, but he's in the living room. And the corner reeks. As soon as my nails are dry I will have to go clean and bleach the corner. And put up a child gate across the door to keep her out for a couple of weeks to break the habit. And then wait to see where else she decides to go instead of any of the six litter boxes.

  • Given Tremas and the Portreeve, I should've seen that coming last night on Doctor Who.

  • I did go out and mow the front yesterday. I wasn't going to, but it was looking a little raggedy and I caved to implied homeowner peer pressure (because I was the only person on the street who hadn't mown in the last three days).

  • I have decided that once my parents get their crap out of my garage, I will clean all of the lawn tools and storage and such out of the breezeway except for one snow shovel and one broom. There's no reason to have all that stuff out there cluttering up a perfectly nice space when I have a whole garage I can clutter up. Then I will put a table out there so if I want to eat or work out there I can. I'd still like a deck, but this will do for now.
  • Fucking cat. My office reeks.
  • I suppose I should make an appointment to see if she has an infection, but I think she's probably either senile (she is 19 now) or lazy. Ever since the Great Flea Infestation of 2016, she's been peeing pretty much where she chooses.

  • I saw a rescue dog go by on FB the other day that I think would have been a perfect companion for Jack, but I'm certain it's far too late to apply for him.

  • Related: The Gecko is doing much better with her hygiene. Thank goodness. Mind you, I'm still not taking the covers off the furniture, and I probably never will as long as she's sitting Jack.

  • Still reading the Young Wizards series. I'm not liking it as much as I had hoped. Enough to keep reading it, but.... Meh.

  • Speaking of wizards, I saw one of those special editions that Time does: Twenty Years of Harry Potter or something along those lines, with a cover photo of Daniel Radcliffe from Chamber of Secrets (you can tell from his school uniform and his apparent age -- not young enough to be from the first movie, but not the same uniform as they wore in the later movies). Twenty years? Not of the movies, I know, but of the books. Already? How is it that long already?

  • Right. I think I'm going to go to a different part of the house to let my nails finish drying before I tackle the smell in this room.


Jan. 15th, 2017 10:23 am
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If I had any lingering doubts about those water marks in the basement being caused by the hot water tank, they have been thoroughly exorcised by having to get down on my hands and knees in those tight spaces and clean them with a rag and bleach water. (I broke one of the plastic pins holding the mophead in place and it kept flopping all over the place.) My favorite sweatpants now reek of cat urine. But the back corner behind the furnace is cleaned and blocked off. The other corner, nearer the hot water heater is still open, but is far easier to clean up.

The reason I wore my favorite sweatpants to do this chore is that they're so old that I've had to patch almost the entire upper inseam on both legs, so if I end up having to toss them, it's not a huge blow.

Four cross-offs on my do-list: clean the basement, vacuum the house, brush and flea the dog (that was two separate items).

Right, next chore: either clean off the dining room table (covered in plastic bags that need mending and Christmas presents that need to be put away) or clean up the Christmas decorations (that I really didn't enjoy having out this year at all, and really only pulled out for my grandmother). Actually, those two things are pretty much the same chore: Pack up Christmas.

In other news, really looking forward to tonight's Sherlock, despite what I said earlier this week about not really caring for it all that much; I caught last week's episode last night via Hulu. (Yes, I took a break from Emergency!. I also watched Graham Norton on BBCA.)
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  • This morning I am feeling as though I may as well max out my credit cards and eat nothing but chocolate for every meal because we're all going to be dead by this time next year anyway.

  • Jack seems to have settled down from whatever the hell was bugging him on Sunday. I wonder if he chucked his meds on Sunday morning and I just didn't see them while I was cleaning up the mess. Normally when he chucks in the morning, I can clearly see the completely-undigested-capsules and I give him more. I did think at the time that it was odd he'd yarked and managed to hang onto his pills. Either he digested them Really Fast or I just didn't see them.

  • I have discovered the reason why it smelled like cat urine halfway up the stairs: Kethri has been going behind my treadmill and peeing in the corner at the base of the stairwell wall. Last night, I saw her do it. I cleaned the spot with bleach water (heavy on the bleach) and rearranged things so that I don't think she can get back in there. Later this week, when I'm off, I'll go out and get some enzymatic cleaner and douse the spot. I'll need to get the $20 jug of it, since I still need to mop the basement floor with it.

