dchenes: (Default)
I never did get around to busting out the vacuum cleaner on Saturday, but I did get the bed made and the bag of clutter filled up. There is no more pile in my bedroom, and all the pants and bras that got chucked in the closet as I changed sizes are sorted out and put away properly so I can find them again when/if I need them. (I don't plan to need the 42DD bras ever again, though, so I should probably get rid of them.) That means the kitchen, pantry, bedroom, and bathroom are DONE. The closet won't take much more doing, and the living room won't take much doing to begin with, and the office is down to just the bookshelves and some other bits and pieces.

Sunday was mostly good; I got to see my aunt and uncle who I haven't seen since last Easter or thereabouts, and I handed off my CD player/clock radio to my parents, whose CD player doesn't play reliably. And there was lasagna, which Mom said wasn't brilliant but I think was jes' fine.

Unfortunately there was also a lot of "Molly sits there feeling like a lump of Crisco while her sister shows off all sorts of pictures and video of static trapeze moves and everyone says 'Holy shit!'". I rather hate that. If I say anything about what I've been doing with myself, it looks like I'm competing for attention. I won't win that one, so I don't get into it. I just sit there feeling like a lump of Crisco. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter that I'm the "other kid" even though I'm the older kid, and in the grand scheme of things I know that, but it still bothers me when my nose gets rubbed in it.

I want cornmeal pancakes with molasses. If I buy cornmeal, I could do that for dinner (assuming I remember where the molasses got relocated to in the pantry).
dchenes: (katana)
Dad gave me The Pencil Sharpener for Christmas.
The beast in question

It had belonged to an architect Dad knew, who collected all sorts of odds and ends and gadgets in his office, and died of Alzheimer's Disease when I was a kid. Six months or so after he died, his widow called Dad and said "I found the pencil sharpener." So Dad ended up with it. I fell in love with it too, and so my sister and I decided that by way of inheritance, she would get the enormous china serving platter with the seashells painted on it (came out of the wall of a house Dad had worked on) and I would get the pencil sharpener. Mom and Dad are still using the platter for Thanksgiving turkeys, but Dad said he had owned the pencil sharpener for long enough and gave it to me. So now I've got it, and most of the dovetailed wooden box it came in (half of one side of the box is missing). All of its blades (the one in the machine and the three extras) need sharpening. I guess I should figure out who can do that, because I could, but I wouldn't do it well.

Once I get the blades sharpened, I'm tempted to run out and buy a box of pencils just for the pleasure of sharpening them.
dchenes: (katana)
Oh, I wish I hadn't come to work today. But if I hadn't, I would be getting this case of ulcers with even less time to do anything about it, so I suppose it's good I'm doing it now. Suffice it to say that the Advanced Surgical Treatment course is mine to schedule again. It starts on January 30 and the course director's department still wants nothing to do with it. The course director himself probably wants nothing to do with it beyond showing up and giving lectures once in a while, because he's only here to see patients two days a week anyway. And now I have to make space in the course for six or seven half-day treatment planning exam sessions. As I say, good thing I found out about this before the winter break, because now I need a vacation.

At least my boss told the medical school that they were absolutely not moving the oral health session from February 8 to January 18. No way could I have sorted that one out in 15 days after break. Even assuming we could get supplies for 200 students ordered, received, and sorted out, I couldn't have gotten enough faculty supervisors.

Lily went and got sneaky on me. She knows I watch her eat her pill pocket, so she does that...and then when I think she's done, and stop watching her, she spits out the pill. Fortunately the pills crush fairly nicely, so now she's getting crushed-up pill mixed with mangled pill pocket in the morning, and crushed-up pill on her wet food for dinner. I'm supposed to be smarter than she is, right?

My great-aunt Gabrielle turns 100 sometime soon (if not already; I don't think I ever knew when in December her birthday is). Sometime in her 80s she was in a car accident, and it kicked off some kind of dementia. As of yesterday she doesn't recognize anybody and has lost her hearing, but can still speak French. But because she can't remember anything, she doesn't worry about anything, and her heart and lungs are still good. She could keep living for another fifteen years. I keep wondering whether that's a reasonable thing to hope for in my old age. It's hard on her kids, but I don't have any for it to be hard on.

