eilonwy2017: (why this is hell nor am i out of it)
I got home last to PA last night after 10 hours of driving. It's the third time I've been home in two months (Thanksgiving, [livejournal.com profile] tamnonlinear's memorial, now Christmas.) Before this I hadn't been home since last Christmas. (I usually come home in summer, but it was a crappy summer, I was sick with, as it turned out was probably iron deficiency, and I couldn't face the drive.)

I brought three out of five cats home. (Mia and Jessie would in no way be okay with getting put into boxes-- if I could even have done so--, driven for 10 hours, and then forced to live in two rooms with three other cats. They are being checked on daily by a good friend.) The cats, of course, hate the drive. Marlowe and Callie cry most of the way. Widget, in recent years, has become a terrible traveler. She used to be completely fine, but now she drools all over herself and usually poos a few times, too. Yesterday was the worst day of the year for Miss Widget... and it was capped off with a quick bath. Every year since she started to get some bad at traveling, I tell myself that next year I won't bring the cats. Yes, I'm away for almost 3 weeks, but they've had me away longer. This year the reason I brought them was because Marlowe goes through phases where he scratches his back to ribbons and he started doing this again while I was gone for Thanksgiving. The vet and I can't quite figure out what's going on with that. (The vet is convinced it's flea allergy, but I've never seen fleas on Marlowe, he gets flea treatments, etc.) I think it's seasonal allergies, but I can't quite figure out the pattern. The other option is stress, and with his getting the scratchies while I was gone, on top of having moved several new cats in (and out) of the house, although he never saw them, I worried what my being gone for 3 weeks without him might do. Once I decided to bring Marlowe, I had to have my Callie-cat (she's my baby girl who sleeps cuddled up with me) and my Widget (she's the adorable fluff ball of equal parts sweetness and rage.) So into the car they went.

And now that I'm sitting here in PA typing this, glad to be away from KY, from work, from being alone in isolated rural appalachia, I'm so glad to have my fuzzies with me. Widget was asking for love (always a delightful surprise, since she's the most catlike of my cats) and is now curled up on a novel beside me. Marlowe was wedged beside me for a while, purring up a storm, 'til he got bored. Callie is at my feet, curled up on a blankie, and she spent the night beside me. They are a comfort.

I feel guilty about Mia and Jessie, though.

I need this feline comfort, at the moment. On top of the other Big Bads of this year (the illness and death of Shelby-turtle, the election and its aftermath, the loss of Abby, which still hurts like a punch to the gut), my family's beloved labrador passed away Tuesday night. She was a dog with personality-- with a capital P. She was wonderful. In her later years, she was a stately matriarch, watching the world spin, but always ready for a belly scratch. She howled at the train passes our house, and taught the younger dogs to do it, too (including a doberman -- not a breed known for howling.) When she had surgery to fix her throat (so she could breathe) she could no longer howl (or bark) and she went deaf so she didn't hear the train anymore, but she still let her needs be known. Since puppyhood, she'd clap her jaws-- not bark, just a clapping sound-- and you'd known she needed something. When younger, this was accompanied by a jump, which was adorbale, although disconcerting if you weren't familiar with it. She liked ice cubes in her water, and even if there was already water in her bowl, she preferred it to be freshly poured, so there was always a pitcher of water for the dogs in the fridge. She loved walks. I took her for one on Thanksgiving, and it was very short because she limped and tired very easily, but it was a joy to see how happy the walk made her. She loved chewing on coke bottles (the 20 oz kind), but would lose interest as soon as she got the cap chewed off. She'd roll on her back for tummy scratches, but inevitably she'd start to sneeze  after a bit and you'd have to get out of the way of her flailing limbs. Every night after dinner, she'd dash into the dining room and rub her face and back on the carpet. She loved ear rubs, and would just leeeeaaaan into them in a way that you felt you were doing something good and proper. She won fans everywhere she went-- even at the acupunturist, where she'd placidly let them stick her. (The acupuncture genuinely helped her keep going and mobile the last 2 years.)

I didn't get home to say goodbye to Miss Murphy. Last week she stopped being able to keep food down. A vet diagnosed her with mega-esophagus and aspirated bronchitis and sent her home. The next day, my parents had her back at the vet and she was hospitalized. Tests were run and more were planned. By Monday, it was clear that things were bad. Tuesday night they had to let her go. I think it was one of the hardest choices my parents have ever made, because Murphy was that special of a dog. I didn't get home until last night. The house still has two large dogs, and in the past years Murphy was a quieter presence than she'd been before, but it's still a palpable, painful loss. I look at the bed she usually slept on, and it's either empty or Katie is in it, and it's just wrong.

Hug your loved ones, both human and pets, a little closer today, okay?
eilonwy2017: (Dean: don't wanna fly)
Firstly, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] blergeatkitty for my random recycling goat. :D

Secondly, i've been updating things like a mad thing what updates things... yeah.

Project-Cat has a new non-update, with pictures! Including Daphne (so heads up [livejournal.com profile] oddharmonic, heh.)

And speaking of pictures, there are new ones over in my Flickr. Provided with no commentary, 'cause I'm in a hurry, you can see lots of pictures of my hike at Lost Dutchman Trail.. Proof that even though it's home to a lot of freakin' idiots, AZ is pretty.

Also, you can see pictures (mainly of animals) from my trip to the AZ Renaissance Faire. Sadly there's none of me in costume, but there is one of my hair. These pictures have commentary.

Also, also, I have posted my art project to [livejournal.com profile] spn_tarot, and you can see it here. Even though it's really different than all the other tarot cards that have been created so far, I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out. And I'm also highly amused. Yes, yes, I amuse myself. I know, it's sort of sad. :) (But, but, toilet plunger! Inherently amusing!)

Um. I think that's it in the updates and links category.

In other news... my grandparents' house officially went on the market today. The sign has been hammered into the front yard. My parents are done with the house. I'm really glad that my parents no longer have that stress, but holycarp, house. For sale. That was my second home growing up. ::sniffle:: I'll probably post links to the house itself once it's online. 'Cause. My mom put it best over on Facebook-- I really hope whoever buys the house loves it as much as we do (or more.) :(

My grandfather doesn't seem to be getting any stronger, but he does seem to be getting a bit more lucid. On Thursday he remembered Sacred Heart-- where he and my grandmother have been living for two years-- for the first time since his fall.

I stlil have TOO MUCH TO DO before bedtime and more deadline-y, before 5am Tuesday morning when I leave for the airport. HolycarpLondon!

HOLYCARPLONDON!!!!!

Last night I slept on the couch because my bed is full of clean clothes, sorted into piles regarding their likelihood of being packed. At the rate I'm going, I would not be surprised if I slept on the couch again tonight... Mergle.

Tomorrow I teach, then I have office hours (which I can't skip as they're the last of them), then I have to run errands: Bank (for pounds), AAA (for a converter/adaptor, and for traveler's checks, I guess), bookstore (I need a London tourbook), mall (to get my new glasses adjusted-- they're crooked), apartment office (to pay my rent). After that I get to finish cleaning and packing. And make sup to freeze so that I don't waste all the vegetables in my fridge... Yay.

Zzzz

Apr. 6th, 2010 10:47 pm
eilonwy2017: (Today? Lame (Sam))
V. tired. Time to shower and sleep.

Am back in AZ. Am grateful for arriving safely, for H. picking me up at the airport and F. meeting me at home in case my keys didn't work (long story.)

I'm enjoying my full sized screen and full-sized keyboard on my usual laptop.

I've plugged my iPhone into said usual laptop and am delighted at how much space there is on it even though it has now downloaded alllll my music.

My cats were cautious. They'll be happier once I shower and smell like me again.