  • Emergency! has been marked by Netflix as going away effective 1/1. I am displeased because I am only halfway through the second season and even if I did nothing else on vacation, I don't think I'd finish the series by then.

  • I am very tired this morning. Yesterday, I was going through some bank statements in the afternoon and I seriously thought I was going to end up facedown and snoring in them. I was so sleepy. Well, Jack didn't settle down until after midnight then so that might be part of it, but this morning, I have no excuse.

  • There is a friending frenzy going on. I would like to participate, but I'm not really good with new friends. I start out well enough, but....

  • It is face-achingly cold this morning: only about 5°. It's supposed to get up near freezing today, but it's also supposed to be windy. Yay.

  • I don't want to see my family this weekend. None of them. Not even Grama. I wonder what MyAuntie and Nuncle would say if I just showed up at their doorstep on Christmas Eve.

  • I know what my mother would say....
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I've just changed the litter boxes for this week, and I'm concerned about Kethri. I found no evidence that she had peed in the litter boxes in a couple of days. I took a clump out of the box upstairs maybe yesterday morning, maybe the morning before that. There was nothing in the boxes downstairs. So either she is peeing somewhere that I am not finding -- entirely possibe -- or there is something wrong. I'm going to keep an eye on it today. She doesn't seem to be in any distress, but that doesn't really mean anything.

As for Jack.... He had a vet appointment the other evening. My vet is on my FB friends list and she had seconded a suggestion that I give him Benadryl at night to calm him down...and that next day, he tore into the window in the library while the dogsitter was sitting in the living room. When I PMed her about upping his Prozac dose, she said she wanted to see him first to see if there was a physical cause for his sudden backsliding. So in we went.

He does have some stiffness in his neck, and she wasn't pleased with his behavior -- he was subdued and trying to hide between me and the exam table -- and she's worried that The Gecko is misuing him. If I find out the Gecko is misusing him, I'll misuse her. She suggested that a nannycam might be in order. She did wonder if the Gecko was leaving the house and leaving Jack here alone, or if she might be having people in. She hasn't ever met the Gecko, I don't think, so she doesn't understand the true Useless Lumpness of her. She is the Platonic Ideal of an Object At Rest. She might as well be named Inertia. So, no, she's not leaving the house unless someone is picking her up (she can't drive), and it appears that all of her friends are imaginary, so it's unlikely that anyone is coming in, unless its her psychopath sister (the one who was setting fires in her bedroom). (Mind you, there's nothing wrong, per se, with imaginary friends; most of mine are imaginary, just as I'm imaginary to them.)

In any case, she wanted to try Jack on Dasuquin and Rimadyl before upping his Prozac to see if maybe it's pain that's making him act out. The neck stiffness could be arthritis and he could be acting out in the fall because the colder weather is exacerbating it. We'll see. It's certainly not calming him down at night. He's still trying to climb into bed with me, and the last couple of nights, he's also been wandering up and down the stairs when I refuse to let him into the bed. I suppose I'm going to end up turning the bed so that he can get in on the other side by himself, unless I can train him to come up on the end and curl up on the passenger side corner. It would be really nice to get a full night's sleep again.

She did observe that he has bonded nicely to me. I was concerned about that.

Night before last, First Boyfriend and BFT came over after they got out of work and we sat around the dining room table with a pizza and talked and laughed all evening. It was Really Nice, and I might see if I can convince them we should do it more often.

It did highlight a stark difference between me and my closest friends, though. We're all in social service jobs, but they're all in them because it's their passion. I'm in mine because I fell into it and found the pay and benefits to be acceptable, even if the job was soul-sucking. (Though it wasn't when I was just a clerk. I loved it when I was a clerk. But I needed a promotion to pay the rent, and....) I would still prefer to be a full-time novelist. Ah, well. Never gonna happen.

