little_tristan: (Default)
Everyone's been so tired and cranky and desperate to get away from the nemesis, who is pretending the other night didn't happen and so is not apologizing. Although Russell did tell him off pretty good, forbidding him to show any concern over basement activity (if you don't know what's going on, obviously it's none of your business), or wake us in the night for anything short of home invasion or an actual fire in progress. It's not that we're keeping secrets from him, it's just too much trouble explaining stuff that doesn't concern him, and that he won't understand, or remember five minutes later.

Anyway, I was going to write a sad entry today about all the things going wrong with my body and how scared I am, but there's nothing anyone can do but send love and I know you're doing that already.

So instead I'm going to talk about Argo, which we saw this afternoon. It was really good. Normally I don't care for Ben Affleck, he's too ordinary in too many ways to hold my attention, but this role called for a bland, ordinary guy and he was pretty perfect. Also, Bryan Cranston is always great and John Goodman was hilarious, so it balanced out. It could have been boring, I think Mark expected it to be, but they kept enough action going that I was occasionally on the edge of my seat, in spite of knowing how it would come out. My favorite part, of course, was the initial storming of the embassy, which reminded me eerily of World War Z. When the security guy watching the monitors announced "They're over the walls!", it took me right back to the zombies breaching the fortresses in Europe by climbing the bodies of slain zeds that had piled up before them.

That's going to be a movie, I hear, but I doubt it'll be good.

I'm not much of a movie reviewer, not like [livejournal.com profile] valis2, who must take notes in the theater, but it was totally worth the two hours. And I'm sure I'll be researching now to see how close to reality it was. Just to keep the fun going.:D
little_tristan: (Ranger)
Ranger was having a nap on the sofa this morning when I noticed the little bald callused spot on her elbow where it rubs on the floor (she doesn't like padded beds) was sort of shiny. And mildly chewed, like she's been licking it a lot. On closer inspection, I discovered a small pea-sized lump under the skin, like a fluid cyst. Her behavior's been off a bit of late, the last three weeks or so at least, and I've been chalking it up to a variety of age, medication, and situational issues. But with the weird little pea as a variable, it could add up differently.

I called the vet and started off that way with her a couple hours later. It's been a lovely sunny day, if a bit breezy, and she was walking slowly but excited about going out. I put Barenaked Ladies' Gordon on my iPhone and sang most of the songs to her on the way over. She loves being sung to, and What a Good Boy is our song.

Michelle, the doctor who owns the practice, was in for a visit. I haven't seen her in nearly two years, not since the day her migraine was so bad she literally couldn't remember which dog Ranger was or why she was seeing her, but she's a lot better now. Still not ready to work, but she comes by a couple times a week and does a little nail clipping or abscess draining just to keep her hand in. I love the other doctors, too, though. They both worked there as techs before going back to college for their DVMs, so we've known them forever.

Ranger checked out beautifully on the exam and stood still for the biopsy as long as she was allowed to lean against me. And in ten minutes we knew conclusively that she doesn't have cancer. It's a pressure related cyst from lying on the floor, but the doctor gave me some advice on what to do to keep it from getting worse. As it is, it's not a big deal. And this wonderful news only cost us $35.

Altogether, it might rate as the best day of the week.
little_tristan: (Bunny)
It's still open for anyone who wants to comment and request. And no requests will be filled with squick or death fics, unless that's what the promter specifically asks for. So no fear of bad surprises!
little_tristan: (Bloom County cutter john)
The airshow was fiercely hot. Like, the most intense heat I've ever endured without it degenerating into a medical emergency. The high temperature was 101, which for you metric users is really freaking high, even for Fahrenheit. But we were able to get through it with the aid of sunscreen, lots of water, soft frozen lemonade, and an Erickson skycrane, under whose nose we huddled for six hours like New Mexico rattlesnakes in the shade of a rock. We were there for so long people thought we were volunteers and started asking questions like how fast it could go and how much it could lift. Fortunately Russell knew all the answers. And I suspect we're going to show up on a lot of FaceBook pages, since no one asked us to move before they took pictures. (Here's an F-15, here's the kids in an Army Blackhawk, and this is the cripple who guarded the skycrane.)