The flights were typical. I slept. I read. I read/commented on a chapter of The Heart of the Dragon, heh.

I know I should prep for tomorrow (ie: make lunch, pick out clothes) but I'm finding it hard to pull myself away from the computer-- not because I'm terribly interested in anything (I've caught up on everything) but because I'm just unmotivated to move... Heh.

My grandfather's being moved to a rehabilitation place as of tomorrow morning. That seems really fast. I choose to take it as a good sign. AND he's being taken to the place we wanted. (Said place is popular [because it's good] so it can be hard to get into.) He was up and in a chair today, my Dad said, so I choose to take that, too, as a good sign.

So much to do. Tomorrow: class 1, class 2, Office Hours, then dealing with London paperwork that I haven't done, probably a nap, hopefully working out. I'd really like to make some progress on my SPN Tarot card, too, as well as maybe even finish up (!?!?!) the most recent yarn!chester who has been alllllmost done for weeks now. (She needs eyes, the finishing touches on one of her accessories, and another accessory from start to finish because I broke the first iteration of said accessory.)

Crap, I forgot to get my mail. Well, here's hoping I get up when the alarms go off and that I remember to get it before class. La.

G'night. I promise to try to have more interesting things to say... someday. :)
eilonwy2017: (Jack sleeps)
Of course, I have now safely arrived in PA, so it is now Saturday (as it is 2am here.) Yeah, time for bed, but thought you should know: alive!

Parents: Exhausted

Grandfather: Fell, hit head, has bleeding in his brain, is in hospital. Neuro-surgeon says bleeding in the brain is not cause for worry (as there is so little) but because he's in the hospital and there was concern over neck injuries-- and they found more bone cancer, this time in the neck-- he wasn't given his usual medicine. So he is now horribly confused and "wants to go see the bear." Sigh. They're giving him his normal meds now, and he'll hopefully be stabilized in the next few days...

Flights: Were fine. But my feet were so! cold! on the first (long) one. Sucked. On the second one, I spent the whole time talking with a guy named John who lives in NY but his parents are in PA (hence heading to ABE like me) and was coming back from a visit to his brother in Las Vegas. He was really nice, attractive, the right age, clever, and so, of course, I'll never see himn again.

Cats: I miss them already. Flurry says she'll take care of them. But she also says she'll eat them. :(

Dogs: I love my parents' doggies-- they're so cute and funny and smart. (But not as cute, funny or smart as my kittehs.)

Laptop: Am using it, and am still quite happy with it, although it still seems like a toy. Also, my mom tried to steal it. :)

Weekend: Going to be busy and not just a little difficult.

LJ: Wlll update when time and mood permit, but will probably not be following journals 'til my return to AZ next week.

Now: Bed.
eilonwy2017: (Help?)
Last night, as my parents and were headed out to see Sherlock Holmes, my grandmother called my mom to tell her that my grandfather is having chest pains again. He refused to call for an ambulance, but my mom convinced my grandmother to get my grandfather to the hospital regardless.

Backstory... in the middle of December my grandfather had a heart attack. They put a stint in his heart, but couldn't use a medicated one (like the two he had put in after a heart attack 5 years ago) because my grandfather is currently undergoing treatment for bladder cancer (this after treatment for prostate cancer.) After several days in the hospital, they released him to come home. But after a few days he was back in the hospital because he'd had a bad reaction to the blood thinner-- overthinning, essentially. They kept him for a few more days because they were worried about finding the right balance. Last night he went back in.

Mom left halfway through the movie to go to the ER to be with her mom and dad. (She'd have gone sooner but they (usually) only let 2 people in a room with the patient in the ER at a time and my aunt had gone, but then needed to leave in order to get to work today.) My dad and I joined them just before midnight and stuck around 'til 2 (they let all 4 of us in with my grandfather at that point) when they finally found a bed for my grandfather up in cardiac ICU. When we left they'd started him on (a different) blood thinner.

[Going into the hospital last night gave me quite the emotional hit. I hadn't been to LVH since my great grandmother went in for an operation that everyone assured me would be a piece of cake, that she'd be fine. My parents and I sat and waited during it. She never really woke up from that operation, though, her organs just shut down and she passed away. That was in 2004.]

The doctors are unsure of what's going on, but it was pretty much agreed on that he'd undergo another catheterization today, eventually. Well, over the course of the day he's had several more bouts of chest pains, so he's going to for a catheterization now, I think, as the doctors now think the stint might be closing up.

2009 seems to be trying to kick us a few more times before it leaves for good.

My grandmother is convinced that they'll fix everything today and he'll be fine.

My mother, however, who has just left home to go visit (and to sit with her mom) declared, as she was leaving, that she has a bad feeling.

Thanks mom.

Regardless, please keep him in your thoughts for me?
eilonwy2017: (Cranky Kitty)
If I get them all out in LJ, maybe I'll feel better?

Family: My grandfather had a heart attack yesterday morning. He's going to be fine, they say, but he's in the hospital until at least tomorrow. Also, one of my cousins was in a car accident today-- she's fine but her car is not. I really hope that there isn't a third, but that if there is it also leads to the person involved being fine.

Paypal/Zynga: Zynga is a game company, the one who runs the wildly popular game Farmville on Facebook. I do play Farmville (and also their CafeWorld). Today out of the blue I received an email from paypal saying I had authorized a payment for $150 (!!!) to Zynga. I had done no such thing. I immediately opened a claim dispute with Paypal AND contacted customer support at Zynga AND emailed their billing address. I also changed my Paypal password. Paypal responded by limiting access to my account and contacting Zynga. Zynga, presumably since it's Sunday night, has done nothing. Of course, I've heard horrible things about the company, so I'm quite nervous about getting my money back. (Apparently I purchased 5million credits -- which I have not received. Not, of course, that I authorized this payment to begin with!) I have absolutely not comprehension of how this could have happened. Nor do I know how one proves a negative (that I did not make this purchase). $150 is a lot of money. I am not a happy camper.

I'm going to hold off on posting anything new in my Etsy until this is resolved so that if purchases are made they aren't going to the currently limited account.

Bookstore: The first day on the job was fine, I guess. The Boss hadn't built the bookshelves he'd promised ('cause he had to rebuild the entrance since someone had tripped over it and nearly broken his elbow) but he'd gone and started pulling fiction off the shelves. I pointed out that if we pulled stuff but had nowhere to put it, then no one would be able to browse it and buy it. He agreed, so after he left i put stuff back on the shelves. I'm hoping the new ones will have been built by Tuesday.

He also promised me a 60% discount off of used books and 40% off of new. Tonight I received an email saying the new policy is 30% discount.

Also, his business practices are ridiculous. I admit that I know very little about running a used bookstore, but it seems to me that the fiction section would be one's bread and butter. Instead, he wants to focus on non-fiction. And he has a clearance rack outside (only it's labeled "clearence") with good books on it that are marked down to ridiculously low prices. I know that his business practices don't really affect me (as long as I get paid) but it's so frustrating.

On Thursday, he got to the store at 4:30, which was great, that's when I was to leave. Flurry and I went to the Greek place next door for dinner and grading. I ran out to my car to get something (my jacket, I think) and I saw the Boss leave, having stuck a sign on the door saying, "Back at 5:45.") This means that the store was closed. Again. Being open consistently, it seems to me, is the most important thing right now for a brand new store. But whatever. When Flurry and I left the Greek place, the bookstore was open again, but now there was a sign on the door that said, "For trades, call [number]; temporary policy change". Suuure.