Last night, BFT and the J-sisters and I went to see Fantastic Beasts. The theater was less crowded than I expected, but probably a lot of people were in the 3D version instead. It was interesting to see the Wizarding World from an adult point of view. Read more... )

Today...well, it's Saturday, and even though I snuck out last evening and did a flying grocery run after my sister arrived to sit with Jack for the evening, I still have a ton of things to do. The back of the house has to be deep-cleaned because I am definitely hosting Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday. Fortunately, my mother has decided to have lasagna instead of a full-on turkey dinner, which is good, because Gram complains all the time about how she has a full-on turkey dinner at the facility, then comes here and has another. Plus, it's a helluva lot easier to clean up, and less for Mom and Dad to haul.

Not only that, but I haven't swapped out the screens for the storm windows yet, and the gutters that I can reach need cleaning, and I have to write checks, and clean up the library and put the curtain that Jack pulled down back, and do the laundry, and just so much else.

And then there's LJ Idol. I completely flaked on reading and voting last week, and didn't even realize that a new topic was up until a day later. So I've got to do that, as well.

Heigh ho. Guess I'd better get at it....


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • BFT, J1, and I are going to see the cheap matinee of Doctor Strange this afternoon. That gives me plenty of time to change the air filter in the mower and mow the leaves beforehand. Dammit.
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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....


Oct. 6th, 2016 08:26 am
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It is apparently kitten season in the feral cat realm. I posted earlier this week about seeing a small black kitten in a neighbor's driveway whilst walking Jack early in the morning; when it saw me watching it, it scarpered. Then a couple of days ago, I saw a mama cat lounging in a front yard a few houses in the other direction, and she had four eeny-weenie-jelly-beanie kittens with her, of approximately the same age as the first kitten I spotted.

Then last night, I was on the phone with my aunt past the time I have been giving Jack his last outs lately, so I went out with the flashlight to check the perimeter before letting him out. I was glad that I did because there was a black cat back by the fence. When I shone the light on it, it slipped under the fence, but didn't immediately run away. I didn't pay much attention to that, really, just continued to slide the light around the yard. I don't normally check by the house, but I did last night, and I was really, really glad I did because there was a black kitten crouched under the hydrangeas by the ramp. When I shone the light back toward the fence, the black cat was still there, watching, and I thought, "Aha. Mama?" The kitten didn't move when I put the light back on it, and for a wild moment, I thought about trying to pick it up and bring it in, but instead, I went and got Jack and leashed him up and took him for a brief walk. When I got back, both kitten and Mama were gone.

I got to thinking about it, and decided that it might have been the same kitten as the one I saw the other morning. If not, it's almost certainly from the same litter.

After the original colony was caught and transported (or as many as could be rounded up, anyway), the survivors split into two. There are a few who hang out up the street where I saw the mother and kittens lounging; I think they live in the hostas around that house's foundation, and I think the people who live there feed them. The other batch are living in the back parking lot (fenced in and not used) and wooded bits across the street from the house where they were all being fed last winter, so I still occasionally see them in my yard.

I really hope they're not hanging out under the ramp, but the only way to be sure is to get down on my hands and knees on the patio with the flashlight, and I wasn't about to do that last night.

In other cat-related news, Kethri seems to be doing well. The awful scabs on her head have healed and her fur is sleek again. She is still scratching some, but is no longer biting at herself and pulling her fur out. So I am guessing that she does still have the odd flea, but that they are mostly under control. She is using the litter box I put upstairs, and I am scooping it twice-daily to keep her from using the Spare Oom -- but she still does occasionally, like this morning. Four pee-clumps in the litter box seem to be the limit; after that, she uses the Spare Oom. (I am guessing based on the last two times she used the Spare Oom.) Anyway, I have litter upstairs, and a "diaper pail" into which the clumps get dumped (a little trash can that takes four-gallon bags), and air freshener in that room. I was sniffing around this morning, and either I'm getting used to it or it does smell better in there. I guess I'll find out next week when I have people in my house. Or this week, as I'm sure Auntie and I will stop here at least once during our peregrinations.
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This has been a reasonably shitty week, I have to say. I am missing Merlin's fuzzy little face and the way he would quietly curl up on my lap on chilly evenings. Granted, the weather this past week hasn't been of the curl-up-in-the-lap type, but the last couple of nights were. And, yes, I still have Kethri, but she doesn't curl up quietly. She is noisy and demanding and fidgety. She doesn't just want a lap, she wants to be actively held. It's the opposite of restful.