The heat is still working (as it should) and I am still very grateful every time it goes WHOOSH. Being cold might have been building character, but I really truly hate it. So I'm grateful every time I come home and I can tell the heat has gone WHOOSH recently.
dchenes: (katana)
As of Thursday I suddenly had plans to go to Noank on Saturday afternoon and come back this afternoon. That happened, but it took over my head enough that I completely forgot my massage appointment on Friday night. Oops.

Noank was good, except it rained. I can't imagine why it would have done anything else, mind you. At least the air mattress stayed inflated this time. But sleeping on it is rather like sleeping on top of a very large package of hot dogs, because the air goes into long narrow channels. Mom and Dad are going to invest in a real mattress. Their financial guy keeps telling them to spend some money, and that's not what he meant, but they're at least going to give me a twin bed I can actually sleep in when I have to. (I lost the rock-paper-scissors game for the queen-size guest bed with the pillowtop mattress. So I slept on the twin air mattress.)

I need a new massage appointment for sometime soonish, and I would really like to play hooky tomorrow and enjoy the weather. But I most likely won't.
dchenes: (katana)
Last night I had two reasons why I had to go to chorus rehearsal, and three reasons why I really didn't want to. So I went, but I didn't actually sing. I sat in the peanut gallery and hummed along with the alto parts. (Thereby getting around the last of the three reasons I didn't want to, which involved a serious case of introvert getting in the way of going to a 100-person chorus rehearsal.)

Good stuff: today is Thursday, the sun is out and the air is almost warm enough to let me go out without a coat on. And today I get to go home at a semi-reasonable hour. Which doesn't really mean anything other than I might finally get the dishes done.

I went looking for the Deschenes genealogy stuff I knew I had somewhere, and actually found it on the third try. Amazing. At least I was right about actually having it. And the last time I touched it was in the infancy of the internet, so given all the internet genealogy stuff there is now, I could probably update some of what I've got.

Speaking of family, I really hope it doesn't ever matter that my former high school classmate and her husband are white and their adopted infant daughter is not. They're in Texas.
dchenes: (katana)
Easter, involving as it did both of Dad's younger sisters, also involved some family stories I hadn't heard before, and some I had heard but mis-attributed. Apparently it was my great-grandfather Frank, not my grandfather, who went on a car trip to Maine (from Somersworth, NH) with Dad and said exactly two words the whole time in the car. (The two words in question were "And peas", because apparently my great-grandmother had been describing a meal they had somewhere, and forgot to mention the peas.)

I had also forgotten that one of my great-great-grandfathers was named Zephirin. I think Zephirin sounds like a patent medicine.

Of course we also ended up hauling out some family pictures, and I discovered we have a picture of my grandmother decked out in my grandfather's flying gear from WWII. Apparently she wanted him to take her flying, and so she had to wear the whole suit: boots and jacket and helmet and goggles and all. She looks like she's drowning in it, but she's smiling. I wish I had known more of that side of her, because what I remember of her is after she had gotten Parkinson's Disease.

And then there's the horse. We have a picture of a four-door Ford Model A, with a horse sticking his head out the window of the front passenger seat. We think the horse belonged to my great-grandfather Edmond, who was a doctor and used to do house calls with a horse and buggy. Legend has it he died of pneumonia from being out all night on house calls. Nobody has any idea why the horse was put in the car to begin with, but we all think it's hysterical. I guess I come by my sense of humor honestly.
dchenes: (katana)
Now that it's over, I can laugh about it (partly because after last night, I suspect Matthew Slater feels the same way). On the 23rd, I set up my out-of-office message like a good little cube farm denizen...but I somehow set it to send itself as a reply to all 3500 messages currently in my inbox. Once I figured out what was going on, I tried to pull the plug, but the server is more efficient than I am. So a lot of people got a lot of email. I'll have to send out a blanket "yes, I know, I clicked the wrong thing, sorry" when I get back, unless everybody decides to call me about it.