Oh, and while working a woman came in with a huuuuge pile of children's magazines she wanted to trade. She told me that the Boss had told her that she was to bring them in and he promised her a great deal on them, since she's a teacher, etc. When I called the Boss to find out what he wanted to do, he said, "We don't take magazines." That policy is fine, but then he shouldn't have told this woman otherwise. And I have to believe the customer, not the Boss, because the Boss is a lunatic.

And if I have to hear him say, "I did [insert task here] with my own two hands" again, I might have to strangle him.

The actual working is not bad (yet) but I'm already beginning to resent the whole experience.

(And everything you guys said in previous posts is 100% true. And honestly, I would have told anyone else who came to me with this same story to quit. And yet I can't bring myself to do it-- things aren't that bad.... I go back Tuesday, and will update you all then, I guess.)

Second Shepherd's Play: I'm not saying that my choice of directorial style is the only one, and my aesthetic is certainly not the only one. But geeeez this play needs a director. I would do pretty much everything differently from how this play is going. The guy who has become the default director, by virtue of the play being his idea, and he being a professor, specifically one who has been teaching most of the rest of the cast this semester, has, in my ever so humble opinion, no freakin' idea what he's doing. I'm rapidly coming to hate the play. On the bright side, when the default-director/second shepherd does something stupid, I just concentrate on the third shepherd, as he is attractive. :)
eilonwy2017: (Sick Pumpkin)
I truly, truly hope you're all having marvelously wonderful Thanksgivings. I hope you're surrounded by family-- whether blood-relations or chosen-family-- and that you're happy and full of awesome food.

I... will be better in a few hours when my parents are here.

I visited Miss Widget. She has a cone on, to keep her from gnawing on her iv. She has iv fluids (electrolytes, etc.) going into her. Her diarrhea, however, has not stopped and as of this morning she continues to have only water to lose, so... not good. She's still not interested in food, but the vet techs are syringe feeding her high calorie, easily digestible food every hour (about 10ccs). She had herself all tucked up in the farthest corner, and a the techs had a towel over the front of the cage because she was so upset. She growled a lot. I'm hoping that having the strength to growl is a good sign. She did not want me to pet her, but she did relax a bit while I was there. The vet has started her on various antibiotics for her intestines, but we don't know if that's what's wrong.

We should have the blood test results tomorrow, though. And visiting hours tomorrow are between 10 and 12 and I plan on going.

I am grateful that Widget is hanging on, and that she has the strength to growl, and that they're getting food into her (she's not vomiting it) even if she doesn't want to eat on her own. I am grateful that though I have no money, I have family and friends who are willing to loan me the money that it's going to take to get Widget well. (I offered to sell one of my kidneys, but no one seems to want it.)

I didn't sleep well last night-- in my anxiety, I didn't turn off the light 'til 4am, and had to get up at 9. So I'm dizzy and nauseated.

I'm grateful that Starbuck's was open and I bought a bit coffee. (It was their "Thanksgiving" blend, which was kind of nasty, but c'est la vie.)

I visited with Baby Beatrice (since Flurry is out of town) and while there I called/spoke with both sets of my grandparents.

I am grateful for my family.

My parents got safely through the first leg of their flight (Allentown to Detroit) and though they had to move to a new plane after they'd boarded for Phoenix, the website says that they're only delayed by 1 minute. I wouldn't have minded the extra time to clean (or nap?) but I'm grateful that they're on their way.

I have made many phone calls (I hate the phone) and found four restaurants that are in the right price range, more or less the right area, and are open 'til 8pm (my parents' flight lands at 6:20). I am grateful that there are restaurants open today.

My dizzy, dizzy self am now going to try to clean, try not to think too much about Widget (my poor baby girl, so very very sick) and hope that I can get this place clean enough to not upset my mom. (She's not demanding-- I'm just a slob.)

I will be grateful when I can go to bed tonight, though. I feel pretty damn awful.
eilonwy2017: (Yarn!chester Sam and Callie)
Tomorrow I will unveil the two newest Yarn!chesters. I finished them tonight (putting their eyes on.) One has been done (other than eyes) for ... months now. The other I was having trouble with the hair-- but decided to just finish it, and so I have, and so they're done, and so tomorrow there will be pictures and posting.

I don't anticipate making any more until after I pass (I hope) my comps in January, partly out of lack of time but mostly 'cause I've been more interested lately in knitting warm accessories to wear (both here with sweaters and at home at Winter-break with heavy winter coats and such, because PA is cold to someone who has been living in AZ!) But you never know-- Hellatus could do strange things to a girl.

Also, I realize this is incredibly dorky, but I'll share anyway. I've started thinking about how to design a shoulder bag for the convention, one in which some of the Yarn!chesters could be displayed but safe. Since I'm too lazy to get my sewing machine to work, I've been thinking about this in terms of knitting an d felting. I haven't decided yet, though, if I'm going to somehow make said bag SPN thematic or just something simple so as to show off the Yarn!chesters. (I started knitting a bag based on the tattoo ages ago, but wasn't enjoying it, and even before that I knit the pieces of what was going to become a wristlet based on the devil's trap, but when it felted it was too big and so I never got around to finishing it. This is a common problem with me.*)


*Evidently it was a common problem with my great-grandmother, too (father's mother's), so perhaps it's genetic. Although I never met her (she passed away just a few months, I think, before I was born), I now have pretty much ALL of her left over crafting supplies because my grandparents never threw anything away and my parents shipped everything to me. (Actually, most of the embroidery floss is now in [livejournal.com profile] oddharmonic's possession, and some of the yarn has already been shipped to [livejournal.com profile] pyrite, but it all went through me first.) Amongst the yarn and such, however, has been a large number of half-knit items still on their needles. Just so we're clear, this means that they've been on the needles for thirty years. I really don't know what to do with these projects. In most cases I'm incapable of continuing them (not having the pattern) and even if I could, there'd be such a difference in tension/etc. and a bump (at least) from where the yarn was on the needle for three decades that it'd be weird. And it's not like it's yarn worth saving in most cases, 'cause it's acrylic from the 1970s.
eilonwy2017: (Default)
(Feel free to skip, but this will make me feel better or worse, as I add to this throughout the day... The footnotes are the most interesting part, I suspect.)

Work Stuff:
-emailed S.E. re: article, as promised last month
-emailed 221 students re: first draft responsibilities
-called T.S. (and spoke with F.S., too!) to pay "application fee" for GOING TO LONDON
-called grandmother-- she got a new kitten!!* Hee.
-worked out (30 minutes on elliptical)
-worked on Second Shepherd's Play lines (while on elliptical!)
-cleaned iced tea maker (ew, warm vinegar smell)
-filled out London application
-filled out Blackfriars survey
-paid electric bill (yay the lights will stay on!)
-took pictures of the ferals (to eventually update Project-Cat)
-actual lunch and dinner
-showered
-German translation (UGH. I suck at this.)
-sorted/put away all the clean clothes that have been sitting out for weeks
-sorted dirty clothes for laundring tomorrow
-home remedies/spot treatments on some of the clothes needing laundering


Fun Stuff:
-watched a few eps of Lie to Me
-knitted on my scarf
-played some puzzle pirates
-read a bit of trashy fiction


Did Not Accomplish:
-comps reading (eek)
-laundry
-few more emails


Might Still Accomplish:
-duvet cover on (we'll see... it's a freakin' struggle. But I sleep with wet hair and I have such oily skin (even after washing my face before bed) that the duvet cover needs very regular washing, y'know?)


Tomorrow: play rehearsal (12-2), Laundry, those emails, comps reading (good grief, I hope), parental phone call and maybe tennis?

Fortunately, I have off Wednesday and of course Thursday. My parents arrive Thursday evening-- so I have that day and a half to get this place in some semblance of order... Eek.