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

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

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


(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)
  • It was a long damned week. It seems like four-day weeks always are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you guess what my sister did? Multiple times?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is also frustrating.

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

Of course, I'm not certain I have the ambition to do that today when all I want is a nap....
malinaldarose: (Default)
There was a dusting of snow overnight (apparently enough to get the plows out, though), and it's only in the mid-teens right now and not expected to get more than a degree or two warmer today. But tomorrow, it's supposed to be 30° and sunny. Go figure. I had to dig out my Big Heavy Coat for walkies this morning. I like my Big Heavy Coat. It's purple (eggplanty purple, not lavender) and goes down past my knees. It's Plenty Warm Enough for this weather.

Jack decided he wanted short walkies this morning; as we passed the turn for short walkies (i. e., just around the block), he headed that way without any direction from me. Fine. Short walkies it is. Still felt terribly long, though, especially when we waited for the plow to traverse the entire block -- seemed easiest to just get off the side of the road and wait since we were near a light just then.

It was a great morning for critters. We didn't actually see any until we got back (when I had to chase two rabbits out of the backyard before I could let Jack out there), but there were tracks galore. Deer, rabbits, cats, early morning commuters....

I expect today to be frustrating. It's Back To Work, for one thing, which means the Gecko will be back. I spent some time yesterday evening covering all the furniture again, and later I'll have to move her Permissible Food Box back to the counter. (I hope her bread hasn't molded; I forgot to check.) I expect that I will have at least two new apps waiting for me...well, I know that I'll have at least one because it was sitting on my clerk's desk on Christmas Eve waiting to be checked in and registered in the system, but she wasn't there to do it. Huh. I'd managed to forget about that during my vacation, because I was annoyed about it when I saw it. It's from a facilitated enroller (i. e., someone who went to the client's house and helped them complete the app), and it was submitted two weeks after the enroller got it signed (app date is the signature date on these, rather than the date we receive it). It has now been sitting an additional fortnight, which means that for me to stay within my 45-day time limit for processing, I now have only fifteen days left to process it. *sigh*

Kethri is going to the V-E-T tonight (so I hope it doesn't snow more during the day as the V-E-T's office is on a country road). I have been concerned for some time about how skinny she has become. When Nimue got skinny like that, it turned out that her abdomen was riddled with tumors. I am hoping that Kethri just needs to have her thyroid meds adjusted. The thyroid test is not cheap, though; I believe they send the sample out to Cornell for testing. And they'll want me to get the geriatric blood panel, too, and that runs around $250.00. I think we'll postpone that one, though, unless the thyroid test doesn't turn up anything. Especially as I got my property tax bill, finally, and it's going to be difficult to scrape up that much money by the end of the month.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am nervous about going to work and leaving Jack alone today. I am afraid I will come home at lunchtime and find the house destroyed. I went out for half an hour yesterday morning and came home to find Jack standing on my mother's desk looking out my office window, with the curtains torn down and the rods so badly bent I had to replace them. Curtains and rods were easily replaced from stuff I had on hand, but when I went out again in the evening to test whether or not I could keep him confined to the kitchen, I came home to find the curtains torn down again. The second time, though, he got only the sheers, so I just closed the inner curtains and walked away passively. The office door will be closed when I go to work today, probably to Merlin's enduring annoyance.

It doesn't do any good to yell, of course; he'd have no clue what I was yelling about. This morning, though, I am serious going to stack a second child gate on top of the first one in the kitchen doorway. I did bring The Box (a travel crate for a large dog) upstairs yesterday and take it out in the yard and wash it, but he has, thus far, shown no interest in it, so I don't want to shove him in there if I don't have to.

There is an obedience class starting at BOCES on Tuesday. I will call to enroll today. Or enroll online.... Tuesdays are awkward, because shire meetings have been happening on Tuesday, but maybe I can get someone else to run this month's for me. And possibly next month's, as well. I don't have a deputy, though; we don't have enough people interested in being officers to have deputies. We'd all end up being someone else's deputy.... The class starts and ends early enough that I could probably make the meetings, but not if I detoured home to drop Jack off. The library is between me and BOCES.