Christmas this year was about as low-key as last year, but several orders of magnitude more cheerful. Dad actually enjoyed his dinner, for one thing (and it was an excellent rib roast, which made dinner for Christmas and sandwiches for Boxing Day, and an excellent blueberry pie, which made dessert for Christmas and breakfast for Boxing Day). Last year Dad didn't have much appetite and nothing tasted right to him for a couple of months anyway. I gave everybody something to read and something to consume while reading it, and got some mad money from the parents and a hat from the Fairly Godmother.

I also tried a couple of experimental beers: Dogfish Head Higher Math, which is 17% ABV and knocked me on my ass, and Stone Xocoveza, which is stout with a LOT of coffee in it (and might have made a good float with vanilla ice cream, but I didn't try that). Glad I only bought one bottle of each.

Other good news: Grammie gets to go home from the rehab center today. She was supposed to go home last week, but hit a minor snag and they decided to keep her for another little while. But now there's no reason for her to stay there, so home it is. She still wants to go to Florida for some of the winter, and I hope she gets to do that. I think it will be good for her to see that she can still do most of the things she wants to, hip replacement at 93 years old be damned. Thank goodness driving is not one of those things. She gave up her license several years ago.

Also good news: I'm going to see Star Wars today. I wanted to do it before the internet becomes one giant spoiler, which is going to happen soon because the movie's been out for a week now. Besides, I saw all the prequels in theaters, so why not the sequels? (I was two years old in 1977, and I would have been scared stiff by The Empire Strikes Back when it came out, and my parents knew that. So I saw Return of the Jedi in a theater and was scared stiff by the Emperor at the end.)

I suppose if I'm going to take the bus to the movies, I should look up the schedule. This is the same bus I take to work every day, but I never take it after 8:00 in the morning, so I have no idea what it devolves into after rush hour. For some reason that amuses me.
dchenes: (katana)
And there was Thanksgiving, and it was good. Seven people, three pies, enough leftover pie to last through the weekend, excellent weather on Friday so I went for a six-mile walk (from Noank to the drawbridge and back), and generally stocked up on R&R for this week. At least I got a reprieve of sorts; tonight's dress rehearsal should be done with me by 8:30ish, instead of 10:00ish. And the salad for lunch today was very well received. I win the first round, anyway; we'll see about tomorrow's and Wednesday's lunches.

Dad says his ambition is coming back in occasional flashes, which is excellent. He's realizing now exactly what having a bad aortic valve did to him, and how much the surgery took out of him. But he says he's actively feeling better, so I hope he keeps on doing that.

I got back to Boston on Saturday night and discovered that this time, the Hairy Beasts ate every single scrap of food I left for them. Usually, when I'm gone they eat about half of what they do when I'm home. Not this time, for some reason (possibly the fact that all of Lily's remaining teeth work). But they seemed not to be starving to death any more than usual. Maybe they're using the extra calories on growing winter hair.

Speaking of starving, yesterday I made clean-out-the-freezer soup. The stock, fava beans, corn and spinach were in the freezer, but the tomatoes, zucchini, orzo and parmesan rind weren't. It was pretty good soup when brand new, so hopefully it'll be better tonight and Wednesday. And whenever else I end up having it, because there's a lot of it and it's not going in the freezer.

Must remember to pay bills tonight. Where did November go? There were two difficult weeks of it and I don't know what happened to the rest.
dchenes: (katana)
Welcome to Desmond Paul Wells, born this morning at 6:15. He must have wanted his own birthday, because his older brothers were born on Nov 22 and Nov 23.

(My first cousin's kid is my first cousin once removed? I can never remember.)
dchenes: (katana)
I wrote a letter to Grammie today and had a five-minute debate with myself whether to use indents for a new paragraph, the way we were taught in school, or whether to use a blank line between paragraphs, internet-style. Of all the silly things to get hung up on...but I went with old-school, just to prove I still knew how it went.