We saw Mark's favorite plane, the P-51 Mustang, and a Harrier jet that was easily the most impressive thing ever. My favorite has always been the SR-71 Blackbird, but since they don't fly those anymore (NASA maybe has one, and the one out here is flyable but no one's lining up to try), I might have to change my vote. You gotta respect a freaking jet that can hover like a hummingbird.

I also got to see, but sadly not meet, Ben "Flaps" Berry, Oregon's very own Tuskegee Airman. So it was a pretty special day, made all the better by coming home to two happy dogs (they had a/c, lucky bitches) and no sign that Steve had been in the house. That was our fondest hope for the day, other than surviving the heat.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how unemotional the whole dissolution has been. (At least for me; no idea what's going on with Steve.) I think it's partly because the end of this project, Grow Your Own Caregiver, coincided so neatly with the beginning of my current project, Operation Financial Solvency. There's actually a fair amount of overlap, meaning the faster GYOC ends, the more progress I can make on OFS. And it turns out that being alone in the house isn't so bad, compared to the stress of anticipating the daily snarl.

Instead I'm looking forward to Heather, who's going to help me put away yesterday's laundry and wash the dogs. Also, maybe, give me a cigarette. I'm being really good, only two store bought ones and a homeroll on Saturday, and one homeroll yesterday, but this cold turkey thing is hard. I'll be happy if I can keep it to one a day.
little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
Yesterday was water therapy day! I was too tired to write about it last night, but that's a good thing. First, Heather's lovely husband, whose life I make at least twice as hard as it should be, but who can be bought off with a half-rack of Keystone Light, stayed home from work to hang out with their two year old so she didn't have to bring him. No baby, no babysitter, no worries. And Mark had dressed me in my last-minute, bought online, holy heck it sucked but I had to wear it anyway tankini deal before he left for work, so I was all ready to go.
This is what happened... )
little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
I had my first meeting with my new physical therapist, Davita. She did an evaluation of my strength and range of motion (for 12 years in a wheelchair, I rocked it, thank you very much), and next Wednesday I get to get in the pool! Yes! I will be free! Or as free as I can be in 5 feet of water with two people who probably won't let me get my head wet. But there will be standing and moving! And Mark in swim trunks! (Poor Mark.) And me in a bathing suit for the first time in 16 years. (Poor Mark.) I ordered a tankini online and said I couldn't start til Wednesday, even with rush shipping. Still have to find something for Mark.

He doesn't get to go Wednesday, though. It's in the morning, so Heather's coming down to take me. Water therapy with Mark will be a fun new bonding experience, but playing in a pool with Heather will be a rerun of the summer of 1987. I'm kind of excited about that, too.

We decided to pursue this because it doesn't feel good emotionally to have no physical outlets for my chronic nervousness. It makes me sad and self-destructive, which my doctor is working really hard to turn around. Also, my body is starting to take on the shape of a chair, with tendon contractures and stiff joints and shortened muscles and all that fail. Since I can't go into space, water seemed like the next best thing. But just now I realized that exercise burns calories, which I can then replace by eating MORE FOOD, or not replace and lose weight faster. How cool is that? I know I used to know this--I just totally forgot that it could apply to me after it, you know, stopped applying to me. But exercise! I can haz it!
little_tristan: (Tanzer)
It was a big one! First we did birthday related things, involving cousin Heather and my sister. That was good. Sadly, Steve's grandmother died in the middle of it and that's been hard. Being one of your typical Southern men, he doesn't talk about it much. At least not to me. I hope he's talking to someone, but even asking him that infringes more on his feelings than he likes. So he's been doing a lot of binge drinking in the evenings and we've been letting him, as we all understand the urge. Interestingly, he does talk more during the day. Just not about that.

Anyway, he got an opportunity to work a few days in Portland this coming week and in addition to not wanting to deny him the chance to make a buttload of money in very little time, we figured it would be good for him to go blow off steam with his friends who stay up past seven. We did talk a little about it yesterday, how blackout level drinking indicates a problem and that worries me a bit, and he said he'd be over it when he came home. Probably Thursday. So that's good. We just have to feed ourselves (and I have to not fall out of my chair) until then.

On the subject of feeding us, I found out yesterday that Steve is even more valuable than I'd thought. Just having a meal ready when the boys get home from work is great, and the food is tasty and much more healthy than we're used to, as I've mentioned. The one thing he can't really do well is gravy, which Russell is a master at, so no more ladles of yummy butter and pork fat on everything. Instead, we get baked chicken or roasted pork with steamed broccoli and rice, and broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, onions and celery on the side.