In the meantime, though, Jack is sweet-natured -- so far. I took him out to visit my grandmother yesterday and he was very good. We also stopped at my office because I had told one of my coworkers that I would bring him in. He was very well-behaved there, too, and I think taking him out and then bringing him back here was probably a good thing. He is a bit more clingy than I'd like, and I'm trying not to reward that behavior too much. The clinginess could be entirely due to his vastly-changed situation.

He can't have been at the rescue very long, though, as he just had his shots two weeks ago (he had never had shots before, rather reinforcing my tied to a tree theory), and he did still have a stitch in his incision. The stitch is gone now, I think, but I can't quite get a good look at it; I don't want to manhandle him too much, and he kept lying down on the wrong side.

Kethri has not been eating. I am not pleased about this, but she's clearly not happy about Jack. If I put a litterbox and food upstairs for her, she'd probably never come down again. And I may need to break down and do that. I could make enough changes to the upstairs bathroom to put a litterbox in there again.

In other news, my sister's new boyfriend has agreed to take a look at my lawnmower on Saturday and Bird is going to let Jack out for me while I'm gone on my wild birthday celebration trip. (Really wild. We're going to the Olive Garden for lunch! That's wildness, I tell ya!) She has apparently gone for another man in uniform; though he is now retired because he's 54. Which is...not my preferred age gap (15 years), but my opinion is neither needed nor wanted, and just because I couldn't make an 18 year age gap work doesn't mean she can't. Of course, I was much younger then, and he acted a lot like my father in some ways, and I, being not yet in any way wise, let him.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It is Sunday morning and the last tray of cookies is in the oven. When they come out, I will let them cool for twenty minutes or so, then I'm stuffing them in a carrier to take to today's shire meeting/picnic/fight practice. I have no interest whatsoever in the fight practice or the picnic -- I like most of the shire members well enough, I suppose, but not to really hang with -- but I do need to be there to run the meeting.

Well. That's not really true. Former Seneschal seems to have his shit together again, judging by the way he has been at the last couple of meetings. I don't think I'm needed any longer. But I accepted both the nomination and the result of the election (which reminds me; I still haven't been warranted), so....

The only thing I have on the agenda for today is to discuss the changes they made to the bylaws during my two-year hiatus. I suspect that under the terms of the bylaws, they were illegal changes, but they're done, so now I think we just need to get them codified, and this is probably the best chance to get the most people involved.

I'm a bureaucrat. I like the rules in black-and-white.

Anyway. The cookies are done now, and the house is still relatively cool. I can leave the doors open for another hour, but then I'll have to close them up.

I think before the meeting, I'm going to run out to KMart and see about getting some work t-shirts. I was trying to find something to wear to mow the lawn yesterday, and the one t-shirt I normally wear was on the line drying...and I couldn't find anything else. I did find a tee that I wouldn't wear in public (too tight across my belly), but it would do for mowing. But still. I don't have any "play" clothes, just work outfits. That needs to be rectified.

I have not heard from my family at all regarding my sister's jaunt to Germany to pick up Nephew. She is leaving for the airport at any minute, and won't be back home for about thirty-six hours. I guess that they don't need me to take care of Nick at all. Well, I couldn't, anyway, as they haven't gotten me the keys to the house....

Kethri is lying on her side in a patch of early morning sun, napping. Her belly fur is sticking out. She has one forepaw curled up, and one ear is folded back. (Evil Ear Gnomes!) If I move more than my fingers, she will immediately roll to her feet. Ack! She just curled up her other forepaw. The cute! It burns us!

There is still one portion of the lawn to mow. I'm debating whether to do it before the meeting or after. I don't want to do it tomorrow, I don't think.

I do still need to write my LJ Idol piece for this week; tomorrow is the deadline. I have an idea, finally, but I can't decide how to frame it.

