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Poor Jack has been egregriously abused this weekend. First, I dosed him with Interceptor yesterday morning (though he didn't seem to mind it), then last evening I grabbed his tail to get him off a young woodchuck that he caught in the backyard. (The woodchuck died.) And just now, I dosed him with his monthly flea/tick drops. He hates that. He actually ran away from me and I had to corner him to administer them. Of course, he might also have still been upset over me dragging him in by his collar last evening, so that when I grabbed his collar this morning.... Well, it's done for another month. I understand there are different meds out there now, but I just refilled these and can't return them, so that's that.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, whatever. Time to think about mowing the lawn.
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Guess who overslept by nearly half an hour today? Guess who's lucky that she didn't have to be to work at the usual time?

Go on, guess.

Today I have to drop the van off at the garage to have the rattling noise -- which has not recurred -- looked at. I will also have them add the brake fluid and possible throw the code-checky-thingummy at it to make sure that's all it wants. I am hoping they won't need it for any longer than it takes me to have breakfast at MacDhougal's which is two doors down. When I made the appointment, they said they'd need it for several hours, but here's hoping....

---

And here I am at home, waiting for them to call me. Even though I was there at 8:28, and they open at 8:30, it was apparent that they weren't going to get to Das Woofenwagen right away as they already had two cars up on lifts. And, indeed, I have been home for an hour and am still waiting for their call. The funny thing was that as I was passing Tim Horton's on the way home, Co-Conspirator P was pulling out from the drive-thru and informed me I was headed the wrong way. Which I was...sort of. So I had to explain that I'd be seeing her later, as soon as they're done with the van.

The Gecko is out in the living room, sitting in the chair playing on her laptop. I'm sure that as soon as I leave to go get the van, she'll sack out on the couch. She slept all through my lunch hour yesterday. It kind of annoys me that she spends so much time sleeping while she's here, but Jack doesn't mind, and that's what really matters. The new day care place on my way to work has opened; I need to stop and ask them what their rates are. And if they're affordable, get Jack vaccinated for kennel cough, as that's the only one we skimp on.

Which reminds me....call the vet's office; Jack needs more [expensive] meds. Let's see...Interceptor and Dasuquin...that'll be $120 easily. Good thing tomorrow's pay day. Whee!

Speaking of meds, I need to see about switching pharmacies again. CVS is too expensive.

I did finish A Wizard Abroad yesterday afternoon. It's the fourth book in the Young Wizards series. I still have the fifth, as well as The Book of Night With Moon actually on my shelves. I was going to just power through them, but when I read the back cover of the next one, I just wasn't interested. The characters don't really grab me, and TBoNwM apparently has cats as main characters and I actually don't like animals as main characters. Ramoth and Mnementh or Yfandes or Rolan are one thing (and not main characters, anyway), but.... *shrug* So when I got ready to go out this morning, I grabbed the next Miss Fisher book. I have three backed up and waiting, and...seven, I think, to catch up to the current book in the series. Though I did also eye Anansi Boys since I recently reread American Gods.

Uncomfortable news in the 'hood recently. My next-door neighbor, K, called me to the fence the other evening to warn me about a couple of youngish guys who approached Mrs. T across the street the day before that. Mrs. T is probably in her 90s now, but still goes for long walks a couple of times a day. These two guys approached her as she was returning from her morning walk (so...around 9:00 or so) and asked if they could mow her lawn. She has B next door take care of it for her, and he'd just mown it a couple of days before this, so of course she said no. They passed her and went on up the street, and she went home. But she happened to look out the window and saw them turn around and come back and up her driveway. She went outside to see what they wanted; she wanted to be in plain sight of the other neighbors when she did. They told her they needed gas money, and she replied that they'd come to the wrong person for that. They did go away again, but she was understandably frightened. When K told me, the evening of the day after this happened, Mrs. T had not yet filed a report with the sheriff's department. I hope she has since. Apparently, the Gossip has been muttering about shooting people...which, really, I am not surprised that he has a gun or six. But if anything happened to Mrs. T, the entire street would be up in arms. There hasn't been any sign of them again, so far as I know, which is good.
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The garage sale was pretty much a bust. I made less than $80 and my folks made less than $200. That's very little return for so much work. I sat out there all day with Mom yesterday -- except for when I was in the library balancing the checkbook and writing checks to make sure they went out in yesterday's mail -- and there were very few people who actually stopped. I'd say about a third of the people who came down the street, slowed down, glanced at things from their cars, and kept going. Given that the majority of the stuff was actually in the garage.... As usual, lots of people looked at the tub, commented on how they grew up with one, then went on their merry way. Well, except for the one guy who said it was too short to be worth anything, and who then went on his merry way. Jerk. There was a map of all the garage sales in the city, and Dad did go up to pay the fee to get on the map...and we weren't on it. Dad will apparently be taking that up with the organizers on Monday. Not that it will make any difference.

Next week is my town's garage sale day, so we left everything in the garage and will try again next weekend.

I was rather hoping to spend today just vegging out with movies and books and my computer, but the weather forecast indicates that if I don't go do some mowing, I will regret it. The back yard nearest the house went unmown last week because I didn't want to frighten the kittens...who were probably already gone the evening I mowed. Oh, well. In any case, that's the section of the yard that grows the fastest, so it's already ankle-deep again. The front could do with a quick running over, but I may let that go. It'll depend on how my feet feel after I've got the back done.

