Don' Wanna

May. 10th, 2017 06:36 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I'm tired. I know I say that a lot, but I am tired, and pretty much always in a state of holy fuck, could I use a nap. Right now, I could go back to bed and go to sleep and...be late for work.

Mama Cat appears to have moved her kittens the night before last. I am not displeased by this. I was fretting about them being out there for multiple reasons. I would probably eventually have tried to catch them, and then what would I have done? The SPCA wouldn't take them without expecting me to pay for them. One of the local rescues might, but...I'm not really hot on the local rescues. Ah, well. Decision is no longer mine to make.

I was reasonably certain yesterday morning that they were gone, but when I let Jack out last night, I stayed on the couch in the breezeway where I could read and keep an eye both on the ramp and on Jack. It was actually nice, and I discovered that my old couch, despite its rattiness, is actually more comfortable than the new one. Figures, right?

I finished Iorich last night. That leaves Tiassa and Hawk and then I'll be back to waiting for a new Vlad Taltos book. I'm debating whether or not to read the other Dragaera books while I'm on a roll, or whether to switch to something else. I guess we'll see when I finish Hawk.

I've been trying out posting by email from work. It seems to work okay. Which is nice because it means I don't have to drag posts home on a thumb drive. I'm sure DW is blocked at work, but even it it weren't, I wouldn't want to log in because of the monitoring. Logging into webmail feels easier to explain away. I have been accessing a few things more on my phone at work lately (hey, it's been sloooow), since there's public wifi in the building.

Still tired.

I've been trying to figure out how to find a decent painter for the house. I don't actually want to spend too much on the painting, so there's enough left to do the bathroom -- amazing how fast the money goes when you're making hefty payments on credit cards. So far, I haven't paid any of them off, though; just brought the payments down to within reach. I should pay them off, and I know that, but if I do, then I won't have the cash left for the house, which was really the point of the exercise. In any case, Angie's List is now free, so perhaps I will join and check there. I just need some names, and if all they will give me is The Big Two Names In The Area, then I will try the Old Boys' Network. I could probably get some names from my ex-father-in-law, but as much as I like him, I do feel awkward trying to talk to him. Less awkward talking to his wife, oddly enough, but for this, I'd have to talk to him.

The sky was gorgeous during walkies this morning. We have reached the point of the year where for the next couple of months, walkies will always be in daylight. This morning, the sun was not quite up when we got home, and the clouds to the east were painted all different shades of mauve and peach. I took my camera out back to try to get photos of the neighbor's dogwood tree against the light, but it was really too late for the best color. I can probably pull some color out of the photos in Photoshop, but....

The lawn is getting to the point of having to mow it and pretty wildflowers be damned. I will weep for them...and then zoom right over them because what else am I going to do? If I don't, one of the neighbors will probably helpfully do it for me. It's a toss-up between the Gossip and K next door who is so terrified of snakes that she mows that strip between my house and her fence so that snakes don't come into her yard from there -- as if they spontaneously generate in my foundation or something.

Yeah...still tired.

Day of Moan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But at least the smell of wet dog overpowered the smell of unwashed Gecko, so....
malinaldarose: (Default)
The Bat Guy -- whose name I never did get -- has been and gone. Actually, he's been gone for about three hours. I am...still nervous. I am nervous about tonight, because what if they leave and find a different hole -- one he missed -- to come in, and what if they all end up in the living space (as opposed to the attic)? He said they were definitely behind the chimney, possibly accessing the attic from there (if there was a big enough crack), so he ran sealant along the length of the chimney. He also said the attic vent right over my bedroom was wide open, so he put a screen over it.

He didn't do the garage because even though it's connected to the house, he didn't think it likely that bats were coming through there. Plus, he was trying to keep the cost in the range that he quoted me on the phone -- and in fact, it was slightly less (for certain values of "slightly").

I am scared that I am going to wake up in the middle of a cloud of bats, y'all.

Of course, I'm also scared that a cloud of bats is going to join me for Doctor Who later. It's the bathroom, you see. The insulation is still in place, so it's not like that ceiling is wide open, but it's not like there's a truly solid barrier there, either.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and the van? One of the hangers for the new muffler was bent, so that the tailpipe was rattling against the frame -- but not constantly. Fortunately, it made the noise while the mechanic was riding with me. We got back to the garage, and they fixed it for me in five minutes.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • Am now running out of spoons. Not a "spoonie" reference; I am literally running out of spoons because I didn't wash the dishes last night because of my burned thumb. I will have to wash tonight or start using plastic. (I use a lot of spoons between the dog and the cat.)