This weekend I spent a largish amount of time performing alchemy. I transformed two pounds of turkey wings and two pounds of chicken bones into a gallon of soup stock, and transformed a gallon of cider into a quart of cider syrup. The soup stock is so that when I get back here on Saturday evening, I can throw two quarts of soup stock and whatever's taking up space in the freezer and/or the pantry into a stock pot, and have soup to eat for dinner this week. I'm going to need something quick because I have dress rehearsals for chorus from 6:15 - 10:00 on Monday and Wednesday night and I suspect that having something warm when I get home is going to be important. And there's worse soup than orzo and fava beans and tomatoes and a mess of herbs and spices.

This weekend I also made the most random impulse buy ever. I came home from Whole Foods on Saturday with seltzer, cider, bread, chocolate, soup bones, and a stuffed anteater. The mere fact that Whole Foods was selling a stuffed anteater amused me so much I had to buy him. (The cashier thought I was crazy. Maybe I am, but I don't care.) So now I have a stuffed anteater keeping my stuffed wombat from Cairns and my carved wooden elephants from Jaipur company on top of the bedroom bookshelf, and I grin every time I see him there. So there.
dchenes: (katana)
Good news! Grammie came through her hip replacement surgery (although it took seven hours on account of her arthritis) and is maybe going to a rehab place today or tomorrow, when she and the hospital and a rehab place decide which one. Apparently there are three options.

Also good news: I donated my size-16 suit to a program that collects interview clothes for women who can't afford them. The idea is for me not to need a size-16 suit again, and I did get my current job from an interview I went to in that suit. Hopefully it has good karma for somebody else. And since my boss begged me not to go anywhere until at least the summer of 2017, and I like this job (mostly), I don't need to run right out and buy a new suit this weekend.

Not-so-good news: Snip has her annual post-vet cold. She's a congested and very sneezy beast. But she's still eating like a vacuum cleaner, so that's good. She usually gets over the post-vet cold in about a week, so most likely she'll be fine by Thanksgiving.

Shoot-me-now news: The week after Thanksgiving is going to be a bear. It starts with three consecutive days of lunch meetings, I have four hours of dress rehearsal for chorus on Monday and Wednesday night, and a retina specialist appointment on Thursday morning.

Slightly better news: I can start drinking high-octane coffee again the week after Thanksgiving, which might help me get through it. I went off caffeine last week because the parental units don't drink high-octane coffee and I'd rather have the headache before Thanksgiving weekend and get it over with. And I'm only going to the retina specialist because my new eye doctor noted that I haven't seen one in a zillion years, not because there's anything new wrong with my retinas.
dchenes: (katana)
Long week. I can tell it's a long week because the laundry that went into the dryer on Saturday is still there. So, in the sink, is the frying pan I made the anti-Green Goop in (grated zucchini, Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle compound butter, and parmesan. YES PLEASE.).

Dad is giving me $5000 to buy bookshelves, because he decided he was never going to get around to making them. I understand, and I sort of thought this project was cursed several years ago, but I has a sad anyway. He said he'd make me something smaller, so maybe I'll ask for a keyboard stand. And now I need to find somebody in Boston who can make me bookshelves. Good is not negotiable. Cheap would be nice but is not the overriding concern, and fast isn't even on the scale since I've already been waiting for at least five years. But this is not the week to go looking for cabinetmakers. Too tired.

Long weekend coming up. After last weekend, in which I spent Saturday standing around in the cold rain for most of the morning and Sunday with no energy at all, I'll take a long weekend without too much rain in the forecast. It seems that 3/4 of the office is taking at least half of Friday off; I wonder if that means I can do it too, or if it means I'll be alone in the office by 5:00? Not that being alone in this particular office is bad, it's just slightly strange.