Not only is that yummy, too, but at the doctor's office yesterday I found that I've lost 14 pounds in the last 4 months. Some of the credit goes to whoever invented the My Fitness Pal app, which lets me scan barcodes and search fast food websites so I actually know what I'm eating every day. (Gut Gott, I say at the Burgerville drive through. Forget the fries and make that a small shake!) Something about watching all those 100 calorie, 15 grams of sugar entries stack up makes the cookies a lot less appealing. And there's always fruit and low-fat cheese in the fridge now, which looks way better on the daily tally. Letting Steve do the shopping is just as important as having him cook.

In other news, Murphy Sloane turns out to have retractable claws after all. He just stopped caring for them at some point in the past few years and they were grown out to ridiculous lengths. I didn't know that could happen until [livejournal.com profile] catyah mentioned trimming her kittens claws. Mark didn't think it would be possible to capture and hold onto Mr. Sloane while messing with his feet, so he wasn't too into helping. But the Murph and I go way back and he's always been pretty tolerant of my idiosyncrasies, so I trapped him in the bathroom the other day and gave it a shot. With the really good pet nail clippers, of course.

He didn't seem to notice much when I did his front feet, but his back feet must've been more sensitive because there was a little biting. I think walking on those claws for so long was probably getting painful, but with a lot of petting and head scratching, we got it done. Now he can walk around on me at night and not wake me up over and over with his pointy little claws digging through my nightgown and catching in my skin. Even his leaps onto the bathroom sink have gotten smoother, with a lot less slipping and falling in. I know I sound like a terrible pet parent now, but all I can say is he's 17 years old. I've never known a cat that old, at least not one that wasn't being kept alive with great effort, so I generally don't know what's normal and what I can fix. Now that he's feeling better, I'm going to trim them up again this week, and maybe after that he can get back to maintaining his feet on his own.

Sometime today I'll be going to a wedding. Those of you who were friends back in 2009 might remember that I lost a cousin in early April. He was riding his motorcycle when he crossed the center line on a curve and hit an oncoming car. It was shocking and awful, but life has gone on and this afternoon his widow is getting married. I haven't met the lucky man, but I've heard that they've been friends for a long time, they work together, I think, and he's gotten approval from her kids and most of the cousins. It will be sort of a strange wedding, with the bride's family, the groom's family, and the first husband's family, but I'm sure it'll work out fine. And maybe the Seattle/Sacramento cousins will come. They always liven up a party.

Now I'm going to get back to writing before Heather shows up. I'm really starting to love this book again. It's shaping into a nice love story, with a little extra porn for the people who thought The Bedlam Boys didn't get m/m enough. That's the promise here. Shorter, cheaper, sexier, sadder, and available sometime in June. Maybe July. Depends on if I shut up and get writing.:)

Quick question for my German friends: Which is the correct way to refer to a pair of mice? I started out imitating MIA's gender neutral das Mausen, but the dictionary says it should be the female die Mäuse . It works either way, but I want to get it right.
little_tristan: (Kitten Glowing Kitten is Glowing)
It got off to a sleepy start when Mark dressed me and put me to bed at a quarter to four this morning. But when I woke up at nine-thirty, Steve was up and watching tv so he dragged me out and I tried again. It was unusually not-sucky for a February day--just a little wind and drizzle, highs in the mid-50s--and I really wanted to go outside. Somehow smoking on the porch isn't cutting it, outdoor-wise. So when Steve said he wanted to go up the street for a haircut, I went along.

We had lunch first, and sure enough there was an actual barbershop down the block. I'd never been in one before and it really was like on tv. Lot of chairs for waiting, three for cutting, and two barbers each working on a customer while one of them, a large older man, told what must have been a very long story. He was on it when we got there, talked the whole time we were waiting, while the other guy paid and left, and while Steve's hair was cut, finally wrapping up and leaving a couple of minutes before we did. There was no cash register and they swept up the hair when the chairs were empty, rather than between each customer.

I read Peyton Place on my iPhone and didn't say a word.

It was raining a little but the wind wasn't bad and we had hats, so we went on up to Fourth where the smoke shop is supposed to be. The windows were papered over and a sign said it was closed until inspection. While we pondered that, the owner came out and told us about the fire last month and how they're still rebuilding, so we'll try that again in a month or so.