  • Evicted two more mice from the kitchen -- one last night just near sundown and one this morning just after walkies. I now have two Tin Cats that need to be cleaned before they can be redeployed. I hate cleaning the Tin Cats, even though I just dump buckets of soapy water in them, then rinse, then air dry. But I hate the thought of snap traps even more, so....

  • Saw a three different sets of deer on my way to the county building this morning.

  • I think I know where the bats are. Having looked over a couple of websites about bat removal, with accompanying photos, I think they're either in the chimney, or right near it, as there is a long dark stain on the chimney itself, and a hole nearby. Coincidentally, this might explain the scratching noises I often hear over my bedroom ceiling in the summer.

  • As much as I hate winter, as least I feel safe -- no bugs, no bats, mostly no mice, come to that. I sat in my back room reading last night for two reasons: I didn't feel like taking the covering off the couch (i. e., I didn't feel like having to replace it this morning), and I felt anxious about sitting in the living room, because I'd be constantly scanning for a bat to slip down from upstairs. (The stairwell is open, so generally the first instance of a bat making itself felt is when it slides into the living room from the stairs.) I've already started ducking when I step into the front part of the house from the kitchen. The bats seem to stay in the front part of the house, possibly because the kitchen doorway is quite a bit lower than the ceiling. I am seriously considering not waiting for a loan, but calling the bat removal company (yeah, looks like there are only two in this whole end of the state) and charging their service, because this is making me...really quite anxious. I am tired of having to deal with it, and last summer's occurrence was just particularly horrible because it took me two and a half hours to catch that second bat and get it out of the house (and it's probably right back in the attic, since it lives there), and then it took me three nights to be able to sleep again. It's probably a good thing that the cruise happened when it did, so I could actually get some sleep.

  • Maybe I need to find a new Great Hunter. Merlin could snag a bat on the wing, and it was easier to rescue them from him than it was to try to trap them without his assistance. Plus...fewer mice, apparently.

  • Speaking of which, I found a trail of gushy fudz across the kitchen this morning. I naively assumed that they were only after the kibble and picking that up was sufficient.

  • Which leads me to wonder exactly how much Kethri is eating.

  • I am so tired and so ready for a vacation and so not getting one until July. I'd call in sick this morning, but I did that only two weeks ago. I can't burn through sick time at the rate I have been lately; I might need it.

  • At least there is new Doctor Who this weekend, though I am disappointed that it is Peter Capaldi's last series. I really like him as the Doctor.

  • Right. Need to get up and get dressed. Need to not burn myself on the straightening iron this morning (by not straightening my hair; I'll pull it into a bun). I am definitely treating myself to a muffin this morning.

Mice

Apr. 10th, 2017 06:52 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
I discovered last night, while sitting in the back room reading, that there is at least one mouse hiding out under the stove. I could hear it under there crunching away at stolen kibble...and then I saw it running along the baseboard. When I approached it with the vague idea of popping a jar over it, it ran back under the stove. I'd wonder if this is one reason I'm having trouble with the oven, but that's been going on for a long time.

I wonder if it's just a coincidence that I have had so many mice in the house since last fall or if Merlin was a far better hunter than I was giving him credit for -- and I was giving him plenty of credit! So now I have bats in the attic (probably) and mice everywhere else. How exciting. I picked up Kethri's kibble bowl and deployed the Tin Cat last night, but didn't seem to catch anything overnight.

I created
malinaldarose: (Default)
I completely forgot to annoy my coworkers by blasting Celtic tunes all day yesterday. And, lo, I am ashamed. I could've managed it nicely, too, because my neighbor with the loud radio didn't come in until nearly noon, so it was quiet in my corner. Which is probably why it didn't occur to me. One values the peace....

I am going to have to see if I can find the manual for my thermostat online. The small manual I have for it doesn't get into how to program it, only how to install it. And it's completely messed up now. I can't even tell what's going on with it. Maybe it's back to factory defaults or something, but it seems to be set for 62° at night, which is fine, but 70° during the day, which is nice, but far warmer than I want to go until I figure out what my gas bill is going to look like. HTWIWM would never let me keep it above 64° during the day and 55° at night -- and he kept it at 55° during the day, too, when I wasn't home. I started bumping it up to 66° when I was home and 60° overnight. It seems obvious, though, that both his programming and Friend P's attempt to get rid of that programming are both gone. Now I need to be able to put in my own. I'll search for it later.

At the moment, though, I'm waiting for the car to warm up (i. e., the frost to melt because I don't want to scrape it) so I can go hunt the grocery beast.