Widget is currently licking an Old Navy bag. She's so weird. The cat I had growing up (Buster) liked to pee on plastic bags (yes, ew.) Widget? She lies on them and nibbles on them and apparently flat out licks them. This is so weird to watch. I think I'm going to make sure the cats' food bowls are full in the hopes of distracting her in a gentle fashion...

G'night all.

-----
*When I was growing up, my (maternal) grandparents had a black cat named Jasmine and a white cat named Sheba and they lived in the basement. Jasmine was a kitten from one our outdoor kitties' litters.** But my grandmother is more of a dog person.*** My aunt took in a cat at some point, and her kids named her Sarabi (ala Lion King), but my aunt is violently allergic to cats (instantaneous sneezing) so my grandmother took her. Sarabi never really warmed to other people, but loved my grandmother, would curl up in her lap and such (and she, unlike the dogs or Jasmine and Sheba, when they lived, got the run of the house). Sarabi, sadly, passed awy a few months ago. My grandmother seemed to want to replace her right away-- calling shelters to find a long haired calico female cat with, preferably, a bob tail. This made me nervous since even if you get a matching pet, you know it won't be the same personality. BUT apparently my grandmother found THE cat this past week-- a gray and white kitten who is only 9 weeks old (!!!), with white paws and who seems likely to grow into a long-haired cat (well, probably medium haired I'm guessing.) When I called my grandmother today, my mom was up there taking pictures. I can't remember if my grandparents got Sheba and Jasmine as kittens (I'm guessing yes, but it was a long, long time ago) but my grandmother seems totally enamored of this new kitten and her new kitteny ways. ("She climbs up your grandfather and I! She sits on my shoulder while I do my hair!) So I am incredibly charmed. :)

**When my parents bought our house in 1982, it came with outdoor kitties. The ones who stuck around we named Smokey and Houdini, and I'm pretty sure they were mother/daughter, and that Jasmine was one of Houdini's kittens. Mind you, in 1982 I was 2 years old, so even allowing for the the generations of cats necessary to get to Jasmine, I was too young to be clear on all the details. I don't remember at what point we stopped having any cats coming round... I suspect, though, that after Houdini and Smokey passed away, it would likely have also been around the time we got Montgomery, who was a 150pound Great Pyrenees who, when young, liked to chase cats. Yanaba, who was a husky mix, hated cats, so when we got her (when I was... 16?) there definitely wouldn't have been outdoor cats around anymore.

***She was a dog breeder for a while-- dalmations, I believe. Not a big operation or anything-- today she'd probably have been labeled a backyard breeder, but she was careful and not, y'know, just out to make a buck like so many. Anyway, she didn't do it for long. By the time I was old enough to remember her dogs, she had dobermans (Reds and then Thor, the fraidy cat doberman) and then switch, in what seems like a hell of a 180 to me, to cocker spaniels. The first one was named Buffy, and she and Thor (the doberman) were together for a while, which was an odd pairing, in my ever so humble opinion. After Thor passed away, she switched entirely to cocker spaniels. I think she currently has FIVE, which yes is excessive, in my opinion, but she's retired, and they're her hobby and job and everything else, y'know? She has Chelsea, Holly and Bridget, who are all buff colored the way Buffy was (hence Buffy's name...), Jessie, who is a dark brown, and a black and white one whose name I can't remember, and who is scared of all people except my grandmother.

Pout.

Sep. 12th, 2009 11:06 am
eilonwy2017: (Norrington- Looking Forward)
This is the advertisement for the auction of all my grandparents' houses' innards. (Scroll down.)

I am sad. There have been a lot of changes over the past two years, but this somehow seems so very, very final.

I wish I could be there-- not for the auction. I already categorically refused to go to that-- but so that I could be with my grandparents (who also won't be at the auction) during it.

On the bright side, I know I'd be intrigued to go to someone else's auction after reading that advert. (The second set is a mixed auction of my grandparents' furniture and also other people's. The first set is all my grandparents' items (non furniture) as far as I know.)

I love that it says "putz animals/figures"-- that's something you'd probably only see in an advert in PA. Dood. I mean, do you know what that means? ([livejournal.com profile] moobie might.)

I'm sort of surprised that the Erector set is being sold-- I heard stories about how in high school my dad and his friends would have parties that included bowling with said set. (My dad was a *nerd*, mind you.)

I wish I could have had the blanket chest, but it's *huge*, and I'd have nowhere to put it.

I played a lot with those "var. box games." And I loved that "tin carousel type toy" (it's not a carousel, it's tin people in boats that fly around a central point.... it's weird.)

The "large var. needlework-doilies-var. quilts" were made by my great grandmother. I kind of hate that they're leaving the family, although we kept a number of them.

Sigh.
eilonwy2017: (Sam grins)
Waaaaay back in the dark ages (roughly 1994, I'd guess) [livejournal.com profile] moobie and I were huge fans of the tv show seaQuest. (Stay with me, we'll get to the obscure china pieces eventually). For some inexplicable reason, some of our adoration of the show took the form of making fun of the character "Tim O'Neill", played by Ted Raimi. (Imagine my delight when said actor showed up on Supernatural this season. Fandoms collide! I digress. This will, however, be an entry full of digressions.) For another inexplicable reason, we thought he looked like a squirrel. We called him squirrelman. In our giant crack-fic (which were not called crack fics back then as far as I know) known only as The Baseball Story (which began while at a baseball game about the characters of seaQuest at a baseball game, then grew to encompass at least 5 fandoms* and 3 notebooks), the character purchased dozens of bags of peanuts while at the baseball game.

Thus the fascination with squirrels in general began. It started as a joke-- while on a vacation with my parents, I bought a wind up squirrel for Moobie. Then... I just started buying her random squirrel related things in general. At some point while over at my house I recalled that my mother had, hidden in a cabinet (it was probably a gift from her mother, I'm guessing) a scary little squirrel statuette. I have no idea what I thought we'd do with it, but we dragged it out, and to this day it has, in pencil because we were exceptionally considerate teenagers: Tim Squirrelman O'Neill, or something to that effect. (Alas, I am 2500 miles away and so cannot check.)

While digging about in this cabinet we came across a footed fruitbowl, as well, made of white glass. I'm fairly certain we didn't know it was a footed fruitbowl at the time, despite its molded on fruit (I specifically recall grapes.)

I still spent parts of my summers, at this point, living with my grandparents for a week at a time. (I didn't start working in the summer 'til I was 16.) Moobie, however, by this point, was already working to the limit of child labor laws for Dorney Park. We didn't see each other much, but talked on the phone constantly (this being in those far off days before the interwebs were ubiquitous. We were both online by this point (AOL for me, and Prodigy for her) but only once in a while to check the Bulletin Boards and occasionally delve into the teen chat rooms (which were monumentally mind-numbingly stupid, in retrospect.)

The summer in question, however, for reasons I cannot now recall but may have had to do with some cabinet refacing that went on, my grandmother and I went through her china cupboard (a beautiful and large piece of furniture filled with weird items.) I believe we were putting things back in that had been stored in boxes for safety's sake. In this cabinet live many fruitbowls-- at least 3, probably 5. This is where I learned that the object back at my parents' house was, in fact, a footed fruitbowl (ie: a bowl meant for fruit, which has a pedestal for a foot). Because I was asking my grandmother about all the objects in the cupboard, asking their histories (she has things like an old iron that was meant to be put into the fire to heat up before pressing clothes with it, and such) I of course asked about the fruitbowls.

And we discovered that all of them (or at least most) had been bequeathed to her upon their owner's death. Now, don't get me wrong-- my grandmother does not have some kind of footed fruitbowl fascination (although if she did, at least it would be alliterative)-- this was all coincidence that surprised my grandmother as well (having never have given it thought before.) It was morbid, but funny. My grandmother and I joked about it, that footed fruitbowls were a token of death and memory (although I'm sure at 14 I was more morbidly crass about it.)