It turns out that some of the neighbors were asking why I hadn't mown my front yard for so long, but my next-door neighbor K let them know I was waiting for the violets to be done. She told me that I'm not the only person in the neighborhood who does, which is nice to know. But I bet it was the Gossip who asked. He's such a nosy control freak.

K also called me over to the fence yesterday evening when I was retrieving my laundry and contemplating what to have for supper and offered me a burger. She and her neighbor on the other side had grilled out and had leftovers. So while I took the laundry in, she made up a plate that included a burger, some tater tots, and green beans, which was really sweet of her. She's really a pretty good neighbor, despite her insistence on mowing that one strip of my property, and I'm beginning to understand that it's her terror of snakes that drives that. She's convinced that if my grass is too deep, she'll have snakes in her yard. There may be something to that, actually. I've only ever seen one snake in my yard, but she sees several a year, and I mow far less often than she does....
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I bought a new lawnmower this morning. I am hoping that the extended warranty is sufficient and I don't have to hunt me up a virgin to sacrifice to the Lawn Gods. I will probably not try it out today, though; it's supposed to be cloudy and chilly. I'll save it for tomorrow and/or Monday. Or maybe I'll at least try it with the front yard this afternoon. We'll see; I have a bunch of desk-related tasks to do as well. I should probably also take the old one in to be serviced and keep it around as a back up.

The folks at Home Depot were really nice about it when I asked if they could take it out of the box for me. The guy took it out of the box, got the handle situated for me (which involved a bit of smacking with tools to get the bolts to cooperate), then lifted it into the van for me and chocked the wheels so it wouldn't roll around. And everybody was chipper about it. It was nice.

In neighborhood news, the couple two houses up has separated. Supposedly, they're not going to divorce, but according to what our mutual next door neighbor told me, the wife has been miserable here for a long time, and so she has moved to Indiana to be near her kids. The husband cannot retire for another five years or so, so is staying here. Five years is a heck of a long time to live apart. Her moving van pulled out yesterday morning sometime between the time I walked Jack and the time I left for work. I feel kind of bad for them; they married the same year I did, and moved into the neighborhood as newly weds a few months after we did.

Across the street, meanwhile, the Gossip and his wife have returned from their winter peregrinations. I am not looking forward to having them around; I have decided that I really don't like him. (She's pretty much a non-entity; she hardly ever leaves the house.) He's nosy, and he's a pain in the ass. He's very helpful, but in a controlling sort of way that is very like my mother's helpfulness. He snatched one of my many lawnmowers out of my hands one time while I was changing the spark plug and marched across the street with it to fix it. I was really annoyed that it did run better after that for a while.

In what is not a surprise to anyone, the switchover to the new phone system at work did not go smoothly. Well, maybe it did, but nearly everyone had some difficulty setting up their voice mail, and when I left yesterday afternoon, mine was still not working. Having now had to use the phone, I can say that I do not like them. The sound quality sucks. But, hey, at least it stays hung up now.
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This afternoon Jack and I met Flynn, the doberman who lives up the street. Flynn was out walking with his Boy who was entirely too small to be walking a full-grown doberman on his own, because when Flynn decided that he wanted to meet Jack, Flynn took off, dragging his Boy behind him. Unfortunately, the Boy tripped and fell, so Flynn was literally dragging him on his chest into the middle of the street, and that's where the kid stayed. Fortunately, Flynn stayed with him. I didn't want to make Flynn chase us, so I made Jack sit, and we all stayed there in a Doggy Stand Off until the Boy's mother ambled up the block to take charge of Flynn.

I have to stay that I was really impressed with the way she handed it, too. She didn't hurry; she didn't make any appearance of being worried or upset. She took charge of the dog, got the kid on his feet, and the whole time, she spoke in a soothing tone telling him how well he did, at the same time telling me that Flynn is a friendly dog.

Maybe, maybe not. People usually say that. I don't, but that's because I don't want people running up to my dog...though with Jack it wouldn't matter. He loves people. With some of my other dogs, it really did matter. Deuce hated kids, for instance, and I had an argument once with a woman who insisted on letting her grandkid stick his fingers through my back fence (they owned the lot on the other side), even when I told her that she needed to get him away from my dog. "Oh, it's fine! We have dogs, too!" Yeah, lady, I'm sure you do, but they're probably not gonna take the kid's fingers off! I ended up having to take the dog inside and keep her inside whenever they were around.

Anyway, I am partially to blame for the incident (with Flynn, that is); I should've turned around and gone the other way as soon as I spotted him and saw how big he was and that it was pretty obvious that the kid wasn't big enough to control him. At least the mother was actually paying attention.
---
On Friday, I told the Gecko that she was going to have to listen for the furnace guy because he was going to come back to finish up the work (there was one more piece of duct to put in; he hadn't had a piece of the right size the night before). I told her that it wouldn't be that day because he was going to be out of town, but that she'd have to pay attention this week.

So yesterday, I asked her if there was any sign of him. Nope.