Puppy pads. I need to remember to get puppy pads while I'm out. Sheila peed on the floor again last night. At least I found it; she must have done it shortly before I got up and it hadn't completely soaked into the carpet yet. I had, of course, kicked the sheets back last night before I went to bed because I didn't think I needed them anymore.

Oh, wait. It occurs to me that puppy pads might not be a good idea as they are slippery on the bottom. It wouldn't do for them to slide out from under her. Hmmmm. I need to consider this.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Is anyone really surprised that it is snowing again? Right now, it's nothing worrisome, just a few flakes, but it's been heavy enough this morning that I've had to clean the back steps twice for Sheila. Still, I doubt there's more than half an inch out there. Hurrah for small favors?
I am currently baking cookies. I needed some for the SO of one of the people at work -- he's the contractor that came out and looked both at my crackly light switch and that exposed wiring up in the attic bedroom. He didn't charge me for the visit, though I personally think he should have. And when I mentioned it to my friend at work, she said, "He'd better not!" So I am sending him cookies. Plus Tuesday is Mardi Gras and there will be food at work. Or at least in my corner of the office.... I should take in a quart of milk, too.

Because I am baking, I have to be near the kitchen to guard the cooling cookies from the depredations of the Ever-Starving Kethri, though she does seem to have lost interest and gone back upstairs. She only stirred, I think, because she heard Sheila get up, and she knows that when Sheila goes out and comes in, she gets treats. Which, in Kethri's mind, means treats for everyone, though that is actually rarely the case. The cats get treats at noonish, and that's it. (Cats get treats on roughly the schedule at which they gets pills when necessary, so that I have less hassle when I need to pill them.)

Because I am near the kitchen, I have my laptop on the dining room table (which is now in the back room). Because I am in the back room, I have opened the curtains to get some light, which means that I can see the snow drifting down. I should close the curtains.

I watched The Phantom Menace last night. Keira Knightley was on a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show and they talked about her having appeared in that movie, which I had not realized. She played Sabé, the one of Queen Amidala's handmaidens who stood in for her when she was just being Padmé. So I spent the movie trying to tell which actress was which under the silly makeup. I had always thought that Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman looked remarkably alike, but thought maybe it was just me being unable to tell them apart. Apparently, though, it was not. Anyway. There is one shot at the very end, during the celebration where both Natalie and Keira are in frame and Keira definitely looks like Keira.

I know that most people dislike the prequel trilogy. I think it's fun as long as you don't take it too seriously. It does a terrible job of tying into the original trilogy, and, yes, the dialogue is pretty bad in spots, and Whatsisname's acting is...interesting, but there's a lot of pretty going on, and I watch it for that and the space opera. Loves me some space opera. I do have to say, though, George? The word "queen?" I do not think it means what you think it means.

Hm. Cookies are nearly done and the snow has just about stopped. I'm not certain there's any cosmic link there, though.

Now that I'm certain I'm not going to be editing a Dark Crystal novel in the next few months, I am debating whether or not to sign up for the last season of LJ Idol and this year's Rare Women Exchange. Sign ups for the former begin tomorrow, I believe, while sign ups for the latter end this evening. I probably should at least try Idol again; I think I did some reasonably good stuff last time, right? Well, I have a few more hours to think about it.
malinaldarose: (Default)
So much work to do this weekend. So far, I have changed the kitty litter, done two loads of laundry, written checks (for my own bills and Grama's), gone for a grocery run, had the oil changed in the van, and that's it. That amounts to two cross offs on my do list because I forgot to put "pay bills" and "get groceries" on the list. That's okay. I have also bought curtains for the middle bedroom upstairs (the one with the tub in it). It hasn't had curtains since we moved into the house. Since I have decided to do what I can with the house to make it as pleasant as possible, that means curtains for that room. Part of the reason there have never been curtains in there as long as I've lived here is because the woodwork around the windows looks like fifty years' worth of renters have been in there. It's in really bad shape (and I was, of course, waiting for HTWIWM to fix it). I may not be able to find a solid bit to hang my own curtain rods up!

Anyway. Lots of work to do, and -- as usual -- little to no ambition. All I really want to do is lie on the couch watching movies. But I have plenty of time to do that coming up....