Walking down Third, we checked out the pizza theater, bought some lemongrass candles (I've been out for so long!), and ascertained that the indoor plant shop really is gone for good. It's a guitar store now. But there's always the internet. Then it was seven blocks back home and more tv until the boys wandered in. And out. And finally in again.

A short family meeting convened to decide if we should lease a shop building three blocks away for Mark to work in, and we approved it with three in favor and Steve abstaining. That's going to be a real break, getting all the equipment and tools out of our house so we have some room to live and dust books again. Ultimately we'd like to construct a pre-fab shop in our backyard and turn the patio shop back into a patio, with a couple of concrete sidewalks to help me get around in the winter. But they have a lot of work to do in the next couple months and raising a barn first seems like a hasty decision.

Anyway, it was just a really good time, being outside wandering around. And Steve is just as scary a companion as Ranger, it turns out, because we got zero crap even in the candle store. And no one stopped me to ask if they could pet him.
little_tristan: (Default)
Things have gotten much less poky over the past few days. I don't know if it was withdrawal from upping my sedatives and then cutting back again, or a worse then average hormonal shift, or maybe just your standard bi-polar shift. Whatever it was, it's backed off again. I'm still not fully functional, though, as I sprained my essential thumb again. So still no writing, but at least I'm not stressed about it.

I've been reading a lot, some good and some (coughcaitlinflanagancough) complete crap, but it makes me feel better. The dogs and cats are okay, and the boys are going to stand up for themselves at work today to the extent where they might get fired. I say it's about fucking time. (The good boss set up a really generous and understanding system wherein they could work/supervise 24 hours a day for a couple weeks and not die. Then he went on a business trip and the bad boss changed it to a system so bad we think he wants them to die. But the good boss comes back today and they're so ratting him out.)

Steve moved in yesterday so we're all fixed up on that front. We watched cartoons this morning and now he's cleaning the kitchen while I goof around online. How not-stressful is that? I just have to find him a bed so he can move out of the living room. No amount of warning can truly prepare a person for a house that comes alive at 3:30 in the morning. But I think Ranger liked having someone to sleep with.:)

Thank you all for the understanding and the peace and quiet while I shut down and rebooted, and especially to [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster for making sure all my systems came back online.
*love and hugs for everyone*
little_tristan: (Steve Dallas)
I can't fully squee because the big discussions haven't actually started, but I've had two little ones and they're trending in the right direction. I just want to share a little now in case it doesn't happen. For this morning, I was happy.

I might be getting my very own, full-time, live-in, caregiver/housekeeper/handyman/battler of the arch-nemesis! Apparently this person actively wants to give up his life in the big city and live in our basement for no money. Yeah, that sounds weird to me, too, but I've known him for a while now and his references are impeccable, so maybe he just wants a change of scene. And we're pretty open to accepting gift horses, so long as they aren't made of wood.:)

All we really need is Bruder's approval (I don't intend on asking the a-n, since he doesn't get a vote) and, uh, someplace for him to sleep. Cleaning the basement will probably be his first job.
little_tristan: (Home)
It was fun in a hard working, boy did we get things done, kind of way. Bruder and I have been working on clearing excess stuff out of the front rooms, which led (how could it not?) to unpacking several boxes of stuff from Mom's kitchen. I kept a bunch of mugs and dishes that were sentimental, left over from childhood, or went with our dishes. We had the same pattern, only I had saucers but no cake plates. Yes, they're almost the same, but saucers have those grooves in the middle and it's hard to get all the frosting. So I gave away some saucers and cups, but I kept the cake plates and the lunch plates, since we were full up on the dinner size.

Anyway, I filled 4 boxes with stuff we didn't need and listed it on Freecycle, since [livejournal.com profile] oddmonster inadvertently told me it existed yesterday and I thought it sounded pretty cool. The first text message came about 30 seconds after the ad posted, and they finally stopped about 10 minutes after I took it down. Then people came and took the stuff away. It was awesome. I wrote posts for some more stuff that needs to get out of here, but the mods haven't approved them yet. I think they took the afternoon off.