Jack met himself a German shepherd pup on walkies yesterday afternoon. We were turning the corner and this dog just came charging at us from nowhere. He was about seven months old, and had a collar and tags, and I had a vague idea that he lived in the college house (I think it's still student housing, anyway; both of the people that eventually came out looking for him were wearing college sweats). He was friendly; he just wanted to play (playplayplay). I was a little worried about how Jack would react on the leash, but he was okay. At one point, I had the pup's collar and was trying to lead him home, but couldn't control Jack on the leash while clinging to the pup's collar, so I let the pup go and tried to get him to follow me and Jack to where I supposed his house to be. Fortunately, his people did come out looking for him, but dammit, if they're going to keep a dog in that house, they can't just let him out the door and ignore him. They're only one lot from a main road, ferchrissakes. I Do Not Approve. I presume that they were eventually able to catch him; he didn't want to be caught and was tearing around. I took Jack away, hoping that that would help, and he didn't follow us.

So I guess I'm going to have to keep an eye out for Frankie from now on, and maybe start carrying an extra leash in my pocket. And then maybe this'll never happen again....
malinaldarose: (Default)
Between the three of them, the guys (the Furnace Guy, The Subcontractor, and the Subcontractor's Brother) got the furnace in last night. They cleared out around 10:30. I took one last pass through the basement with a broom and dustpan to clear up some of the rusty-sooty dust that they missed (to keep Kethri from tracking through it), then I went to bed.

Where I proceeded to not sleep. It took a loooooong time to fall asleep and I didn't sleep very well. Consequently, I am tired this morning. I am also achey. My back aches, my head aches, my arms ache.... It turns out that shivering for twelve hours or so is pretty strenuous activity. Though I suddenly remembered that I also rearranged an entire roomful of not particularly light furniture to expose the "cold air return" (Goddammit, HTWIWM!), so I'm sure that's a contributing factor.

And I have to rearrange it again sometime this weekend because the way I had it was the best possible use of the small space and the large furniture in it, and the way it is now makes it look unbalanced and junky. Maybe I'll ask Bird to stop by after work and give me a hand because I mostly know where I want things, it's just a matter of muscling them into place. Or I suppose I could ask my idiot brother when he stops by to pick up the Gecko.

Speaking of which, I had him leave the Gecko yesterday morning. I was pretty determined to go to work if I could manage it, and didn't want to leave Jack alone, of course. (Spoiler alert: I never made it in, which is why I am going in today even though I am tired and achey and don' wanna!) The Furnace Guy was here around noon, but the work didn't get started until about 3:30. And talk about loud: smashenbangencrashengruben as HTWIWM and I would have said to one another with our Fake German (tm) (this is the same in-joke that produced Das Woofenwagen).

So she spent most of the day on my couch and I spent most of the day (except when rearranging the furniture or Managing Doors for the workers) on my computer reading fanfic, playing games, and obsessively checking email and FB. And not writing. All that time at my computer and I didn't do any writing...but I really couldn't when I was shivering so hard.

We did have heat for a while -- the furnace wasn't out, but it wasn't obeying the thermostat, either. Turned out that it did have a manual override which would turn it on and leave it on until the valve was closed again, but that was the only way to get it to work. So I turned it on in the afternoon after the Furnace Guy made his initial attempt to fix it and let it run until it got up to 73° in here, then shut it down again. Since yesterday was a sunny day, it stayed reasonably warm in here for quite a while.

The new furnace is astonishingly small. As I said yesterday, we took a server out of the basement on Dumpster Day that was nearly the same size. The old furnace was chest high on me and longer than my oustretched arms. So...there is suddenly yet more room in the basement. The air flow is stronger than on the old one; when it first came on, it blew a pair of glitter balls that had apparently been under the built-in bookcase in the living room right out into the middle of the floor. So it's a little louder when it's blowing -- but it doesn't sing like the old one. And I spared a brief moment when I saw them taking the fan motor for the old furnace out to think that I should make them leave it behind, since I paid $120 or so for it, but decided it wasn't worth the argument. Just like it wasn't worth trying to keep the scrap to sell myself. Let them have it.

The smell was horrific when it first started up -- worse than Autumnal Burnt Dust -- but it has already faded. The Furnace Guy warned me about it, and I told him I'd already noticed. He said that sometimes the initial burn-off of packing oils could set off smoke alarms, but so far, so good.