Today, I asked her if there was any sign of him. "Oh, yeah," she said. "I've been meaning to tell you since Friday. Somebody came to the house. I think it was him."

"Did he knock?"

"Yeah."

"Did you let him in?"

"Yeah."

"Did he go into the basement?"

"Yeah."

*sigh* So down into the basement I went, and sure enough, there was new ductwork down there. I didn't see it on Saturday because of the abyssmal lighting situation down there which I am still trying to fix.

I just...seriously? She couldn't tell me this on Friday? Or Monday? If I hadn't asked her, would she ever have mentioned it? (The answer to that question is no. No, she would not have, because she doesn't speak to me unless I first speak to her. I walk into my own home and she does not acknowledge me.)

And corollary: If a burglar had knocked at the door, would she have let him in?

Probably.
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After all the fuss and running around of last week, I was really looking forward to having a nice quiet day off. Unfortunately....

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

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

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

Roofers.

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

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

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

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

Cross-Offs

May. 31st, 2016 07:41 am
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I finished nearly everything on my do-list this weekend, including hanging curtains in the living room. All of my windows match now, for the first time in the sixteen years I've lived in this house. When we first moved in, HTWIWM just tossed curtains at the windows -- he didn't give a fig about what they looked like; his only preference was that they blocked as much light as possible. (His aversion to light was the reason why the north-facing room that is now the library was his office and the south-and-west-facing room became my office.) I always hated those curtains, but even after he left, I didn't change them because I was waiting for the remodeling to finally get finished. When I realized, several months back, that it was just never going to get finished (and after the dog destroyed so much of the window frames), I decided to just attach curtain rods to the drywall and hang some decent curtains. It took a while to get them right, but I am quite pleased with the final result.

Plus, they hide the dog damage and the fact that there is no window trim, and there's just insulation hanging out.

Take victories where you can, I guess.

I also got a start on gathering the paperwork to apply for a VA benefit for Gram. Now that I've begun, I don't think she's going to be eligible after all (based on some stuff from the VA that I found in her papers), but I'll submit the paperwork anyway, just on the off chance because her assisted living place costs twice as much as her monthly income, and she is burning through her savings. I have to find out if the VA considers her house to be a countable asset now that she's not living in it. I have to stop thinking like a Medicaid worker while I'm doing this because the rules are going to be completely different!

My next-door neighbor, who is terrified of snakes, found a snake in her backyard yesterday. How is she so lucky? I haven't seen a snake in ages. It was almost certainly a completely harmless garter snake. I hope she doesn't spot it again, because she'll kill it. Both Mrs. P in back and I urged her to leave it alone, but.... I did read up a little on how to catch and transport a wild snake yesterday just in case she spotted it again; I'd rather try to move it than have her kill it. I had been napping in the sun, but had to come inside just in case she found it again and killed it instead of calling me.

This is my normal 9-5 week at work, and I don't know that I have much to do. I should be getting recertifications in since they're due by today (for certification periods ending June 30), but I probably won't. Everyone knows that we won't act on lack of paperwork for at least a week -- there's no point. Oh, I know. I got a new application for that case in the box on the end of my desk. I need to go through that...oh, poo. I can't do that, either; there's a trust that I have to wait for Legal to go through and clear. It's the longest trust I've ever seen; it runs to 50 pages or so and actually has a table of contents. You know you're in trouble if your legal document has a table of contents....

In some ways, I wish that we had never had someone assigned to help us with applications, because now there isn't enough to do. Two people can't really handle it, but three is too many. She shouldn't, perhaps, be getting every other application, but maybe every fourth one. (Plus, I hate having to deal with cases that go out in my name, but which I haven't ever touched.)

Anyway. Time to get back to Gram's app. I can get everything completed and maybe speak to someone at Aging or Veterans later. Aging first, I think, since I know that our local veterans agency isn't actually the VA.
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  • I updated Firefox this morning. The newest version seems to have done away with the menu bar. It's ridiculous how much that makes me want to cry. (Not kidding. I am literally nearly in tears over this. It's stupid, but there it is.) (Also? No cracks about other browsers.)

  • My favorite inexpensive chocolate is Raisinets. Remember a few years ago when half-gallons of ice cream suddenly started being not a half gallon? Nestle has done the same thing with Raisinets. The 11 ounce bag is now only 8 ounces -- but the bag is the same size. They just moved the zipper lower. The price is the same, of course.

  • I tried to find a t-shirt this morning that I could wear while mowing the lawn. I've gained a lot of weight, and I just need a bigger size...and I couldn't find anything suitable. I do not want to have to pay $25 to get a t-shirt from Lands End or some other such place just to wear while mowing the lawn.

  • Despite the rain this morning -- which is, granted, pretty light -- the garage sales are going on. I am not pleased with all the traffic in the neighborhood, especially since I have people parking in my front yard. Right at the edge, but still.... I will have to deal with people turning around in my driveway all day, too. And I'm sure there will be some asshole who figure s/he can either park in my driveway or just block part of it since it's a two-lane drive and there's currently only one vehicle sitting in it.


  • Meanwhile, I suppose I should check and see if anyone has any bookshelves....