HIFM Majesty Merlin I and His Consort Kethri both went to the V-E-T's office last night. They were both due for physicals and distemper boosters. Dr. M was pleased with both of them. Despite all my worrying about his weight, Merlin has only lost four ounces. Kethri, meanwhile, has gained four ounces. Yes, I did look squink-eyed at her. She admits nothing. However, blood was drawn from Merlin for testing, just to double-check that he doesn't have a thyroid problem like Kethri. Which meant, of course, that my bill was two-thirds more than I expected it to be. Ouch. There goes my mileage reimbursement. (And to make things even more interesting, our pay was short this week. They blamed it on a software glitch, but it was clearly someone in payroll either testing something out or jumping the gun, since it involved our longevity pay, which is part of the proposed contract on which we will be voting a week from Monday.)

Ah, well. That didn't stop me from buying a new Xmas tree this morning. I am really in the mood to decorate this year, and the baubles I bought last week would look ridiculous on my tabletop tree. Plus I acquired some Unicorn Tapestry-themed ornaments half-price after Xmas last year, and they turned out to be larger than expected. And it occurs to me that if I'm that much in the mood for it, maybe it's time to break out The Messiah....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Meteorological spring, my ass. It's snowing, or it was. Though I do have to admit that the Weather Channel's seers insist that it will be in the 40s by the end of the week, and that is definitely spring-like. Even if the snowdrops are buried.

Today has been a cooking day so far. I made pancakes for breakfast (with plenty left over to toss in a bag for quick breakfasts during the week) with bacon. I probably should not have had five strips of bacon for breakfast, but I didn't want to put just a couple back in the fridge. Now, I have blueberry muffins (or muffberry bluebins, as MyAuntie says) in the oven. I do them the easy way: I use a mix, but substitute fresh (for certain values of "fresh") berries for the canned ones. Those, I save for blueberry pancakes. I had a bag of berries rotting in the fridge, so I sorted out the icky ones from the ones which were still good, rinsed the latter, tossed the former, et voilà: muffberry bluebins, and half a dozen more than the mix says it'll make because the Real Berries™ take up more space. Kinda ridiculous, though, that a mix takes three eggs.

Kethri has apparently decided that since Nimue is no longer around to drive me crazy by being on the counter, that she'll take over. This morning, I actually called her "Nimue" when I was yelling at her to get down.

Still considering a puppy. I am nervous at the thought of a puppy, but reluctant to bring an adult rescue into the household without someone to help out with making sure she (and it will be a female, no matter what) didn't eat the cats. I don't hold with eating the cats. Mostly. According to a couple of different breed finder sites, my ideal dog is a Scottish deerhound, which, when I really look at it, sure looks a lot like Sheila. There is actually a Scottish deerhound up for rescue in Mishawaka, which is not far from MyAuntie and Nuncle's house. While there would be a certain symmetry to driving to Michiana to get my next dog (that is, after all, where Sheila came from), the dog in question is male and over a year old, and his information says that it's probably not a good idea to have him in a household with cats. Which is why I'm thinking that it would be best, if I were to get a deerhound, to start with a puppy, so as to let her know right up front that His Imperial Fucking Majesty Merlin I is in total charge here.

That said, I have to go, because he wants my chair.
malinaldarose: (tardis_bright)
I had a terribly exciting New Year's Eve. I went out in the morning and paid my mortgage and moved money into my savings account because property taxes are due by the end of the month (though I have not yet received my tax bill. I expect it to be around $1300.), and if I left the cash in my checking account, somehow, it would end up spent. Frittered, more like. Then I went to the grocery store and used up my Christmas bonus (a gift card from the union) buying meat for stew (and soup, and stir fry) and a few other things. Then I went to BJ's and stocked up on Godiva gift sets at ridiculously low prices...which are really much more reasonable, given how much chocolate they actually contain, than their before-Xmas prices.