Naturally, [livejournal.com profile] moobie and I dug out the white glass footed fruitbowl of my mother's and carefully taped a label to the bottom of it (with scotch tape, of course, easily removed, for we were considerate hoodlums) which says, "Tim O'Neill Memorial Fruitbowl." Yes, this was 15 years ago, yes the bowl still says this because no one ever puts fruit in said footed fruitbowl, and it doesn't sit in one of the china cupboards on display like my grandmother's do. Once in a while Moobie and I check on the footed fruitbowl (and the ceramic squirrel, although for some reason that one moved to my room after I moved out... thanks, mom) to be sure their labels are still affixed. :)

ANYWAY, to bring us up to 2009. My grandparents moved into assisted living about a year and a half ago. You've heard me talk before about how they (and my grandmother's parents before her, who also lived in their house) are packrats. (I am too! But not quite to the same extent... I hope.) I've talked before about how I've gotten yarn purchased by my great-grandmother (who I've never met, as she passed away before I was born) and such. Well, after a long time of standing empty, my parents have finally been pushed to deal with the house. (They've been since day one, actually. They've sorted, cleaned, repainted, etc., swaths of it.) There's going to be an auction of everything inside in September.

Obviously, this means that anything my grandparents want to keep in the family, or specifically give to anyone needs to be dealt with now. Because my memories of my times at my grandparents' house center almost entirely on my childhood, and playing with toys that belonged to my grandmother, I've asked for her dollhouse (and furniture) and the Dionne Quintuplet dolls (no complete sets, but 2 of every age produced, I believe. My grandmother's sister took half the toys when she moved out, including half the dolls.) Most of the other things I associate strongest with my grandparents have moved into assisted living with them, for which I am glad. What I am going to do with a large dollhouse from the 1930s I do not know, but I don't want it sold at auction, and have always thought that I'd get it eventually. (I'm the only grandchild, so it's not like I'm scavenging like a vulture with my cousins or something. My dad's side of the family is minuscule.) I thought about asking for a footed fruitbowl, but it seemed too morbid, since the idea of a memorial fruitbowl is to happen after the owner's death, not just moving out of their house. So I didn't.

However, upon asking my grandmother what she wanted to give to specific people (if anything), and what she wanted to keep in the family, etc.? She told my mom that I was to get a footed fruitbowl. (My mom is to pick out the prettiest one, since I can't go home this week like she wanted me to.)

I was just on the phone with my mom (as today is her birthday) and she told me this, that my grandmother wanted me to have a footed fruitbowl because she and I used to joke about them, and it just made me fill up with happiness. I had no idea that my grandmother would remember that. We hadn't talked about it in years. I thin kit's hilarious and wonderful. :D

So I, too, will have a footed fruitbowl, destined, most likely, to never hold any fruit.

----
* In case you were curious, the fandoms I can recall being involved were seaQuest (obviously), ER, James Bond (specifically GoldenEye), The X-Files and Star Wars. What? Those five fit together perfectly well, I'll have you know.

THWACK

Aug. 8th, 2009 02:53 pm
eilonwy2017: (Unravelled)
I'm having a pretty good day so far. How's about you guys?

I woke up around 10, and chatted with [livejournal.com profile] pyrite. Then I finished reading Devil in the White City, which was very good. (I'm too much an academic to not be a bit skeptical of popular history and the choices made by the author, but it was very well researched and the choices made were plausible. More importantly to the enjoyability, it was exceptionally readable and just plain a good read. I'm interested in the author's other books now.)

I've spun quite a bit of fiber (into singles) today as well. I had bought this fiber called "ember" a loooong while ago, but when it arrived it looked nothing like the picture on Etsy. I was disappointed, but figured monitors make for different color experiences. I also felt that it didn't look like it was described, either. (Described as dark grey and red, and it looked like brown with streaks of red.) So it sat for a long while until yesterday when I thought, heck, I'll spin this up and figure out something. Buuuut, it turns out it spins up beautifully as ... dark grey and red. Go figure. So that's happy making. When I'm done it'll be a 3ply (two plies of this fiber, which is superwash merino in differing thicknesses, and one ply of a bright red cotton).

I have also soaked and hung up four new skeins of yarn. (Unfortunately it's not nearly as hot as usual today. Figures-- I need the heat to dry my yarn and it slacks off. What the hey? Why is it only 97 degrees? What happened to my 110?) I'm not sure which of the skeins I'll sell and/or how. I'm quite pleased, though, with one that's a ply of camel and a ply of dark brown suri alpaca. The grey suir/huacaya alpaca blend plied with silk looks great-- the differences in thickness (which was intentional) has allowed for a nice halo to start on the alpaca strand. However, I didn't have a lot of luck with the silk (it was more or less my first time spinning from a silk hankie. The single was fine, but the plying was difficult) I think it's really nice yarn, but I'm worried because there's one break in the skein (knotted) and a few breaks of the silk ply. I'll probably sell it with that warning and a deep discount. There's also a skein of camel plied with spun-from-the-lock wool, which looks awesome, but its only 59 yards. It's hard to sell the small skeins, y'know? The last skein is also camel, but plied with the last of the wool/soy blend from the previous skeins, and is only about 60 yards, too. I might collect wee skeins like this and sell them as a set. We'll see.

Anyway, some of those skeins needed thwacking, which is precisely what it sounds like-- hitting them against a hard surface while wet. The only such surface currently on my balcony is the thick part of the balcony railing. But since the railing is hollow metal, it makes a ringing sound. My neighbors must think I'm insane. One guy was walking buy, 3 floors down, while staring up at me. I smiled. He didn't ask, so I didn't explain.

Oh! And my spot of good luck! I won this angora/alpaca batt!! I'm very excited. It looks beautiful. I love spinning alpaca. An angora/alpaca blend should be heavenly. (If you scroll down a bit, you can see the angora bunny from which some of the fiber comes!) Not only is the batt beautiful, but I never win anything, so it was awesome to find out that I won!! Woooo!! ::happy dance:: Is verra cool.

I'm going to try and finish my grading for the summer session now. It'd be nice to be able to submit those grades and be done. I have to spend a chunk of time tomorrow working on my fall syllabus, too, since it's due by 5pm Monday. (Eek.) The only downside to this is that I'm not sure where I put the book I'm using for the Fall class, which will make finishing the syllabus difficult... So I may be going into the office on Monday to work on it. Hope not.

I have a puzzle pirate date at 5pm (and by date I mean "appointment" not anything romantic.) Also on PP tonight, one of my friends is going to teach me about navigating/battle navigating. I hope to finish at least the last ply of my newest yarn today, too, maybe even ply all three together. Wheee.

Tomorrow there's more Supernatural with [livejournal.com profile] flurije and A. We might even finish season 2. (!!) Which would put is more than halfway through the series, since season 3 is short. I'll be working on ami!Mary at that point. I'm most worried about her hair, though.

I have no intention of leaving my house today, though. Do you think that's bad? Hm...

I wonder if I should take up dying my own fiber? I didn't really feel drawn to it 'til lately...I think I'd rather have a drum carder with which to blend fibers.

Hm. I also need to take more yarn!chester pictures this weekend, so as to ensure enough scenes to fill the coming week.

I really ought to clean. My place looks like a very small tornado went through. Ugh.