  • I really don't want to say anything to anyone official about the unprofessional presentation the other day...but one of my coworkers is the wife of the sheriff. I complained to her. And she has to attend the training herself next week. I'm relatively certain that if the unprofessionalness (-ism?) was not just my own perception that she will say something to her husband.

  • My head hurts this morning, and I am really tired. Maybe that's why the new Firefox is upsetting me so much.

  • Oooookay...I had closed Firefox, and reopened it and the menu bar is back, so I guess I'm going to have to blame Amazon, because something funky was going on there this morning, and it was after that that I noticed the menu bar was gone. My head still hurts, though.

  • *sigh* Gotta go out to the post office this morning. Might as well get that done.
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It has been a looooooong week, and yesterday seemed the longest day of all, partly because the phone kept ringing and two different clients' reps came in to see me. Normally I don't see a single person in weeks, so two in one day is really unusual. Also, it was my 9-5 week and I didn't come home for lunch all week so as to avoid the Ravening Gecko. I decided to take a vacation from her, so I either took my lunch or ate out, and came home five or ten minutes late all week. It worked, too, except for when I had to get ready to leave really quickly on Thursday because her father dropped her off early. Which, I have to say, is really annoying, but at least this time it wasn't early enough that I was still in the shower. This time, it was only ten minutes before I'd've left, anyway, and I was all packed to go, so it was just a matter of getting out the door.

She does seem to have stayed out of things this week, at least, and there aren't any Q-Tip ends on the floor next to the chair, possibly because I picked them all up last Sunday and left them in a pile on the TV tray next to the chair. They were gone when I got home from work, so perhaps she took the hint.

She'll probably be okay for a couple of weeks, then she'll start getting into things again, as soon as she thinks I've forgotten about it.
---
It may possibly be Spring for real now. The grass is definitely growing -- I hear mowers, as I type -- and the blossoming trees are starting to do just that. It's sunny right now, but only around 50°, which is, I suppose, normal for this time of year. Cold, though, compared to a week ago when it was in the 70s. It's suppose to be warmer tomorrow, a bit, so I waited to do the laundry.

The people who own the vacant lot behind mine came this morning and mowed it for the first time this year. When I saw them tossing branches around near the fence, I half-expected them to start tossing them over the fence, especially when I saw that some of them were from my grapevines. They didn't, though; just stacked them out of their way.

I am not going to mow this weekend. I will wait one more weekend, though I suppose I should go try to get the mower started, just to see if it will. Yeah...not today.

My snowbird neighbor across the street has returned from Florida, so I suppose I shall have to endure a catching up conversation with him at some point.
---
I'm feeling sort of at loose ends at the moment. Since Thursday evening, I have read all of a 95K-word fic -- as research, actually, for something I've got in mind to write. Not that it was a chore, or anything, but now it's done and I'm in that same in-between place I get when I finish a book that totally occupies me and don't have one chosen to immediately follow it. Plus, it's not quite dinner-time, but too late for a nap (my nap was interrupted by lawn mowers!) and too early for watching a movie. Maybe I should go frame some art. Or edit some photographs; I haven't yet edited any of the photos I've taken this month. Or I could go lie on the ground in the backyard and take some photos of violets....

Brightening

Nov. 1st, 2015 09:46 am
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When I took Jack for a walk before dawn this morning, it was misting, and had clearly been raining hard enough to leave some really slippery mud in places. Now, though, the rain has stopped and, at not quite midmorning, it has started to brighten up. So far today, I have walked Jack, run out for milk, made breakfast (pancakes, some chocolate chip, some plain), eaten breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes with fresh(ish) strawberries), washed dishes, walked to the gas station for gas for the lawnmower, chatted briefly with the neighbors¹, and decided that maybe I won't attempt to finish mulching the leaves after all today, a decision which may be reversed if it continues to dry out.

So...here it is not quite midmorning, and I don't have anything pressing to do. I may actually just go read. Reading is good. Reading is your friend. Plus, there are more pancakes....
---
¹ When I went out to get gas, the guy across the street was just coming back home with his dog. He is the nosiest old gossip that ever lived, I tell you what, and has to be involved in everything that goes on. He had to know why I was walking down to the gas station (why would I drive when it's half a block away?), did I really plan to mow today (it was still quite wet, then), and then when I came back, he was talking with Mrs. T. (his next-door neighbor), and I heard him tell her that I was getting gas for my lawnmower (old gossip!). When I mentioned that I had plenty of other things to do, he did ask if I needed help (I think I can run a line of caulk along the windows, thanks), but jeez.
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Yesterday morning, I woke up *bing* at 3:15 or so, and couldn't get back to sleep. I finally got up about 4:30. This morning, I woke up about 3:00 a.m. because Jack suddenly decided to crawl into bed with me. If he had done it on the other side of the bed, he might have managed it, but he tried to get up behind my head...so he woke me up, and I made him get down. There's a reason I keep the bedroom door closed, and it's so that I can have my bed to myself (because otherwise I'd be contorted around two several-ton cats¹). But then he decided to sit at the bedside and pant into my face until I turned on the light to determine if there was actually something wrong. Nope. Just grinning at me. Maybe he had to go out? Nope. We got outside and he stuck right by me.

Apparently, he just wanted attention.