Apparently the HRC members are going to be singing the solos for this concert (by audition). I'm debating whether I want to try to get one for Come Ye Sons of Art, because I already know how those go. It can't hurt to try, anyway. Also good: as far as I know, we don't really have any Popular People Who Shouldn't Sing Solo But Always Get To Anyway. We usually hire soloists, which eliminates that problem. (That problem is actually one reason why I left the Circle of Song.)

Speaking of music, apparently you can't just walk into a store and buy an iPod case any more. I guess everybody's using their phones for that. But I want to use my phone for things other than storing music, so I have an iPod. Which has no case. Which makes me nervous. Actually, the fact that it has no screen protector makes me nervous; I took the extremely beat-up screen protector off it yesterday and lo, I can read the screen again! But now it's completely nekkid. I'm not carrying it around in the same containment as any keys while it's nekkid.
dchenes: (katana)
The extracurricular activities are piling up, but not all at the same time, thank goodness. This week I have the first HRC rehearsal on Wednesday, for which I have to remember to bring a check so I can pay dues and music fees. On Thursday I have dinner in Kenmore Square somewhere and then the MRI.

On Sunday I start voice lessons again, with a new teacher. I decided that was important, and wanted to keep doing it.

On October 2 there's an Alzheimer's walk in Foxboro, which I'm doing because my aunt has early-onset AD and that's plain old not fair.

On October 25 I might be crossing something off my bucket list by going to the Patriots/Jets game. It was either that or the Patriots/Jaguars game in two weeks, but having just told my new voice teacher that I keep my Sundays open, I'd look like a flake canceling my second lesson.

As for the curricular activities (everything I get paid for is curricular activities, as I'm the DMD Curriculum Coordinator), I finally tracked down the supplies guy and got him to acknowledge the email I sent in August about the supplies for the PD2 Oral Health Day on October 14. I've got to send out the agenda and the June minutes for the Curriculum Committee on September 22, put together an exercise for the basic science course directors meeting on September 23, finish the Continuing Education course application for the retreat on October 20, finish the pre-retreat exercise to send out to the course directors by October 13, figure out what supplies I need for the retreat and order them, and so forth. Get me through October and everything else is coasting until Christmas (with a chorus concert on December 5).

I put the quilt back on the bed over the weekend and unleashed the usual confusion among the feline population, who are now kicking each other off the top lefthand corner of the mattress all night. Snip always starts there, but by the morning it's always either Lily or both. Silly beasts. Sooner or later they'll sort it out and end up in a sprawling furry puddle down around my ankles someplace. Preferably in such a way that I have to wake up and readjust my foot instead of just rolling over, but they wouldn't be cats otherwise.
dchenes: (katana)
I think my left shoulder is getting better (slowly). I can lie on the floor with my left hand under my head and put that elbow almost flat on the floor. Of course, I can only do that once before it figures out what I'm up to and complains, but at least I can do it at all.

Spent Saturday in Noank for what Mom called Daughters Day, since she had both of her daughters in the house at the same time for the first time since Christmas (and as a family, we don't care for Hallmark holidays). It was a nice day socially, slightly less so weather-wise since it was overcast and windy, but at least it held off raining for most of the day (and when it did, it proved that the new roof doesn't leak). And we're all putting one foot in front of the other, although some more slowly than others.

Speaking of which, I seem to have lost most of the extra couple of pounds, which is nice, but I wish I knew why it hung around for a couple of weeks and then all came off at once. I know I don't have the world's fastest metabolism, but it seems that once it makes up its mind to do something, it does until further notice or until it decides to stop or until something completely random happens. In short, I should probably stop trying to figure out why and concentrate on figuring out how to persuade it to do what I want it to. It seems that doing a lot of walking (on the order of 20-30 points per week) is good.

Yesterday I didn't do as much walking as I might have if it hadn't rained, but I went to WF in the rain because there wasn't any acceptable lunch in the house. Otherwise I stayed home and did three loads of laundry (silly me for trying to air dry anything yesterday) and boiled some eggs and vacuumed the living room and the pantry and assembled all the cardboard recycling to take out tonight. It was a highly domestic day, and I didn't get done everything I should have, but at least I did enough to make me feel like I had done something.