We did get the place cleaned up pretty well, though. There is now more open space in the living room/dining room area than there has been since we initially invaded it. It's actually confusing for me, since I keep thinking I'm going to run into something every time I turn around, but now there's nothing there. We're also considering acquiring some sort of entertainment center to contain the DVDs and such so we don't have to dust so much. That ought to really pull the room together.

And the best part? While watching Idiocracy, we realized that we're not stupid and took a break to hook the TV up to the stereo speakers so we could get good booming theater sound. Okay, we're a little stupid for not thinking of it years ago, but we regain some points for getting it done in a minute and a half.

And Idiocracy? Never gets old.
little_tristan: (Riptide Geek On)
Everyone's familiar with the To Be Read list (TBR) by now, and it's been really helpful to me for the whole staying sane thing. Like Murray, in a reference you will only get if you're the kind of fan who reads everything I write, no matter how icky and squicky, I must have a plan. I can't read a book unless I know what book I'll read after it. I can't watch a TV show without knowing what the next two shows I'm going to watch are. (If it's 4 o'clock, I have to know what I'll be watching at 5.) I make Herr nuts asking, on the eve of his days off, what he'll be doing tomorrow. It's not because I want to do something, or I'll complain if he says "work" (which is what he always says)--I just have to know. That way I can plan. Okay, he'll be in his office or in the shop all day, so I can sit here and do exactly the same things I do every day. Check.

So, yeah, the TBR. Lifesaver. What will I be doing in December? Reading the ends of all those long, socially significant, historical non-fiction books I started in January. Of 2009. Check. And if I've cheated at all, it's been in adding books to it. Except for Lost Souls. (Sorry, Doc. You're awesome and I love you, as a writer and as a human being, but I just couldn't get through it.) But today I got a book in the mail, Burnt Offerings, by Robert Marasco, and the TBR went right out the metaphorical window. I just stuck it on the spreadsheet and started reading willy nilly, like I didn't even have a list.

Because, and Murray would agree here, it is possible to over-plan.
little_tristan: (Kitten Simon's Cat)
That doesn't mean happy things aren't still happening. I ordered a new nightgown so I don't have to wear the Halloween one all year. It's gray and has black doggies on it. I'm very excited.

This morning I downloaded my first Kindle library book, too. That was pretty exciting, although it doesn't work with 3G so I had to connect to wi-fi. For some reason Bucher can't get on the wi-fi unless someone reboots the router first, but what an amazingly small thing to get fussed over when you consider that, you know, I just pushed a button and now I get to read a library book on a portable device. Used to be I fantasized about getting library books in the mail, but it seems like we passed right by that innovation. Cool.

Oh, and I'm kind of writing again. Just fic, but I could be producing novels again any day. Ever since I started the Cymbalta, I've been feeling really good, but not interested in doing anything. It looks and sounds a lot like depression, but inside the vacant staring and compulsive reading of pointless books, I was just being happy. I felt cheerfully indifferent to pretty much everything, and was only vaguely concerned that I might never be interested in anything again. It's often hard to tell if that attitude is me or the medication, but as long as I'm not sad, I don't worry about it. The happy meme was helpful because it gave me a way to communicate with people as much or as little as I could manage that day.

And then yesterday I woke up. At least that's what it felt like. Like when newly acquired puppies come out of puppy-shock and really become aware of their new homes and families. It's still good, I still feel cheerful and pretty much okay with everything, but in a more interested and involved way. A--dare I say it?--creative way. It's been really interesting to experience and I'm curious where it'll take me next. Hopefully I'll stay awake without going full-blown manic, but we'll see. If I can't, that's usually a really creative period so I'll still get something out of it.

Probably be more about that on the GoodReads blog. Today I took on an ignorant reviewer. Who knows what I'll do tomorrow!
little_tristan: (Ranger)
The vet just called. She sent Ranger's x-rays to a radiologist for a second opinion, just to be sure she wasn't missing anything. The radiologist reported back today that she has arthritis like we thought, except in her elbows. There's some arthritis, but it's really elbow dysplasia. The care is the same, rest and pain meds, purely palliative, but I'm grateful for the diagnosis for one major reason.

Dysplasia, for anyone who doesn't know, is when bones fail to come together properly in their respective joints. It happens before birth, when the fetal puppy is forming. So, call me selfish, but that means it's not my fault. Several years ago, when she was only two or three, another doctor asked me when her left foreleg had been broken and who set it, because her foot turned out funny, as if the bone was crooked. I said no one had set it, I had no idea it had even been broken. Shame-wise, that was one of the top five worst moments of my life.