*sigh*

So...I checked out the rescue website this morning and the dog that I was most lately interested in is no longer there. Figures, right? I should've called last weekend, but she was probably at an adoption event and probably adopted out right then. I have a list of seven dogs (not including Kendra, who is still there; they should've just let me adopt her a year ago), and I will call them perhaps later this morning. They do have open hours on Saturdays, but I don't really like just showing up.

Jack has been doing really well, lately, although I did find more damage to the broken window frame in my bedroom last night. Something Interesting must have happened in the 'hood while I was at work yesterday for him to get about being in that window. It doesn't matter, I guess; the windows upstairs all need to be replaced, anyway.

The big thing, though, is that he has been playing with the neighborhood dogs -- running the fence with the dogs next door. Partly, I think it's cooler now (and he has quite a lot of coat), but also, he started showing more interest when a Big Dog was visiting, and he started playing with the Big Dog -- looking right over the heads of the little dogs, so it was obvious that it was Buck he was interested in, not Teddy or Mortie -- but that carried over to playing with the smaller dogs after Buck left. And last night I saw him play-bow at Mortie, and that's something I haven't seen him do once since I brought him home a year ago. And this all started in the last week.

Speaking of neighborhood animals, when I went to the shed last night to get the lawnmower, I found one of the feral cats loafing on the roof. It watched me as I got the lawnmower out, but didn't make any attempt to get down or run away. Cheeky thing. It did jump down at some point, whether while I was gassing the mower up or after I started it, I'm not certain. I'm not best pleased about seeing it up there, though, as I suspect it spends more than its share of time under the ramp. I'm going to have to get some chicken wire or something to block that access, and I'm going to have to do it relatively soon.

I keep saying that....
----
¹ Yeah, neither cat tops out at more than nine pounds, except in the middle of the night.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Spotted at WickedMart this morning: The Man From U.N.C.LE., Season 1. I thought about buying it, but resisted, because I thought maybe Amazon's price would be better. It is, a little bit, but looking at that led me to looking at Roku and other such devices, and that seems far more cost effective than buying DVDs I might only watch once. I haven't made up my mind about it, though.

Speaking of '60s spies, I have decided to go see the late matinee of Mission Impossible this afternoon. I may then have to write Will Brandt fic because there isn't enough. Or not. We'll see how it goes.

I am still not caught up at work, but I doubt very much that anyone except possibly my unit supervisor is surprised about that. And I got another two applications the other day, though I was able to divert one to the community unit. I'll probably end up with it back, though.

My sister gave me a digital photo frame yesterday. One of her ex-husbands (the most recent one, I think she said) had given it to her, and she has no use for it. I'm not quite sure where I'll put it, but I definitely do have a use for it...assuming it's not hideous. If I don't like the way it looks, I might be tempted to load it with trip photos and give it to Grama.

My neighbors were having a "groj sail" this morning. I was vastly amused. I went up to see what they had and came back with a pair of valances in sherbet-colored sari patterns. I have absolutely no use for them, but loved the fabric too much to leave them there. C asked me about Jack, and we had a short conversation about our dogs. She keeps hers from barking with a citronella collar -- when the dog barks, it sprays her with citronella. Weird. But she told me that she knows a guy who has a chocolate lab that he is looking to rehome because he is literally never home (two jobs or some such) and the poor dog spends his life in a crate. Knowing this, how can I then go and reapply for Kendra? Of course, I don't know anything about this dog other than he's apparently crate-trained.... And first and foremost, any dog I brought into this house would have to at least tolerate Merlin in its face.

I finally had to go commit mass herbicide this morning. I went out to read the gas meter and couldn't see it. The volunteer maples and oaks (one of which was taller than I am and at least an inch in diameter) all got chopped, and while I was at it, I killed the weeds in the cellar window well. Given that it has turned out to be such a nice day, I should also be mowing the lawn, but I am (here it comes, boys and girls) just too tired for that.

Let me tell you about tired: All those empty boxes from clearing out the attic bedroom? Still strewn all over my living room a week later.

Right. Gonna walk the dog before I go to the movie; he'll be happier about being left alone.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I was just typing that I wasn't certain where Jack was at the moment as he was not glued to my side when I heard him sigh. He's not in my office, but he's at the foot of the stairs just outside my office. He'll know if I get up from my desk. Heck, if I get up from my desk to go anywhere, I'll have to step over him. He has been glued to my side this weekend, to the point of following me into the bathroom, which he has never done before. I am a little nonplussed by this behavior; I really didn't think he liked me all that much, but, in fact, he has been staying downstairs even when I've settled on the couch for the evening. I think he's afraid that if he takes his eyes off me, I'll vanish again. We'll see how he acts when I drop him off with the Boy tomorrow morning. Anyway, there has definitely been some backsliding; when I got home from dinner out last evening, the curtains in my office were hanging, but askew. I didn't find out until it was finally cool enough upstairs to go to bed that he had pulled down the curtains at the front window. I guess if I'm going out, I need to leave all the curtains open at the windows he can reach. I had the bedroom curtains closed because it's a west-facing window.