My parents bought a red Lexus yesterday (apparently.) Both halves of that description seem really weird to me. (They kinda wanted a Prius but you still have to order them, evidently. And more importantly, they're too small for my mom. My mom's a very small woman, actually; it's not like she needs a large car. But she has a mental block about small cars. She thinks my Jetta is too small. When I rented a car to drive in VA this past May, my dad set it up-- I expected a compact, the cheapest. Nope, she didn't think a small car was safe, and so I had the next size. I'm kind of surprised she doesn't drive an SUV--

Oh crap, I have no idea what kind of Lexus they got. Doesn't Lexus make SUVs? I can't see them spending that kind of money, to be honest, but still... No, they wouldn't have...

Anyway, that's all the news here. I'm still not thinking about the sleep study, which is why I haven't responded to comments yet. I will. Later.

Oh hey, there's a fudgesicle in the freezer with my name on it.
eilonwy2017: (McSqueaky)
I just found out that the same kind of Trojan Blasting Caps boxes that I use to hold the Yarn!Chester accessories recently sold at auction for $70 each.

Um. Hee? Only the best for my Yarn!Chesters! Or something. ...maybe I should take better care of these boxes... (Then again, when I expressed my guilt at taking two from my grandparents' house, my dad pointed out that auctions are weird things and when the bag of these boxes (there's still a bunch in the basement) go for auction next month, they'll probably for $5 each instead. Darn, there go my hopes for financing my MANY 2010 trips via Trojan Blasting Cap boxes, heh.)

When the auctioneer saw the boxes, his first question was, "Those are empty, right?" And y'know, in my granparents' house? That's actually a good question. But yes, they're all empty.... as far as I know. Mine were at least.

I haven't left the country since 2005 when I went on a cruise with my parents and pseudo-family. Now I'm trying to leave it 3 times in 2010. I'm trying to go to London in May, my parents are talking about Germany (!!) in July (for the Oberammergau) and Vancouver in August. I... have no idea how any of that is going to happen. But we shall see...

I'm procrastinating. I need to figure out what to teach tomorrow (no idea) and how (that requires the what first). And I'm trying to convince myself to type up this letter that's been hanging over my head for aaaaages now. Lost most of my evening, though, between a long chat with my parents (they were too tired yesterday for our traditional Sunday night talk) and a flotilla attack on Puzzle Pirates. Oops. Didn't help that it took me all afternoon to comment on student drafts. Whee. Is the summer session over yet?

(I've also been compulsively checking for comments on my Yarn!Chester entry from today.)

Tomorrow I should be able to come straight home, though, after class. So that's good. Oh crud, no I can't. There's a Winter's Tale discussion at 1. Poo.

Oh! I'm kitty-sitting this weekend! This is relevant because it's for former-foster-kitten Malcolm! Woot! (And, of course, his brother Fritz.) I haven't seen Malcolm pretty much since adopting him out, so this makes me happy. Evidently he is now huge. There will be pictures.

(Dean's going to be big. And via late growth spurt, Zoe turned out big, too. I'm guessing Sam got big. We grow our feral kittens big 'round these parts. Except that I think Zadie and Dolce are staying small. Not sure about Momo/Iso, although I did hear recently that he's doing well. Beatrice isn't *big* but she's loooong. Also, rather angry at present because her house has been invaded by 2 more cats (staying for a few weeks.))

Bloody hell, that !@#$@! letter should *not* have taken me so long to write. I finally give up and have printed it. The package goes out tomorrow. Harumph. It's all taped up. ::firm nod::

Class tomorrow is... going to be figured out in the morning, I think. Not the healthiest perspective, but what the hey. Well, I'll update files yet tonight.

Now I have to read/recap/review a chapter of Bone Key as I have run out of buffer chapters. Wheee.
eilonwy2017: (Tired Dean)
I'm all pouty because my trip is over. I'm sitting in the LVI airport, and have found an outlet for my computer in my terminal, so that's good. (There's a whole area set up for laptops, but it's halfway down the terminal. Mind you, the terminal consists entirely of 10 gates, so it's not like I'd be far, but I prefer to be really close to the gates to be aware of any updates. Which in retrospect is dumb because gates 10, 11 and 12 share one desk, which I am now behind. Drat. Oh well. I'm comfy now, and connected to both interwebz and 'lectricity, so I shan't be moving. ) But I am sad because my mom was sad all day (Because of my leaving town) so between that, and being very tired (from travel and such) and the knowledge that tomorrow begins a whole new (and busy) routine, I'm feeling kind of down.

Mind you, the Lehigh Valley Zoo was pretty awesome. It is small (although the game preserve in which it sits is large), and we covered pretty much everything in under 2 hours, but was awesome. In particular, for $1 you could get a little cup of nectar and go into a lorikeet area and feed them. I got to feed a bunch of them, and one of them stole the cup away and flung it about before i could retrieve it. I then had to wash a bunch of nectar off of me, but that was fine. They were very cute. Apparently the time my parents went, my dad even had one land on him to take nectar from the cup. (This time there were quite a number of small screechy children and the lorikeets not flying about were staying safely out of the range of the smallest people-puppies.) I also bought feed to give treats to some very round sheep, and some BABY GOATS. I love goats, so cute! You could go into the enclosure to brush them (I did not-- I figured that I was a bit old for this) or stay outside and feed them; I did the latter. The mama-goat kept butting in on the babies to demand food, so of course I fed her too. But the babies were so cute with their tiny little muzzles!!

Also, I took many pictures of the zoo's brand new (African) penguins. And of their river otters (they're next to newest exhibit.) The otters were so cute. they have three, and they were wrestling and playing. I took video, which I'll post eventually along with pictures.

So where was I in describing my week (backwards)? I skimmed through Friday evening, but I feel there was something on Friday which I have now forgotten. Poo. Thursday was... um... well, I remember going to my (paternal)grandparents' house to do yardwork and look around at my the paint job my parents have been doing. I wasn't really dressed for yardwork, but I raked a lot nonetheless. Also, the visit rekindled my desire to live in the upstairs portion of the house and rent out the bottom. Whether this will ever happen, I do not know.

Also, I was suckered by the neighbor. Apparently my grandparents and their neighbors, who had always been friends as far as I knew, had a falling out before my grandparents moved to assisted living. The woman (we'll call her "C") hates spruce trees. This seems like an awfully specific thing to hate, but whatever. My mom says she remembers C, who had a terribly bad back, going out late at night and putting salt around all the spruce trees in her own backyard so they'd die and her husband would get rid of them. Somehow they eventually convinced my grandparents to get rid of their spruce tree as well (I think there was something slightly more nefarious, something about bringing people in to look at it, even though it wasn't theirs and such.) Anyway, my grandmother is the Queen of Holding a Grudge, and she never forgave C or her husband. (Evidently C sent flowers, but my grandmother refused them, heh.) It's a shame since apparently they were quite close because both my grandmother and C kept late hours and would send notes between their houses and such. But whatever.

Anyway, the neighbor has 3 greyhounds. Not knowing about the falling out between my family and theirs, and certainly not having guessed that my parents had not spoken to the neighbors in all the times that they'd been working at my grandparents' house, I went over to say hi to the puppies. I am a sucker. Out comes the husband (I can't remember his real name, but we'll call him "B".) "Are you [Eilonwy]?!" he asked, doing the whole "My how time flies" schtick. I said yes, and he came over to talk. I wanted to know about his dogs, but he immediately asked if my parents had decided what to do with my grandparents' house yet. I said that they weren't sure yet, but they were thinking about buying it and renting it out (which they are thinking about doing, but they haven't decided.) He made some (very) small talk then excused himself. I thought it was a bit odd but nice that he wanted to chat and went back to my parents who immediately wanted to know what I'd said about the question B had asked. They had realized, as I went to pet the puppies, that no one had told me about the feud. Sigh. So I gave away more information than I ought to have, but not too much I guess. What pisses me off is that B didn't even so much as ask after my grandparents. Grrrr.