And this morning I got to work and opened the calendar and discovered the Curriculum Committee meeting, which I had managed not to think about since Friday. Guess I know what's for lunch today. At least there's lunch?
dchenes: (katana)
Tuesday. Today is not Monday, it's Tuesday. But I'm knocking things off The List like it's Monday. (Wrote letters for, and sent emails to, 22 unsuccessful candidates for the Senior Tutor position; created a survey to be taken by US dental school Deans; arranged parking in June for somebody who's not going to be here officially by then; etc.) Next thing is to take the JDE article by the horns and fix it, because of course they've come up with some new formatting tricks they don't like and I have to edit and re-submit, again.

However, it was a pretty excellent weekend. On Saturday I got to hang around with one set of relatives I don't ever see except at mass gatherings of Mom's side of the family (and I'm glad I did, because they included my aunt who has early onset Alzheimer's, and I got to see her while she was still mostly herself), and I got to hang around with my favorite aunt on Sunday. And Dad is doing so much better that he tried walking a half mile on Sunday. He had to stop for a couple of minutes in the middle, but he did it. That's impressive considering what he couldn't do before the surgery. And now he has things he wants to do, and he wants to get better enough to do them. (He wasn't up for gymnastics, though, so I had to go climb up onto the boat to look for the fuses he wanted to fix the generator with. I did finally find the fuses ("it's only a 28-foot boat!"), but I tweaked both shoulders in the process of climbing up and trying to open stuck drawers. And the generator still won't start.)

I watched the first Harry Potter movie and decided I was right, I don't want to see the rest of them. I'll stick with the books, because I have such a strong mental image of how things are supposed to be that it bothers me when the movie does something different. McGonagall is NOT a redhead, dammit! And I wish they had put a bit more of the classwork in the movie, because otherwise it seems the only things that happen at Hogwarts are Charms, Potions (so Snape can be a villain) and Quidditch. So I'll stick with the books and be happy.

Speaking of books, I've decided that the main reason I don't want a Kindle is I really don't like the idea of spending a lot of money to build up an electronic library when I already own it on paper. In short, I am cheap. And I know I can't get some of the books I would want on a Kindle for cheap. So, no Kindle. At least not until I have a truly compelling reason to own one.
dchenes: (katana)
Shoulder: Ow comma dammit. I wish I could predict from one day to the next what I'm not going to be able to do. PT evaluation tomorrow, and hopefully some sort of helpful exercises and/or treatment to be going on with.

Easter: ran away to Noank on Friday and spent three days hanging around. Introduced my parents to Guardians of the Galaxy, which they liked (I thought they would). Aided in the annual production of orange-flavored Easter bread. Cleared the air about why I went to a therapist and we can now consider the subject closed as far as I'm concerned. Ate entirely too much stuff I shouldn't make a habit of, especially since Thursday night's dinner consisted of an entire bag of cheddar and horseradish potato chips. (They tasted good and I didn't have to keep Lily from climbing into the bag, on account of the horseradish.) Got to see some of Dad's side of the family, who were very glad to see him and even more so to see him up and about and reasonably cheerful. Spent an hour with my Fairly Godmother, at the end of which she felt better for being able to rant about some things she needed to rant about. Got advised by somebody who lived there that I really do want an underwater camera for Australia. (Hm.) Showed Dad the current HRC pieces and he agrees that William Schumann hates (hated?) basses and altos.

Misc: was possessed by a spirit of civic duty last week and ended up elected by acclamation as Clerk of the HRC Executive Committee. That means I take minutes at meetings and (next semester) develop the seating chart. May have to ask somebody else to do that for the alto section as I'm currently annoyed at two altos who take every time we stop singing as an opportunity to start talking. Tempted to put them on opposite sides of the section.
dchenes: (katana)
I missed my chance to post it, but on New Year's Eve I did think about the Ogden Nash poem that ends "Hark, it's midnight, children dear:/Duck! Here comes another year!" But since I went to bed at 10:45ish on New Year's Eve, it didn't actually hit me.