Yesterday was a busier day than I had intended. I ran out early to get some groceries -- though not much, as I had picked up a few things Wednesday morning. Then I discovered that my sister had used up my kitty litter and had to run out to get more, and my first-choice store didn't have it. Neither did my second choice store, so I finally had to get the 55-gallon drum size at BJ's. (It's actually only 42 pounds and comes in a compact cube. But it's still 42 pounds that I have to muscle from the shelf to the cart, from the cart to the van, and from the van to the basement. At least I can hitch it onto my hip like a cube-shaped kid.) Then there were chores -- though no laundry, as I had done that on Wednesday, also. I had to pay All The Bills, as I had let a few slide until after the trip (I had intended to write those checks earlier in the week, as some of them were actually due yesterday), balance the checkbook, then pay Gram's bills. In the process of writing my own checks, I discovered that I didn't pay last month's car payment; I did write the check, though. I found it in the bottom of my purse. Oops.

Dinner out with BFT was nice; we went to my favorite place, though it was too hot yesterday for anything other than salads.

I have fans running right now, trying to suck in cool(er) air before I have to shut the house up for the day. It's supposed to be in the high 80s again today, and humid. 60% chance of storms, and I am rather hoping for them, because if it's storming, I don't have to feel guilty about not being outside.

Oh, and my neighbor's lawn got flamingoed overnight. This is one of those blackmail for charity things that I loathe. They come along and load your yard up with pink plastic flamingoes, and will take them away again for a price. I rather suspect if they did that to me, the flamingoes would end up in my recycling bin. Or I'd just leave them until they were reclaimed, whilst simultaneously not mowing my lawn.

Today, I am going to edit photos. And do as little else as possible. Maybe I'll call MyAuntie later. That'll be good for two hours of doing nothing.

Beltane!?!

May. 1st, 2015 06:24 am
malinaldarose: (Default)
How did it get to be Beltane already? Wasn't it just Imbolc a few days ago? (Translation: How did it get to be May already? Wasn't it just February a few days ago? I could also say "Pledge Drive? Didn't NPR just have a pledge drive?!?") I noticed yesterday evening that my crabapple tree has buds on it. I think it's a bloom year, which would be nice. The grass is now definitely long enough in spots to be in need of mowing -- and most of my neighbors have already mown for the first time -- but I'm going to have to redistribute the leaves in some spots so that I can mow them. I note for the record that K Next Door, who is always so eager to get into that strip of land between my house and her fence (and which belongs to me) has not gotten in there to clean up last fall's leaves, and what leaves she did rake from that general area sit in a pile at the foot of my holly bushes. I'm going to have to rake those into my front yard so that I can mow them, also.

K's dog Teddy is a cockapoo, and he's a little shit (fitting, I guess). On K's other side lives Morty, a dachshund rescued from the same place I got Jack. (They weren't there at the same time, though.) The gate between Teddy's yard and Morty's yard is often open and the two of them run together. Morty really likes Jack. Teddy seems to like Jack. But get the three of them together and Teddy won't let Jack get near Morty. Apparently Morty is his weiner dog, and no other's.

I woke up this morning secure in the knowledge that it was Saturday, and started plotting my day: I have to go to the mall and return some shirts. I have to go to the post office (both at opposite ends of town). I have to get all my chores done because tomorrow we're going to Buffalo for Avengers.

Imagine my shock and disappointment a couple of minutes later when my alarm clock went off and I realized it was only Friday....
malinaldarose: (Default)
I can't decide whether to be annoyed with my neighbors' continual insistence on trying to help me spruce up my place or not. I imagine that they're genuinely trying to be helpful, but I also know that they're very house-proud themselves, and they probably don't like living next to my peeling paint, scraggly, overgrown shrubbery, and general air of unkemptness. (Seriously, I have the worst-looking place in the neighborhood.) One time, it was a serious talk about the oak tree in the backyard. (Well, that was because it kept dropping leaves in their now gone pool; and when they had the chance, they had the branches hanging over the fence buzzed back to the property line, which pissed me right the fuck off, but which was entirely their right.) A year or so ago, it was wanting me to move my side fence up level with theirs so that I could get into the little bit of land between my house and their fence from my backyard (instead of the front), so that they didn't have to keep mowing it. Which they didn't have to be doing, anyway. Today, it was an offer to pull out the deer-eaten bushes in front of my porch and plant hostas there. "I'm willing to do the planting," the neighbor said, "but spring is the time to do it. You think about it and let me know."

After that, I felt really awkward about sitting in my own backyard enjoying the sun while the yard is littered with fallen sticks and all of last fall's leaves because the lawnmower puked out on me before I could get them mulched. Mind you, I still did it, but I felt awkward about it. I suppose it's time to start cleaning out the breezeway again, so that I can have my sunroom. My sister said she'd help move the sheets of drywall into the garage.

(Note to self: find a lawnmower repair person.)

(They're also willing to help me paint the place -- or so they say. But I don't know that I'm willing to tackle such a huge job on my own.)

(I suppose if I were smart, I'd take advantage of their willingness to do stuff, because the shrubbery is basically dead, and the deer won't touch the hostas. On the other hand, if I start letting them mess around, how long will it be before they're bugging me again about the holly bushes?)

SRSLY?