Then we went to my maternal grandparents' house but they were not home, which is odd. We found out on Friday, though, that this was because they were visiting my cousin Sie who had ended up in the hospital the night before, having been hit in the head with a baseball. (She plays softball, but had stayed after her own game to watch the boys' game.) Until Friday they thought she'd broken her collarbone and her neck, as well as having a hell of a concussion. By Friday afternoon, thankfully, they'd decided that she just had a concussion (and she came home on Saturday.) On Wednesday she had memory loss (she knew she had a sister, but not her sister's name and didn't recognize her picture) that continued through Thursday (she didn't recognize my grandmother) and by Saturday she still had not regained her peripheral vision. Scary. But she'll be wearing a collar for 2 weeks then seeing a specialist to be looked at again and hopefully will be okay after that. ::fingers crossed::)

Thursday evening my parents dropped me off at the Japanese steak house to meet with [livejournal.com profile] moobie for sooooooshi. I didn't eat that much because I'd had pizza with my parents in Wport (so much food this trip!) but I enjoyed it greatly. More importantly, the company rocked, of course. Moob and I caught up a bit then went to my house where we watched "The Devil and Peter Tork". Twice. (The second time with commentary) while I took notes for the article I'm (hopefully) writing with Heather. Then we played several games of pool (Moobie is unfairly trained, however, due to several boyfriends who played pool.) Moob left around midnight. Fortunately she did not have to work the next day, but I knew I had to be awake(ish) for visiting my grandparents.

Wednesday was the canal. My parents and I got to Easton just in time to see the 1pm boat pull away from the dock, but in retrospect that worked out okay as it was full of small people puppies. So we walked around the wee technology exhibits for a while (lots of information on Bethelehem Steel and the Dixie factory) as well as looking around outside. The boat ride itself was awesome. We saw how the mules got hitched up, how they start the boat, how they turn it around and such. We didn't go through a lock, but we did float (sail? get pulled?) as far as the Glen-something lock and saw its lockhouse before turning around. We also got a thorough history of the canal and its workings, so when we didn't make it to the canal museum, that was okay. Also, while we were on the water, the Sojourners (canoe and kayakers who start in Mauk Chunk/Jim Thorpe and boat/camp their way to Easton over 5 days) pull in, and the (local) news was there and such. Also, the captain of our boat was very attractive. Alas, a canal boat's captain is in the *rear*. Poo. Had a nice chat, though, with the interpreter (not the captain) after the ride, too. (Asked about how this area's canal bit is treated differently than Walnutport's, for example. W'port is also a canal town, you see.)

After the canal, we drove up to the Crossings, a series of outlet stores, because my mom had broken her Bass sandals and wanted new ones. It was a bit silly going that far, but the price was right. She got two pairs, I got one, and dad got shoes, too, which he'd been seeking (nonchalantly) for months, evidently. I also got a floofy skirt at the Coldwater Creek outlet.

Then it was back down the road to Bethlehem Steel, which is now the Sands casino, to meet up with Deebs for dinner. I played slots for the first time-- $.02 ones. I won $30 from playing (my dad's) $5, so that's cool. It goes towards Vancouver. I also lost a second $5, so that sucked, but at least it wasn't much. Sis Steph won $44 on a $5 (she was up to $55, but went down again.) We had dinner in the St James' Gate pub. Unfortunately, the service sucked and the food, while good, wasn't good enough to make up for the sucky service. Grrr. When we came home that night it was pouring down buckets and storming, so I just went to bed.

There, now you have the whole PA experience and we are all caught up. The flight before mine has arrived and landed, so we'll probably start boarding before too long, so I shall post this and turn off le laptop. Also, all this typing, while tiring out my hands, has made me feel a wee bit better. And I plan on sleeping on the plane. I probably shan't post tonight, but I'm sure I'll be back into the regular posting routine (and I'll start with the Bone Key reviews) quite soon.

Don't break the interwebz 'til I gets back. Also, please think happy Keep The Plane in the Air thoughts for me. :)
eilonwy2017: (Sam grins)
I fly back to Phoenix this afternoon/evening (getting in at 9:30, which I didn't think bad 'til I realized that that's 12:30Eastern, and that's how it'll feel. And I have a doctor's appointment at 8am tomorrow, before teaching my first 101 of the summer. Ugh, and oops.)

Everything is packed except my computer (and iPod which is charging), but while I still have 3+ hours before needing to get to the airport we're heading out asap. We're going to go to the zoo (at least that's the plan, but time keeps slipping away.) The Lehigh Valley Zoo, to which I've not been, used to to be the Trexler Game Preserve (to which I had been when I was a child.) Mom says they're turning it into a nice little zoo, mostly for children, I guess. But there are penguins and otters and wolves, so if we make it, it should be pretty awesome.

Yesterday we celebrated the fourth with a picnic. Deebs and my maternal grandparents came down. There were So! Many! Clams! Good god, I don't need to see another clam 'til next year, that's for sure. There was also corn on the cob and my mother/paternal-grandmother's potato salad and deviled eggs and all sorts of nummy picnic food, all done the way I like best, 'cause mom did it. Chris brought his Wii, and Deeb brought a projector (from work), so we hung a sheet up on the side of the house (Dad grabbed some wood and fashioned a frame, hanging from the rain-gutter, and balanced on the deck's bar). As it got dark, we played with the Wii (some of us for the first time) and then when it was properly dark we watched Eagle Eye which wasn't bad. I also worked on ami!Bobby, but I haven't yet looked to see how well/poorly I did in working by what amounted to the projector and an oil lamp's worth of light. (I sat at a table where there were two oil-filled lamp-thingies meant to keep away bugs.) It was a really nice picnic, except for one of our neighbors (not next door, like we originally thought but a bit farther up the road, ironically near where the constable used to live) setting of huge, professional grade fireworks. These were the kind you'd normally pay money to join a thousand of your closest friends to go see in a stadium-- serious grade. Frankly, it was scary-- not the explosions themselves, but the fact that we live in a rural-ish, residential area filled with trees. Thankfully it's been a wet summer so the fire hazard wasn't as high as it could have been. The explosions scared the bejeezus out of our dogs (Murphy was running around (indoors) panting and Katie went and hid under my parents' bed all evening) but it was the potential for fire that had me quite scared. My parents debated calling the police (we don't have any locals, so it'd have had to have been the State Troopers), but finally went across the street to confront who we thought was doing it. It wasn't him, and the explosions seemed to cease, so we didn't do anything about it. (In retrospect we ought to have called the cops when they started. But it's a difficult choice because do you really want to make trouble with your neighbors?)

I had planned on helping my mom with the food prep, at least a little, but was distracted. I went out for coffee (well, tea) in order to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] sinnerforhire who drove all the way out here (she lives partway across the state from where my parents are.) I figured we'd chat for an hour or so. She's really lovely, and lots of fun. Because we're both huge SPN dorks, there was much chatting about the show, and about fandom-- about which she is best qualified to speak because she studies fandom! She showed me her pictures and autographs of the SPN stars, over which I drooled (no worries, the pictures were protected by plastic) and squeed. I showed her the Yarn!Chesters, and she took their pictures with the actor pictures, hee! (ami!Dean is even dressed the same as Dean in her autographed picture!) We hit it off really well. So well, in fact, that I had no idea what time it was. I got a "happy independence day!" random text message, which caused me to look at my phone for the time. I was shocked to discover that it was 1:30 (I had thought it to be about 12:30, and therefore time to wrap things up and get home.) I panicked (holy carp!) and we took our leave. I felt bad at the hurried exit, but I had completely lost an hour of time! Eek! :) So I called my mom to apologize, picked up the items I'd promised to grab on the way home, and zipped back to the homestead, where my grandparents already awaited. Oops. :)

Friday was a bit more calm. My parents and I had lunch with my paternal-grandparents at their assisted living place. What was great about this (beyond seeing my grandparents and showing them the Yarn!Chesters because my grandmother wanted to see them) was to see how well my grandfather is doing. He was put on a medicine for dementia-- meant to slow it down, etc. I saw a commercial for it recently, showing it to be marketed towards Alzheimer's patients, of which my grandfather is not one, but apparently it's for any kind of dementia. Anyway, my point is it seems to be working as my grandfather was brighter and sharper than before.