People keep telling me that this will help with my gas bills, but really? My gas bills appear to already be much lower than everyone else's. The Furnace Guy was telling me his was $250 last month! By comparison, mine was $120 or so. Of course, I do keep the house cooler, and there was the matter of the "cold air return" in the back room, and it turned out that one of the ducts running upstairs actually had a shut-off on it that was shut off, but heck. If it really does help the gas bill, maybe I'll allow myself the luxury of keeping the house at 68°! (Part of that, of course, is due to HTWIWM's Great Insulation Project, the one that meant that I had no walls when he abandoned me to my fate.)

I actually spent something like an hour on the phone with my mother last night. It's the first time I've talked to her -- really just talked to her -- in ages. As often as I complain about my mother, it's sometimes nice to just shoot the breeze with her. Plus it kept me from noticing how cold I was....

So...in one week, I have had a major irritant in the kitchen fixed AND I've had the furnace (that I was, frankly, frightened of) replaced. Major stuff, here. Little wonder I've been thinking of HTWIWM even more than I normally do.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Well, it turned out that this time, the furnace could not be saved. Given that it is original to the house, and given that the house was built in 1930, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is utterly shit timing. At least I still had the majority of my tax return (which was supposed to go to next year's trip), so by scraping both my savings and PayPal accounts, I was able to find enough cash for the 85% efficiency furnace (half the cost of the high efficiency furnace), but other than my change jar, I will be utterly broke until my next pay. Wheeeee?

I wonder if Corningware goes for anything on eBay? My mother keeps giving it to me....

But, as BFT points out, at least I won't have to worry about the ancient furnace blowing up in the middle of the night, and it did frighten me. The new unit will be considerably smaller than the original; in fact, when we were cleaning out down there when I had the dumpster, we took out a server that was only slightly smaller.

I was really upset, though, when the furnace guy told me that what HTWIWM had told me was a cold air return in the back room was actually a heat duct that he'd just shoved insulation into to block off. I could have had heat in the back room all these years. All these years. One of our mutual friends pointed out that when it comes to heating or spending money, I should never accept HTWIWM's word. And I should have realized that; I certainly knew what he was like on those two subjects. Maybe, when he told me that what he meant was he was going to turn it into a cold air return, but then it turned into one of the gazillion things he just never finished.

In any case. I will have a new furnace. I just hope they can finish it tonight; I don't want to have to load Jack into the car and go camp out at Grama's house.

Arg.

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: (hate_snow)
So there's a statewide snowpocalypse warning. The governor gave all state employees (except in six or seven downstateish counties) a snow day without having to use their accrual times. Even state employees at this end of the state get a snow day today. And, lo, I am jealous because that means that, for instance, in the One Stop uptown, the Dept of Labor staff won't have to report because they're state employees but the Dept of Social Services staff will because they're county employees. All of the school systems in the region are closed today. Seneca Nation offices are closed. My freakin' gynecologist's office is closed.

It goes without saying, of course, that I have to go to work today. Bleah.

It's not actually bad out there right now; no worse than any other storm we've had this winter. There's perhaps three-quarters of an inch of snow, but it is falling steadily. It's during the day that it's supposed to get bad, and overnight tonight. Which means that tomorrow is actually the day when it might be unpleasant. I was looking at a close-up radar map a little earlier, and you can actually see the gradations in the shading that show where the mini-snowbelts are. While I am in a light blue area here, for instance, the farm where I used to live is in a darker blue area. But such a tiny area that if you zoom out on the map, it no longer shows up.

Eh, whatever. Long story short: I have to work today. Phooey. Maybe I'll take tomorrow as a vacation day.

My big news is that the light in the kitchen is replaced. When I got home last night, the garage lights were hanging on the rack right next to the back door. I am both pleased and...less pleased. I am so happy to have HTWIWM's "temporary" fix for kitchen lighting gone. I am less pleased because -- and oh, how I hate to admit this -- he was right about the placements of his "temporary" lights. Having a single ceiling fixture means that if I'm working at the counter or the sink, I'm casting a shadow on whatever I'm working on. Also, the new light is way too bright for my small kitchen (it certainly shows where I need to clean!), and I'll have to figure out a way of fixing that. Over on FB, a dimmer was suggested, and I may look into that, though I'm not a fan of dimmer switches. When I was a wee lass, my grandmother had under-cabinet lights installed; I may look into something like that, too. At the moment, I just have a small lamp in the corner so I can have some light out there without the Bright White Light Of Fluorescea blazing away.

I feel like an idiot that I'm not entirely happy about the whole thing, but...well.

Unfortunately, the contractor didn't leave a bill behind. I was hoping that he would so that I could get a check in the mail to him today. I suppose he'll be mailing me one.