All these years I've believed that I broke it one of the times I ran over her with my chair when she was puppy and somehow never noticed. It's haunted me, I swear to dog. But now I know better. That joint is such a mess, they couldn't make her paw point forward with steel plates and a year of traction. And it's nobody's fault. It's just who she is. I still get to feel bad for working her all these years, but now that she's retired, I think she thinks she had a good time. Ranger pretty much always has a good time.

Love Meme!

Sep. 14th, 2011 06:46 am
little_tristan: (Kitten Hugs)
Snagged off of [livejournal.com profile] catyah:
Instructions:

1. Reply to this post. Say anything you want!!!

2. Watch my journal over the next few days or so for a post just about you and why I think you are absolutely fabulous.

3. Post these instructions in your journal and give your friends a much needed dose of love and adoration!!
little_tristan: (Kitten Simon's Cat)
I've been suspecting for a couple of weeks that there was something wrong with my kidney, but it wasn't that bad and--I know this is stupid and normally I'm the first to harass and berate people who do it, but--I really didn't want to know. I've just been on information/responsibility overload for so long now, if it's not a legal obligation or something I can fix at home in a day, I just have to put it off. So the logistics of scheduling an appointment, making sure Herr's available to drive (not at work, not overwhelmed with other things, usw), was just too much.

Plus, I'm scared. Mom's kidneys failed so fast right out of nowhere, but not quite fast enough for her to go on dialysis or anything, and then suddenly she was gone and we never quite knew why. And I only have the one, and I'd never get approved by UNOS because of the whole MD thing, and my closest relatives are cousins of varying degrees of removal (Sister is so not a surgical candidate), so a big part of me just didn't want to know. Not while I have so many other things to worry about, like the estate closing in 5 days, and the deal with the storage unit, and the fact that I hear Mom's voice now, pretty much all the time, and she says the nicest things and I just can't stand it.

Wait. *brisk head shake* Okay, enough of that.

But I was clearly sick yesterday, and Herr was home, so off we went to see the wizard. Who totally solved one problem right off the bat: the matter of the medication I ran out of a week ago yesterday and couldn't get refilled. Turns out he approved it on MONDAY and the pharmacy was just dicking me around all week. "No, we're still waiting to hear back." "I'll leave them another message." "We've faxed two requests already." But no. He showed me right on the office computer that they faxed it over ON MONDAY. And then his nurse called them and yelled.:) So, in case you all were wondering, yes, I was off my meds this past week.

He gave me an antibiotic and a flu shot, and took a bunch of blood for possibly unnecessary tests just to make me feel better. When he sends the little card next week that says my kidney's functioning normally, it'll be a huge weight off my mind. And if it isn't, which he said might be the case, it's probably because, hello, it is infected at the moment. I already had an appointment for the 16th for my annual med check, so if the blood work doesn't look right now, we can redo it then. I totally don't mind. And I'll have the comfort during that two week wait of knowing that he didn't expect it to be perfect anyway.

As always, after these stupid scares, I'm drinking lots of water and already feeling much better. And I only had to get up to pee once during the night. Which was awesome, because I went about 20 times during the day (so much ow) and was sort of afraid that going to bed at all would be pointless. But Herr wasn't as tired as usual and we got to talk for a while and it was actually pretty nice.
little_tristan: (Firefly Bright Kaylee)
Good things that are happening: Willow is a month away from being an official dog! We consider 6 months to be a dog, since that's when she'll be spayed, get her rabies vaccine, and be licensed with the county. We're all very relieved to have gotten her through the delicate puppy months, and today she's going to the dog park for the first time. I'll try to get pictures. She doesn't often hold still anymore, but we have a new highspeed camera. Here's a foretaste, with Ranger... )

Last weekend we celebrated Sister's birthday with a Hello Kitty cake, baked by Bruder and decorated (under my supervision, of course) by Cousin H, who also delivered. That, I got a picture of. )

Yesterday I got the information packet on my new sponsored child. [livejournal.com profile] barancoire will be glad to know they gave me a girl this time--Veronica, of Kenya. She's not quite 12, so we should have many years to get to know each other.