In the afternoon, I signed up for trash/recycling pickup. Since I technically live in the country (I am neither in the City, nor the Village), I do not have municipal pick up. It's either a weekly trip to the transfer station or nothing. Fortunately, Friend P has a dumpster, so for as long as we have lived here, it has been monthly trips to the dumpster. But now that Friend P is taking a job across the state, and because I've always felt the monthly trip to be a bit of a hassle (and what if the van gets loaded up, and we get up there and the dumpster is full? We've always been supposed to call and check first, but P's not going to know when he spends most of his time on the other end of the state), and because the cost is reasonable and the person I talked to was extremely helpful and friendly, I signed up. Service starts next week, and they have zero-sort recycling which means that everything just goes in one container and gets shaken and magneted and pushed and pulled apart by them, and just seems really, really cool. They're supposed to pick up recycling every other week, but the woman I talked to said to just put it out every week and it would probably be picked up because they're using dual trucks in our area; one side is for garbage and one side for recycling, and almost everything gets recycled. Only actual garbage goes in that container. Everything else -- glass, metal, paper, cardboard -- gets recycled. And I'm going to start with all the stuff that has been sitting in the basement waiting to be either recycled or reused (really, how many gallon milk jugs does one need sitting around? None, in my opinion.), because the containers that they're going to drop off are huge.

And that's more than you ever wanted to know about trash pick up, I'm sure.

I feel so grown up now. I have real furniture in my house, and I signed up for trash pickup.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I watched Independence Day in the late afternoon while working on the SuperSekritCrochetProjeckt, then watched Brave in the evening. And cried. I'd like to get my mother and my grandmother to sit down and watch it, but they'd neither of them Get The Message. And then I went to bed early. And didn't sleep, as usual. This not sleeping thing is becoming really old. I haven't slept properly in a couple of months now. Very annoying.

The vet's office called yesterday with the results of Kethri's latest blood work. Doc M wants me to reduce her thyroid medication to one-half pill per day. This does not please Kethri at all, who has gotten used to having two special treats per day. Even when I gave her a cat treat in place of her pill last evening, she still wailed at me for her special treat. She really likes those Pill Pockets.

Right. I have today off (the county is closed), but it's the last day of my vacation, so I call Pajama Day. (Which will really be sweatpants day, because my pajamas aren't very warm.) I think I'm going to go make some pancakes and warm up the last of the Christmas leftover ham. And go watch my new yoga DVD so I know what I'll be doing to myself before I try to do it....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Cleaning has occurred. Not quite as much as Monday and Tuesday, but the downstairs tends to stay cleaner in general than other places. I did finally collapse the card table and put it away; I had set it up in the back room to put my suitcase on when I was packing for Italy...which tells you how lazy I get about cleaning. And remember when I ordered a cane for the trip from eBay and it didn't arrive until after I got back? I had never bothered to open that package; it was just sitting on the card table. That is opened and put away, the box collapsed and put away.

I also got up and loaded the van and ran garbage out to Friend P's dumpster. If we don't get the six inches of snow that has been forecast for this weekend, I'll probably make another trip out on Sunday morning, as the dumpster was nearly full, so I didn't take everything. (It's supposed to be emptied tomorrow or Saturday.) It's a good thing I'd called Friend P yesterday to check with him, because if I'd even loaded all the kitty litter bags, I'd've had to bring some of 'em back home.

By 9:00 a.m., I had already done a lot of work.

Friend P told me yesterday that he got the job he wanted. Since it's a good chunk of the way across the state, I might as well just start throwing pennies into a jar marked "Hire A Contractor" because even though he'll be taking an apartment there and coming home on weekends, he'll be far too busy to help me out here. It occurred to me while I was working in my bedroom yesterday, in fact, that the last time he had time to help me out here was just after I had my hair cut short, which was...three years ago? Well, a while, anyway; my hair's longest layer is almost bra-strap-length again, and it was short-short.

Kethri made it through her ordeal all right. The teeth came out and there were no complications. I didn't really have much chance to talk to Doc M as an emergency came in for her just as I was getting there to pick Kethri up; she did come out to tell me that all went well after they got the poor dog settled in a room, though. She was quiet in her carrier until I got her home. Once home, though, the quiet ended, partly, I think, because she smelled funny (which she did), so Merlin, Nimue, and Sheila had to snuffle her...and she wasn't having any.

FamilyFest later. I am not looking forward to it, but don't really have any reason to not go. Thinking I may watch a movie before I go, though....


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