Oooo. Maybe I could hang some glimmer strings or icicle lights....

Ah, well. I suppose I need to go find some clothings to wear to The Place today (Dress Code: Be Dressed) so that I have time enough to a) have breakfast, b) make lunch, and c) get the car cleaned off.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I could cry right now -- but from joy, this time. A couple of weeks back, I finally got so fed up with the "temporary" lighting situation in the kitchen that I got a recommendation for an electrician. Yesterday, I nerved myself up to call the guy. An hour ago, he came in and took a look at it. On Monday, he's going to come in and fix it.

Fix. It.

I will have a completed project in my house. Completed.

I'm not sure I can express how much this means to me. I've done a fair amount of work here myself -- cleaning and reclaiming rooms¹ that were relegated to storage, getting help putting up the drywall, but doing all the mudding and painting myself -- but none of the projects I worked on myself have been finished because I've reached the point with all of them where I need help. Or need to hire someone.

This guy says he can do just about anything, and he says he has worked for both of the Really Big local contracting outfits. And I am seriously considering the possibility of a home improvement loan later this year when I get the van paid off.

Well. We'll see how it goes on Monday. I've already told my brother that the guy is coming in so he can pass it on to the Gecko.

Excited!
---
¹ Yes. Rooms, plural.

So Angry

Feb. 28th, 2017 06:55 pm
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am so angry right now, but not sure that I have any right to be. I am also thoroughly depressed -- and angry because I'm depressed and depressed because I'm angry and yay!

I got home at lunchtime to find that the Gecko had just simply made herself at home on my couch. She was kicked back in the spot I favor, with her feet up, and made absolutely no attempt to even conceal the fact that she'd been lounging all day, unlike last week, when she'd at least sit up and put her feet on the floor when I got home for lunch.

So, great. She ruined my nearly brand new wing chair and hassock -- I will never get the smell of her out of them -- and now she's going to ruin my new(ish) couch. (The couch came from my parents, who only bought it three years ago.)

I don't feel that I can tell her to a) bathe more than once a year, or b) not sit on the couch (I mean, it's totally reasonable to expect her to stay out of my cupboards and fridge, but not so reasonable to expect her to stick to just one piece of furniture), and so I have to silently fume about it. I was so angry at lunchtime that I had to leave my own home. I ended up getting Burger King for lunch and eating in my cubicle.

When I got home after work, she was gone, at least, but I could see that the curtains were disordered, apparently from her peering out looking for her father. Though why she was peering north when the driveway is south, I do not know.

I loathe her. I despise her. I cannot stand having her in my space.

And, yet, I can't afford anything better. You get what you pay for, and I cannot afford $200 a month (plus the extra gas and time) to take Jack to proper doggy day care.

That wasn't the only thing, though. I turned on the kitchen lights, and one of the bulbs was out. Now, I have probably described my kitchen light set up: There is a fixture in the middle of the ceiling for a recessed fluorescent light of the sort you see in offices. HTWIWM decided that wasn't sufficiently bright for cooking, so more years ago than I can now remember, but probably fifteen, he took that fixture out. He then installed two garage spot lights (not the yellow hanging kind, but the kind that have a reflective dome behind them), one over the stove and one over the sink, and somehow wired them into the empty fluorescent space, then covered that space over with insulation. It was meant, like so many of the stupid redneck things he did around here, to be a temporary fix. And like so many of the things he did, I have had to live with it. The reflector dome on the light over the stove is loose, and only stays up because it rests on the light bulb itself. My dad told me that wasn't actually a problem, but it seems like one to me, and my patience is finally at an end. I have my tax refund, and even though it is earmarked for Other Things, I got the name of an electrician/carpenter today, and I mean to call him.

I just hope I can afford him.

I think I'm going to go watch, first, the last twenty minutes of Return of the Jedi because I shut it off early last night, and then, probably, a couple of episodes of Emergency! because lately, it's my go to thing when I'm depressed. Johnny and Roy to the rescue, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then again, her parents are hardly the best role models....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's the last day of January and thus, one day closer to spring. Actually, by some measures, spring starts with Imbolc, which according to my calendar is tomorrow. (I always observed it on 2 February, though.) Regardless, I do have mixed feelings about spring this year. After last summer's Bat Episodes, I am just not looking forward to that again. I am beginning to think that when I get the van paid off later this year, I should take out a home improvement loan, get everything done that needs to be done (which is ridiculous; I can't get that much money!) and start looking for a house that doesn't have bats in it.