Eek. Looks like we're ready to go, so time to shut down ye olde computer. Anyway, Friday evening was prepping for the picnic, and games of pool in the basement. :)

Thursday and earlier will have to wait. But Thursday was cool 'cause I got to see [livejournal.com profile] moobie. And watch The Monkees as research!

(Hee. Appropriate music. Thank you iTunes Oracle. Heh, followed by "Ramblin' Man"!)

Update:

Jul. 4th, 2009 02:35 pm
eilonwy2017: (Sam grins)
Should probably mention that [livejournal.com profile] sinnerforhire is not a homicidal maniac-- or if she is, she hid any violent tendencies remarkably well. My parents did start to get worried that I'd been kidnapped as it was 3 hours before I came home (and they'd thought I'd be away for 1) but it was only because we had such a good conversation and time got away from us. I will write more about that (and the past few days) later (perhaps tonight), but now we have guests and my grandparents are about to leave so I must needs go say goodbye.

Also, Deeb, upon finding out that my grandfather does, in fact, have a heart condition, asked him if he can still have sex. The ensuing conversation, about my grandparents and about Deeb, have scarred me. And no one has brain-bleach available.
eilonwy2017: (We're So Screwed - SPN)
Other than "of confusion," of course. (The answer is: none! I'm in a commonwealth! Ha! No, really, I'm in PA. And it is technically a commonwealth. In fact, although I have lived in many different places, AZ is actually the first state I have lived in, as PA, MA and VA are all commonwealths (and Ireland is a country). For the curious, KY is the only other commonwealth, but I have not lived there. I digress. A lot.)

Anyway, left VA yesterday morning, having woken up early and said goodbye to [livejournal.com profile] spade and her family. This was very sad, as I adore them. The train-ride to Philly was fine, and the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] lizabethanqueen, whom I had not seen in 5 years, along with her significant other, met me at the train station. I got to hang out with them (and their cats) for a while 'til my parents came to pick me up. (It was like being in junior high again, only instead of staying with friends after school, it was after a train ride.) We then had dinner (a second one for me, sigh, but I had salad both times, so not so bad) in Manayunk (yes, Manayunk) at a pub, while I regaled said parents with the tale of my trip. (I told them that the plot was weak, but the setting and characters were awesome.)

Today I went to the eye doctor because I'm having difficulty seeing with my contact lenses. He informed me that that's me just being very aware of my (slight) astigmatism, mainly because my glasses fix my vision so well and I wear them so much more often, but also partly exacerbated by my eyes' dryness. Until I move away from the Southwest, he cannot condone my wearing contacts more than 2-3times per week for 4-6hours, tops. Which, given that I can't see crisply through them is fine, I guess. (It's a vicious cycle.) On the bright side, no glaucoma (first time I had that test-- not a puff of air like the other time I've had it, but actually checking the pressure against your cornea! eek! no warning!), no corneal vascularization (my real fear), etc. And my prescription has not changed at all, 100% the same. Woot.

Then my parents ran errands while I slept in the car (although I joined them for lunch at Panera.) I just cannot wake up today, a fact I blame on a combination of sleepiness from so much travel and the fact that it's gray and rainy and dark here. Also, cold. Brrr. In a sweatshirt all day. We stopped in with my grandparents for a little bit, too, but we'll visit more with them on Friday. My grandmother wants to see the Yarn!Chesters but there really wasn't time this afternoon.

Tonight I'm going with my mom and Miss Murphy (our labrador) to Murphy's "good canine citizen" class at "Cold Nose Lodge." Yes, seriously. But if Murphy masters this class, she can work towards being a therapy dog, something my mom has always wanted to accomplish with Murphy. I don't much care to go, but mom really seems to want company (although she prefers to guilt people into this rather than just saying so.) On the bright side, I'm taking my camera to see if I can get some video of Murphy doing her "clapping" because apparently she doesn't bark at the only dog in the class who is bigger than she is (and tries to dominate him) but claps.

In preparation for said video, I took the videos and pictures off of my camera's card-- 202 of them. Yikes. They fall into several categories: random travel pictures, pictures of the Yarn!Chesters in various places, recreations of scenes from SPN using the Yarn!Chesters (more on that later), pictures for a Yarn!Chester story, and several videos.

Now, though, it is dinner time. Tonight I think we will be playing with the magical game playing pony. (Read: playing pool.)

Tomorrow we're going to the canal museum and taking a canal ride. (This will put me on a boat, bringing my total types of transportation on this vacation up to 4.)
eilonwy2017: (Food!)
My parents and I chat every Sunday night. We touch base during the week, too, but generally via text message or email, or with a quick, specific phone call. So when they called tonight, and it was both of them (the way we chat on Sundays), I was confused. I asked what was up, and they said, well, it’s Sunday, as if that were obvious and of course they’d be calling.

Now, I’ve been very sleepy lately, and in summer, when I’m not teaching, my schedule is all vague and ill-defined. And I often think it’s a day that it’s not. But I was pretty sure that today was Saturday. Nonetheless, before protesting, I checked the calendar on my computer. Nope, definitely Saturday.

I asked if they were okay, and told them that it’s definitely Saturday. Mom said, “Oh shit,” or something like that. They said they’d had at least one drink each, and I said that shouldn’t be enough to confuse the days.

Then they admitted that they knew what day it was, but they’ll be busy tomorrow evening, so called tonight instead. Oh, parents. That’s so like them.

Also, apparently both of their dogs (a Labrador named (Lady) Murphy and a Lab-mix named Katie) currently have matching tails-- because they’d both managed to get their tails full of paint from the rooms my parents were painting up at my grandparents’ house. (But at least a pale olive color would look pretty good both against Murphy’s mahogany coat and Katie’s black one.) Best part of how Katie got paint on her tail? Mom was cleaning the paint off of her *paws* at the time. ::rolls eyes::

My dad is about to book my airfare from TN to VA, so, yaaaay, it’s definite that I’ll be seeing my [livejournal.com profile] spade and hopefully also [livejournal.com profile] aleiphein, [livejournal.com profile] nothingoth, [livejournal.com profile] solieri and [livejournal.com profile] krasota and [livejournal.com profile] explodingcat. Whee! (None of whom post enough. Just so you know.)

While we chatted, I cleaned up some of the small messes in my apartment, and put away the dishes, so yay me. Now I’m going to make dinner (Scrambled eggs! Ooooh, no, sunny-side up eggs, yes yes.)

Jack and kitten!Dean have started working together. I started putting loose change in an empty oatmeal cannister, the kind with a metal bottom. I’m going to put a covering on it, eventually, that reads something along the lines of Vancouver 2010 Fund, but haven’t gotten there yet. And it only has about a dollar’s worth of change in it (having started said bank today while cleaning.) But Jack has already knocked the thing over about 4 times. Since I haven’t cut a hole in the lid yet, the lid wasn’t on (as I was hoping to find more change as I cleaned, y’know?) So Jack knocks the thing over, and Dean starts playing with the change. I pick it all up and admonish Jack, and he does it again. Oh, cats.

Right, dinner.

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