So, here comes another year. 2015 doesn't have any choice about being better than the end of 2014 was. In consequence of which, I really ought to sit down one of these days and actually plan my trip to Australia. I got as far as "there's a lot more of the eastern coastline than I thought there was and do I really want to spend 29 hours on a bus?" before all sorts of stuff got in the way of my thinking about it. Now it's time to start thinking about it again. Think think think think think *POP* ow...

It's going to be an interesting year work-wise, too, and by "interesting" I mean "is it August yet?". That's when the new curriculum is supposed to start. It probably will, but there will probably be at least four or five major crises that nobody thought about in the process. Let's just get to them so we can get over them.

Never mind. My single resolution this year is to find the one good thing in any given day and appreciate its existence. So today the sun has been out and I haven't been at work, and I appreciate that. (And Lily just leaped up on the desk and yawned directly in my face, which maybe shouldn't count as good, but made me laugh.)

I wish the phone bill would show up. I've been waiting for it since two weeks ago and it hasn't appeared yet. Unfortunately, not receiving the bill is not an excuse for not paying it. I suppose I can pay this month's based on last month's, since the amount is pretty static, and if I happen to owe 40 cents next month, so be it. Memo to self: pay bills tomorrow. I'm still doing the "write checks, stick in envelopes and mail" form of paying bills, up until stamps cost 50 cents apiece. Besides, walking to the mailbox gets me out of the house.

Speaking of out of the house, Dad went for a walk today. He got unstapled on Tuesday, decided he didn't want the chair in the shower any more as of yesterday and is done with the oxygen machine. (Nifty machine; it somehow extracts oxygen from room air and either blows it out through a hose or refills portable oxygen tanks. But it also has a fairly loud one-way valve somewhere in its innards, so when it's on, it goes hsssTHOCK at irregular intervals several times a minute. Sleeping in the room above it was another reason I didn't sleep very well.) Yay, progress!

Apparently the other big news from Noank is that the sawed-up remains of the larch tree have finally been taken off the lawn, so I can stop saying that the tree removal company left my parents with the larch.
dchenes: (katana)
It was good that I went to Noank for five days. I spent most of it hanging around, except for going for a long walk most days. One of my long walks consisted of walking up to my former elementary school, which is going to be torn down and replaced with a community garden (there aren't enough kids in town to support a school these days). The way you get there goes past the Noank cemetary, which I hadn't been in for years, so I wandered through there for a while. I didn't realize how many late 19th and early 20th century graves were in there. Most of the larger families had a stone for somebody lost at sea at the age of 20-something. Some of the more modern graves are people I knew; my 5th grade teacher is there, and somebody I went to school with.

If things had turned out differently, I might have been visiting Dad in the cemetary, but he's home and making progress. By this afternoon, he was actually able to blow his nose somewhat forcefully, which he hadn't been able to do on Thursday. Hopefully after Tuesday, when the staples come out, things will improve considerably. (Staple removal is not a thing to try at home. He's had people remove stitches for him at home before; he starts rejecting that sort of thing about five days after getting them. It's a useful trick for splinters, but not so much for stitches/staples.)

Somewhere on the list of things the homestead might consider upgrading is the 30-year-old unpadded twin mattress I (sort of) slept on. I think I'll have to call it a character-building exercise. My right hip is not very happy with me and my left hip is even more so. Between the condition of the mattress, the lack of elastic in the bottom sheet and the fact that the covers all seemed to want to be anywhere else, I'm happy I can fall into my own bed tonight. The other guest bed is a pillowtop queen, but I deferred to my sister's horrible cold and let her have that one.