I won't, mind you. Inertia is my middle name, and while "inertia" also implies unending movement, I'm not in the movement phase. I am definitely at rest.

If I were smart, I'd buy my grandmother's house. But the neighbors are so close (they're actually on Gram's property on both sides; the line runs right through the middle of the one guy's garage). And the stairs are so narrow and steep and the only way to fix them is to completely remodel the downstairs and actually move the stairs elsewhere. And it's much farther from work; I wouldn't be able to come home for lunch on a daily basis. And it's smaller than my place; where would I put my books? It's not dinky, by any means, but really, where would I put my books?

I was bitching at work yesterday about that wellness program that I was enrolled in and found that a few others had received the flyer and just tossed it. I still don't understand how it's not a HIPAA violation, but I probably signed something at some point allowing the sharing of that information. Or maybe I didn't. Maybe they're just assuming that nobody cares or nobody knows HIPAA. But...well. Our agency is very much bound by HIPAA and we've had it drilled into our heads on numerous occasions.

In any case, I sent them a short, pithy, snarky (some would say bitchy) email to the effect that I had been enrolled without my knowledge or consent and wanted to opt out immediately. I received about half an hour later, a confirmation email. I said "thanks;" the person on the other side said, "my pleasure," and that was it. No, really. She said, "My pleasure." I let it go after that rather than devolve into a Chip and Dale exchange of pleasantries.

We're supposed to be playing around with the AVS practice site now that we've had the training, before we go live, but I haven't. Haven't even logged into it yet. I really should since I'll be using it a lot more than some of my cow-orkers, but I have better things to do with my time, I guess. Maybe I'll poke at it today; recerts are due in today, but as usual, I've only received a few. Good thing I'm not a terrible stickler about time frames; I'd be constantly closing and reopening cases. I do enough of that as it is.

I went to visit my grandmother last night. Casting about for a topic of conversation, I told her that I'd been watching Emergency!; I figured she'd relate to that because she spends a lot of time watching the classic TV station and I know they were airing it at one point. I laughed about how I had a crush on one of the actors when I was a little kid and I still kind of had a crush on him, but it was weird to realize that he's got to be in his 70s now. Gram laughed, too. "Maybe he can be your sugar daddy," she said.

Now...my aunt and my mother both complain about Gram not being as sharp as she should be, but she sure as heck remembers the stuff I tell her -- like when I said that for my birthday (or for Christmas; Ican't remember which) I wanted a sugar daddy....

The weather seems to be unable to quite make up its mind whether it wants to snow or not. I've looked out the window a few times to find snowglobe snow falling, only to look out a few minutes later and find it clear. Last night, I looked out the back window and by the time I made it to the front window, the snow had stopped. Or maybe it was only falling in the backyard. At least it's not piling up too much.
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's the January Thaw. My sister snorted at me yesterday when I mentioned it, but it's a Real Thing. I first became aware of the January Thaw a little over twenty years ago when I was wandering the fields behind my office building on a Saturday in January taking photographs. There was at least one dandelion in the field and it was in the low 60s. Since then, I've paid attention, and most years, we do have a spectacular thaw in January. Right now, it's 51° and pouring. If it were twenty degrees cooler, we'd be having a terrible blizzard. This is, according to the weather wiseacres, the warmest and last day. Tomorrow, it's supposed to be 27°. After the Thaw, temperatures usually slide right down into the awfulness that is February.

You know that part of The Dark Is Rising where the Old Ones steal the Ice Candles from the Dark and break the cold? And it starts raining? That's what this morning is like.

And Jack, of course, had to have his walkies. I actually wore my rain coat with only a sweater under it, so only my legs got wet, but Jack got drenched...and now smells of wet dog. I turned us around as soon as he completed his business, so walkies got cut short again today, even though it's so warm.

In other news...there really is no other news. Which won't stop me from blathering on at length about nothing because that's what I do.

I have to check and see if my W2 is available yet¹; if it is, I may do my taxes this weekend. I have been considering what to do with my refund. Normally, I would stash it away to either use for traveling expenses or to pay my school taxes later in the year. This year, though, since we're not traveling, I was thinking about paying off some credit card or other, but then it occurred to me that I could get something done on the house...and I think I might look into seeing about getting the bats out of my attic. Even without sticking my head through that hatch, I think we can be pretty well certain that there are bats nesting up there, because I have had at least one [thoroughly sluggish] bat appear in the winter when any normal, self-respecting bat is hibernating. And I have had at least one bat in the house every year since moving in (and multiple ones some years). I wonder if the health department has a list of people who remove bats. I don't mind bats outside. I wholly applaud their efforts on the mosquito front alone. But I don't want them in my house.