Also last weekend, we solved our major fuel crisis. The boys were spending nearly $400 a month on gas to drive back and forth to work in either the F-150 or the Econoline, and after two years, we'd had quite enough of it. So we've been looking for a Volkswagen diesel pickup--one of the old ones from the early 80s that gets 45 mpg and runs forever. Then when Cousin H was driving me home from Sister's, we just happened to spot one parked on the street with a for sale sign in the windshield. She got the phone number, and long story short, we went back the next day and bought it. (There's actually kind of a funny story there where the three of us were trying to figure out how to get the cash on a Saturday afternoon in a town that doesn't even have a branch of our bank, and ended up at a foreign ATM using all three of our cards to withdraw the maximum amount allowed on each. Luckily he took a check for the rest, so we didn't have to go back.:)

So the boys have been driving it all week and couldn't be happier. Well, the radio doesn't work, and the glass fell out of the passenger side wing window when Bruder tried to open it, and shattered all over the highway. But you have to expect these little difficulties with second (or third or tenth) hand cars. The important thing is they've driven it all week on one tank of diesel, and it has an electric oil pan heater to help get it started in the winter. Last pic, I promise... )

Also, after absolutely wallowing in Marian Call songs and Firefly eps all week, I think I need to write a fic. I never expected to, but it might happen.
little_tristan: (Bleeding Hearts)
Today I called the lawyer to find out what to do now that the money's all collected and I have checks with which to pay people. She told me not to pay anyone. It's delightfully complex and overly legal, but the upshot is, I'm not supposed to do anything until September. When creditors call, I get to tell them that the lawyer won't authorize my paying them until September, and if they don't like it, I'm to give them her name and number so she can tell them the same thing. If anyone tries to turn Mom over to collections, I get to do that to the collection agents, too. (And they will be calling me--part of the process involves publishing a public notice to potential creditors in the papers which has my name, address, and phone number in it. For reals.) So that's it. The hard work is all done, and if anyone bothers me, I get to say, "Hey, tell it to my lawyer." I've always kind of wanted to do that.

Oh, but I do get to pay some people, for certain things. And one of them is me. At least as far as reimbursements for funeral and court expenses. It's a very small matter, all things considered, but any good news is worth noting.
little_tristan: (Ranger)
I went downtown for the first time since I got the new chair. I think I like it better outside than I do inside. It's a really smooth ride, for some reason. Herr says it's the pneumatic tires (which it's not supposed to have, but they screwed up), but the old chair also had them (the solid inserts were discontinued for that model), so I don't think that's it. Maybe it has better shocks or something. Anyway, it handles the bumps really well, which makes me understand why Medicare got all bent about indoor chairs (medically necessary) and outdoor chairs (extravagance for the wealthy). Maybe there really is a difference now. Anyway, I got Bruder's prescription and a celebratory bottle of sparkly purple nail polish.

I'm working on a new Riptide/Emergency! fic in the current series, which has been trending toward sad. Only 1-3 have been posted, but I'm working on #8 now (there were supposed to be 8, but now I think 9 or 10) and it got sad in #7. So #8 is happy in spite of sad, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how easily the happy is coming. I might actually call it Sunshine and Unicorns. That's not a joke. It would actually relate to the story.:D

The mail brought my It's okay to be Takei button, which I'd just about given up on. I put it on my hat and can't wait to wear it out in public. Which might be tomorrow when I take Ranger to the vet for her butt-check. She's still healing nicely, so far as I know, but we need more pills.

We also got Willow's registration certificate, making her an official puppy, I guess. I don't see a whole lot of value in it, but it's cute and she deserves some recognition. The boys really wanted to do it, anyway, just because we've never had a papered dog before. Ranger and Doodle could have been, but I never followed through. It was enough to know they had the lineage without spending the money to prove it. But Wills' lists her parents' names, and I guess I'd have liked that for Ray. I met her folks, but we weren't formally introduced.

I need to start posting pics of Willow again. She's growing so fast! She doesn't really look like a puppy anymore. She looks like a small dog, with her elongating muzzle and perky ears. She does the drops and stalking moves like a Border Collie, although it's mostly Ray she's trying to herd. Obviously, she's not having much luck at it, but her moves are beautiful. I can't wait to see what she's like when her legs are long enough to actually keep up with Ray. They're going to have so much fun.

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March 2013

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