One of the books I brought to Noank with me was The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. From page 101:

"Lotus Cloud hops out of bed and plunges her head into a pail of cold water, bellows "Aaarrrggghhh!" runs a comb through her hair, and looks around to see if there's anyone handy who feels like making love. If such is the case, she hops back into bed. If not, she jumps into whatever clothes are lying around and leaps out the door - or window; it doesn't matter - to see what wonders the new day will bring, and since she views the world with the delighted eyes of a child, the day is bound to be marvelous."

I think I might make a resolution this year to try to live more like that.
dchenes: (katana)
I feel a little less like the Titanic immediately after encountering the iceberg, which is good. Apparently Dad still feels like the Titanic immediately after encountering the iceberg, but open heart surgery will do that. At least they "took all the tubes out" yesterday, and I expect that helped a bit.

In an attempt to stop thinking, I spent most of yesterday curled up on the couch with the embroidery and at least one cat. They were all for that idea, although I kept having to get up for various reasons (brushing of teeth, brushing of semi-dry hair, consumption of lunch, etc.). I think Snip might not have been feeling great yesterday either, because she curled up very tightly in the corner of the couch after washing a 6" square of it (and bits of me, when I tried to get her to quit washing the couch). Then she curled up in my armpit for a while after I went to bed. She was better this morning.

In between trying to get Snip to quit washing the couch, I was trying to figure out how this embroidery pattern is going to work. It's not as symmetrical as I thought, and in places where there's no reason for it not to be, I'm modifying it. Somehow I lost a stitch somewhere, so part of it is coming out even more unsymmetrical than it's supposed to. The trick is that since it's a repeating pattern, whatever I do once I get to do another seven times, so I'm trying not to drive myself insane figuring it out the first time. Oh well. I suspect it's one of those "nobody will know it's wrong unless I tell them" errors, but right now I would dearly love to know where I screwed up.

Having watched Prometheus (or whatever of Prometheus is allowed on cable TV), I can still state that horror movies aren't my thing. But at least some of it was a little less horrific because I've seen Alien. (Didn't keep me from yelling "BAD IDEA" at the TV in a couple of places, though.)
dchenes: (katana)
On Saturday I trashed my left shoulder hauling kitty litter around. Then I proceeded to sleep on it wrong. On Monday I spent way too much of the day hauling boxes around (200 students' worth of toothpaste and tutorial case pages and surveys and intraoral examination supplies is a lot of boxes). Today everything hurt: neck, shoulders, hips and hamstrings in particular, and everything else from the elbows to the ankles. Since I couldn't make all that stuff stop hurting, I made myself stop caring that it hurt, by way of Maine Brewing Company's King Titus Porter. Just you try having alcohol once every six months or so for about two years, and then drinking a pint of 7.5% ABV porter, and see if you care what hurts.

My credit card balances hurt too, because the cats went to the vet today to the tune of $350 each for rabies shots and blood tests. (Snip could use a diet, which I knew, and Lily could use a tooth pulled, which I didn't. But I'm not excited about that because it involves general anesthesia, and I didn't have very much fun coming out of general anesthesia for my gallbladder. I threw up and it went out through my nose.) Thank goodness for pet insurance. Add that to the $600 for embroidery framing and the $200 for a windproof winter jacket that doesn't fit me like a tent, and I'm not pleased with my financial situation this month. Now I really ought to sell the geisha.

Today being Veterans' Day, I've been thinking about my grandfathers, both of whom were WWII veterans. Grandpa was in India building bridges with the Army, and Pepere was in Georgia training Free French pilots with the Army Air Corps (I don't think it was officially the Air Force at that point). I don't know a lot about what they actually did (and that drives me crazy about Grandpa, because I know there's stuff out there about the engineers on the Ledo Road and I can't connect him with it), but I do know that Grandpa somehow ended up in charge of an ice cream factory and came home weighing considerably more than he did when he left, and Memere was on a bus at one point and overheard two Free French pilots talking (in French) about how one of them had almost killed Lt. Deschenes that day while they were flying. Pepere got a medal from De Gaulle, but it disappeared when the family got somebody else to clean out the house after he died.

I want sushi, but that involves money I ain't got at the moment. Phoo.
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