Nobody's going to be surprised if I say that I spent all of last evening binge-watching Emergency!, right? Read more... )

At this rate, I'll be through the series by the middle of next month. I wonder what I'll do with my time, then....
---
¹ The county went paperless with all of our payroll information (as long as we don't get an Actual Check) last year, and W2s were actually available, and I had my refund in my chilly little hands before they would've even bothered to send them out previously. They always figured that if we had to have them by 31 January, then we'd damn well get them on 31 January.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Merlin must have caught many, many, many, many more mice than I ever knew about. Either that or there has been a population explosion due to the round up of the stray cats this past spring. In either case, I have never had so many mice in the house as I have this year. I was trying to decide where to deploy the Tin Mouse next since I have been hearing movement in the wall right by my desk, and it occurred to me to see if there was space in the kitchen closet. When I opened the door and really looked with a flashlight, I discovered that the mice had, indeed, been partying in there. I managed to wriggle one Tin Mouse in there, but I think the best thing to do is to clear everything out of there and clean the space up. The biggest problem with having mice in there is that it's where I keep my towels and wash cloths and spare TP and such, as it's right across from the [downstairs] bathroom door, so I'll need to clear space in the bathroom for some of that. I'm also going to have to go through the drawers of the cheap dresser in there to make sure that there aren't mice nesting in my towels.

Ugh.

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

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

And I totally blame HTWIWM, because why the hell not.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday started out fairly busy, but ended up low key. I loaded Jack into the van (he very much knows what "Do you want to go for a ride?" means) and we Went Places. He was very well-behaved. I went into K-Mart and when I came out, I heard barking, but it turned out not to be Jack. Two other dogs were right next to each other and barking. Jack was only standing on the back seat craning his neck to see what was going on. He might have started barking had I been a few minutes longer...or he might not. He's not much of a barker, really.

Then we had to go uptown to the Eye Place so I could pick up contact lenses. I was ever so pleased that my insurance covered them -- I thought this was the off-year. (They only cover every other year -- and only contacts or glasses, not both.) Since we were uptown, we went to the uptown grocery store, which I never go to, but for which I had a $15 gift certificate. The union has always given us gift certificates to the grocery store that I go to, but this year, they used the other store. I guess there are more options in the county for that, but I was still annoyed. I never go there unless I'm buying cheese for MyAuntie. So I bought basically junk: a loaf of bakery bread, a muffin, a tin of Piroulines, a tub of Old York, some chicken fingers from the deli. I don't even like going into that place. When I was a little girl, it was a grocery store called Leo's and one night, Leo's burned down -- but not all the way. The building was rehabbed and reopened as a grocery store, though I don't think it was reopened as Leo's. In any case, I was quite young and convinced that any building where there had once been a fire could catch fire again at any time. So I was really afraid to go in there, and that has translated into a distaste for the place as an adult, which I could easily overcome if they had a decent selection of merchandise, but they don't. They don't even have any decent chocolate. Well, they have Lindt bars, but nothing that I wanted.

After that, we had to run out to the V-E-T's office to get some Dasuquin for Jack (it's a glucosamine cocktail for dogs, and he is of that age now), then stopped at the bank on the way home to cash a check. We were still in the east end of town when Jack suddenly yarked on the seat. He doesn't get carsick, so I'm not certain what that's all about. I could see him doing something in the rearview mirror, but I was in traffic and couldn't look, but when we got home, I discovered that he had pulled the towel down and balled it up around the vomit, so it was all a nice, neat little package, then he'd settled right back down on the seat (on the other towel). Clever boy! When we got home, I shook it out into the side yard (to the later delight of the crows), and tossed the towel right in the washer.

The rest of the day was spent looking for photos to put into some collage frames I want to get up before Sunday -- trying to choose just eight photos from my Italy trip was so difficult. I could do a collage of architectural details, or doors, or even just lions. So many lions -- the symbol of St. Mark. I ended up picking a couple of views of Venice (the classic view of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge, and a shot of moored gondolas), the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a doorway in Orvieto, a shot of the Colisseum from below, a madonna sculpture in Siena, a castley shot from San Gimignano, and my "Narnia" shot from Lucca. Then I had to pick eight shots from Alaska for the other collage frame. That was a bit easier -- far fewer photos from which to choose, for one thing. And it occurred to me that I don't think I bought professional prints of my photos from our trip to Montreal, because I considered putting those into the remaining frame instead of Alaska, but couldn't find a photo album. Unless it's in the Spare Oom. I should look there before I hang the frames...which is a project for today. And it will definitely be a project.