Jun. 14th, 2014 01:48 pm
malinaldarose: (bra'tac explanation)
If I were to say that as soon as my neighbor realized she could get back into that little strip of land next to the house (because I hacked back the holly bushes), she went back there and mowed, would anyone be surprised?

I didn't think so.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Yesterday was...painful. Disappointing. Expensive. Photorific.

The Students Help People people showed up around 11:00 a.m. The guy in charge vetoed my idea for a ramp off to the side of the breezeway (so my hydrangeas were not sacrificed to the greater good). There wasn't enough space, and apparently, they didn't feel they had enough time and/or volunteers to build a ramp with a turn in it. So...it goes across my patio and perhaps five feet into the yard. (It's not what I wanted, but proverbs concerning beggars and choosers immediately spring to mind.)

They had the frames for the ramp sections prebuilt, though one of them had to be trimmed. Apparently, they've done enough of these that they just got to it. There were...six of them altogether, and they had it built by 3:00 p.m. They did use some stuff from the garage for decking, but it's not the stuff they normally use and I was warned that it probably wouldn't last more than a couple of years. In Charge Guy told me that it would last longer if I sealed and/or painted it, and I conveniently found some sealant in the basement, probably left over from a deck job that HTWIWM did several years back. The stuff is at least six years old, but it should do the trick. I just need to find a day when it's not going to rain for half of it. (It hasn't yet started to rain, but it is supposed to in the next couple of hours.)

When I asked if there was anything that they wanted or needed me to do, In Charge Guy told me to step in and help if I wanted, but I couldn't really see any way to do that more than a couple of times -- and when I did, I promptly ended up dropping a frame section right across the top of my foot. Figures. In Charge Guy handed me his camera and told me to get pictures -- which is something I can do. So I took probably 200 pictures.

I was on my feet for several hours and they hurt so badly by the time they left that I had to go sit down for a half hour or so before I could even pull my laundry in off the line. They still ache today.

So. Ramp.

But. No paint. In Charge Guy said that they don't have enough volunteers during the summer for a painting project; apparently the folks that came out yesterday were it for the summer. So my house is still not painted, and isn't going to be painted. I knew I shouldn't have mentioned it to anyone; I started to get confident and told my grandmother, and she told my aunt....

I'm not certain what to do next. Their flyer said that the homeowner generally pays for the materials, but they didn't ask for payment. They did mention that they can sometimes reuse materials if they are no longer needed; for instance, they built a wheelchair ramp for my vet's daughter after she was in a car accident, but now that she is doing much better, they moved the ramp elsewhere. I suppose I could write them a donation check...not from this pay, though. This pay is pretty well shot.

I did provide drinks and cookies, which seemed very much appreciated -- the drinks more than the cookies, even -- but I still have a lot of drinks left over. Well, it won't hurt to hang onto them for a while.

My neighbor and I talked over the fence while the work was going on, and she started asking me about moving my bit of fence between my house and her fence up to the chimney again so that I can mow it from my backyard instead of anyone trying to maneuver around the holly bushes. Last year, she offered to get a piece of fence that would match what she already has installed, and my passive-aggressive non-response was to let the holly bushes grow so that neither of us could get in there and mow. Yesterday, she asked me if I'd thought any more about it. "I have the fence," she said. So she actually went ahead and bought the fence section, even though I don't want it. Well, I hacked enough of the holly off that I can get in there from the front, so I'm not moving my fence. She acted like I wasn't planning to mow in there ever again. "It'll draw snakes," she said. So what? I like snakes. If I'm lucky, they'll eat the thrice-damned chipmunks.

I like my neighbor. I really do. She's been a damned good neighbor. But she has this obsession with that little strip of land, and I can't quite figure out why.

Ah, well. I'm gonna get my popcorn bucket (mah bukkit) and go see Maleficent.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I am waiting for my sister, but, really, she's not due for most of a half hour yet. She's going to follow me up to Dansville where I will leave the van, then bring me home. She will also be picking me up for work the next two mornings, though I'll have to find out what she does at lunchtime (does she stay or leave?) so I can decide whether I need to pack lunches the next couple of days.

The song of the chainsaw is brrrzzing through the neighborhood. The folks a few doors up on the other side of the street had two red-leafed maples in their front yard. Last year, one of them suddenly fell down (I think) and was chunked up and gotten rid of. When the power company's contractors came through a few weeks ago butchering trimming trees, they cut nearly half of the other. It looked awful. It sounds like they're now having that tree taken out, too. It seems clear to me that the power company hires people to trim the trees who hate trees, because they always cut far more than they need to. Like an entire huge limb off my maple that shaded the front of my house. Since the power lines in this neighborhood actually run along the other side of the street, and since that limb ran parallel to the street, there was no chance whatsoever that it was ever going to fall on the power lines and bring them down. And yet they cut it, and I had to completely rearrange my office because I suddenly couldn't see my computer screen any longer.

Bastards.

I went out to see Godzilla last night with BFT and the J-sisters. I enjoyed the movie, but it did run a bit long, I thought. And I kept wanting to sing the Mothra song. I have to confess that I did like the Roland Emmerich version, especially Jean Reno. The theater was pretty crowded. I got there early, and while sitting in the car waiting for everyone else, I kept watching crowds of people going in. But then, it was opening weekend, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised....
malinaldarose: (Default)
It's still not warm out, but there has been some sun today. Enough to lure me into the back room with my laptop, anyway, though that was probably a mistake as my toes have still not warmed up and that was hours ago. It's supposed to start warming up again tomorrow, and the ten-day forecast shows it being warmer. It's even supposed to be in the 40s a couple of days.

There is supposedly a shire meeting in about half an hour, but there has been no official word from Herr Seneschal about it. Even when I asked in the shire's FB group last week, he didn't respond (though his brother did). I am given to understand that he has received some bad health-related news recently and I wonder if there is a meeting. As I am in my Sunday-lounging clothes, I don't want to get dressed and go to the church for no reason. If we weren't supposed to be having elections today, I wouldn't bother at all.

My across-the-street neighbors got back from their peregrinations last night. They haven't been home since...actually, I can't remember when I saw them last. Around Christmas? I know there had been snow, because they had to dig out their trailer (they have a huge semi-sized camper) to go on this last trip. They're both retired now and their son lives out of state, so they're gone for months at a time. I suppose that means my mailbox will be moved. It has started to lean again, and G asked me last summer if I minded if he moved it up to the other side of his yard where his is. I figure that since it's up in his yard, he can move it where he likes, though it'll be inconvenient for me. Right now, it's directly across the street, but if he moves it, it'll be directly across the street from my next door neighbor.

I wrote the Mirabelle piece. I kind of like it, but it's liable to get me unvoted off the island. (People who don't get enough votes get eliminated.) I suppose while I'm waiting for some indication on FB that there's a meeting, I should start polishing it.

On the other hand, since I mentioned it, let me tell you the one joke I know:

In the days of the Imperium, there was a tavern on the Forum that became famous for their Hic Haec Hoc drink. One day, Caesar decided he needed to try this famous drink, so to the tavern he went.

"How may I serve you, O Caesar?" the barman asked promptly as Caesar entered.

"I wish to have a Hic Haec Hoc," Caesar said. The barman nodded. Caesar, to show that he was not unlettered, added, "Huius Huius Huius, Huic Huic Huic...." and so on through all the forms of the word. The barman looked at him oddly, and went about his business.

Caesar waited impatiently, but the barman never brought his drink. At last, Caesar summoned the barman again. "Fellow," he said, "I ordered a drink!"

"Yes, O Caesar," the barman said. "But then you declined it."
malinaldarose: (Default)
As I said over on FB, it's a "screw my carbon footprint" sort of morning, where one goes out twenty minutes ahead of time to warm up the car. It was -2° when I left to get groceries, at just about dawn -- which is, at least, coming earlier these days. The thermometer at the grocery store read a discouraging -9°, but it's always off by about a ten degree margin (always hotter in the summer and colder in the winter). It is, nevertheless, a brilliantly sunny morning, so I opened the curtains in the back room (facing east and south), though I will have to close them around midafternoon, once the sun passes the garage and the back of the house falls into shadow. I also turned on the space heater out there to sort of even things out.

My neighbors wouldn't approve, but I tossed some stuff out over the fence for the rabbits and the deer. Heck, if it were summer, and food were plentiful, I wouldn't approve. And it's not much, at least not for the deer. The rabbits might get a couple of meals out of it...depending on how many rabbits there are out there now. In the absence of a full pack, they have been fruitful and multiplied. (Cruiser and Garion -- and Sheila in her younger days -- used to be murder on rabbits...or commit murder on rabbits...or whatever.)

Today is going to be devoted to numbers. I need to balance my grandmother's checkbook back two months (since I now have the bank statement with the amount of the check that was missing), pay some bills for both of us, and then do my taxes. (Dun, dun, DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUnnnnnnnnnnn.) The rest of the usual household chores -- other than changing the kitty litter, which is done -- will have to wait. Well, no, I'll do the laundry, too, because I can do other things while that's going on.

Also, I have already had a run-in with numbers. Per my doctor's instructions, I checked my blood pressure while I was out this morning. The machine informed me that it was "poor." Seriously. Right there on the screen. "Poor." Of course, the cuff didn't tighten as much as either the auto-cuff at my GYN's office, or the manual cuffs that have been used elsewhere, so I don't know how accurate the reading actually is. The systolic was about on par for the other recent readings (except the GYN's), but the diastolic was much higher. I dunno. I suspect that when the doctor sees me again and again stresses that I need to be taking some BP meds, I'll cave and take them. Even though I do not want to.

Also over on FB, there's a question of who would win in a fight between Harry Potter and River Tam. My money would be on River Tam, given that the Alliance fashioned her into a weapon, but only if she knocked Harry's wand out of his hand, which she would undoubtedly do first. If Harry had his wand -- and River fought fairly -- I suspect he would win.

I finished Dragonquest last night. I dithered about whether or not to read the Harper Hall trilogy before going on to The White Dragon, since the action in those takes place during Dragonquest and before The White Dragon, but since I am reading from an omnibus, and getting Dragonsong would have required getting out from under my blankie, I went on with what was to hand. I am actually looking forward to reading Dragonsdawn and Moreta because it has been ages since I read either of them, and I don't think I've read them more than once. So it'll be like reading new books....

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