Last evening, BFT and I went out to dinner and exchanged Yule gifts. She got me a book on fantasy photography and a very pretty red-and-gold frame for a photo of my own. I will have to choose carefully. She was thrilled with both her graduation gift and her Yule gifts. She had admired an hourglass in Barnes & Noble as far back as her birthday; she almost bought it on my birthday trip, but elected to buy a less expensive compass, instead, so I bought her the hourglass as her graduation gift. Timepieces are traditional graduation gifts, right? And then some other stuff I found for Yule. It was a successful exchange.

I don't have to go out today, so I will probably brush Jack. He hates being brushed -- I think he's afraid of it. Certainly whenever I kneel anywhere near him, he gets up and runs away. So I will have to sneak the brushes into my office, then come in and play a couple of games of Solitaire or something so that he settles down near me, then betray him by closing the door and deploying the brushes. He won't even take treats from me when I'm done. Well, he'll take them, but he drops them on the floor and runs away. It's kind of heart-breaking. But he needs to be brushed before I bother vacuuming or dusting anywhere else in the house because he is blowing his coat.

There is a mouse (or vole, or squirrel, or chipmunk, or bat) living in the wall between my office and the stairwell. When I am at my desk around 5:30 p.m. or so, I can hear it scratching around in there. I will be deploying the trap in the upstairs not-bathroom this morning, though I have no indication that it's leaving the wall before it gets to the attic. I don't think it's coming up from the basement, because I have heard scratching in the attic. I think it's coming down from above. Well, we'll see if I catch anything. I hate going into the bathroom; getting in there is a complicated process because of how I had to engineer a temporary wall to keep the cats out of there. Which means unless I hear rattling, I will probably only check the trap once a day.
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
My fingers are cold, but there's really nothing new in that. Even in July, I can have cold fingers. I went out to the mailbox without any gloves on and the flag was buried in snow, so in order to put it up, I had to dig it out, so I ended up with cold fingers. I am cold in general, though, because I'm still dressed for Going Out in jeans. I need to go upstairs and dig out a pair of sweatpants. That'll help me warm up.

I bought myself three pairs of Fluffy Socks this morning. I have a couple of pairs that I have relied on for years and they're definitely showing it. The one pair has no more elastic, so they fall down and end up looking like very low, very pink pirate boots, while the other pair are still fuzzy enough in the legs and go up to my knees but are very threadbare in the toes and heels. Maybe I should cut them off and make arm warmers out of them.

It would help, of course, if fabrics were as heavy as they used to be. What passes for flannel these days wouldn't keep me warm in the aforementioned July, and most of my newer sweatshirts are barely thicker than t-shirts.

Speaking of Things That Are Not Like They Used To Be, five-pound bags of sugar are now four pounds, just like a half-gallon container of ice cream is now considerably less, or the eleven-ounce bag of Raisinets is the same size, but now contains only eight ounces. And the prices are the same, or even higher for these smaller quantities.

Grrrr.

Also, brrrr.

I got my errands and chores out of the way and nothing is now standing between me and Putting Up The Christmas Tree -- except a total lack of ambition. I will probably get started on it after lunch, though.

We actually got quite a lot of the snow which we were supposed to get, for once. I do not approve. People from elsewhere in the county yesterday were telling stories about how their drive in was okay until they got to this area. Usually, it's the other way around: we don't get much while other places get hammered. We're supposed to get more, too. Ugh.

My brother kindly blew out my driveway last evening, but it really wasn't him being nice. He just wanted to play with my snowblower. Which, fine, whatever -- I wasn't going to do it because the snow wasn't that heavy. It was mostly light and powdery.

I survived another week of LJ Idol, and there is a new topic up: brushback pitch, which is apparently a baseball term that boils down to a warning to not be where you're not supposed to be. I'm considering resurrecting Valentine Church, hard-boiled PI (why, exactly, does one boil a PI?) or Sal Alarra of Lightcastle Station/Station K-32-Droxara, as they seem the sorts of characters who'd go along with a topic like that.

In other news, I am pretty sure my hot water heater is leaking, but I can't catch it at it. I suspect it does either during my showers or after when the tank is refilling. I will have to see if my next door neighbor still has the three-year old water tank she had to replace when she put in a new furnace, and if my father can install it. Or maybe I should just call Sears. I'm already in hock to them up to my knees; might as well go on up to my waist.

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