Apr 24, 2017

Monopsony Monday

monopsony ~ case of only one buyer for products of several sellers

Well, would you look at that. It’s Monday already. There I was last night, congratulating myself on having made it through another week and weekend, watching the first episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix, and completely forgetting the fact that I hadn’t written my Monday post.

Of course I could barely keep my eyes open to watch TV, it’s no wonder I didn’t have enough brain power to write anything. :-D

A friend and I were having a discussion on the weekend about how much the price of technology has come down over the last few years. I’d mentioned to her about how thrilled I’d been about 10 years ago when I found a 2 Gigabyte USB stick to back my files up onto for a mere $80.00.

This weekend I was using a 16 Gigabyte USB stick to back my files up onto and it only cost me $8.00. The lap top I’m using right now cost half of what my first desktop computer cost me and there’s just no comparison as far as speed, performance, and storage capacity. Anyone remember floppy disks? :-)

All this affordable technology can be a little addictive. I’m only on my second lap top, but the desktop computer in my office is about my fifth one, each one progressively more advanced, easier to use (anyone else have fun with DOS?), more powerful, and cheaper.

There’s no escaping technology. Like tablets. At first glance tablets seem really cool - you can do so many things on a tablet and everybody has one. So I got myself one, and yeah, they’re pretty cool ... if you know how to use one, which I don’t.

I’m sure it’s not as complicated as it looks - I can check my email or surf online, and I try to stay away from the many, many games you can access because I really hate using the touch screen for games. But all those “aps” are a little intimidating.

I admit I don’t use it much. But I figure if nothing else it’ll come in handy when my Kindle inevitably dies on me and I need a new electronic reader. One of these days I’ll sit down with the on-line manual (why do these things all have to be online now?) and figure out what else I can do. One of these days ....

My glucometer for testing my blood sugar will connect wirelessly to the internet to allow me to download my results and keep track online. Yeah, sure. Most of the time I’d rather not know.

The hubby came home from a bowling tournament this weekend with an electronic prize which he passed on to me. It’s a Garmin Vivofit - a fitness tracker, same idea as a FitBit. It’s a device you wear to keep track of your fitness level - the number of steps you take, the calories you burn, your sleep patterns. It’s waterproof so you can wear it 24/7. I’m sure it will be really cool ... once I figure out how to use it.

I finally got my first cell phone last year, but I have yet to turn into one of those people. You know, the ones who might as well just have the phone surgically implanted. It amazes me how few of these phones are actually used to make calls. They’re used to text, shop, check Facebook, take pictures, do banking ... the list goes on and on. I have one friend who tells me her whole life is on her phone.

Seriously? What happens if you lose that phone?

I use my phone to take pictures, check my email, text my daughter, and to *gasp* make calls. I got it because as my granddaughter gets bigger and more active (and listens less and less) it’s kind of worrisome that there’s no land line at my daughter’s in case of emergency. I refuse to do banking on my phone, or even Facebook.

The phone is just a device, not my life.

Apr 17, 2017

Micrander Monday

micrander ~ dwarf male plant

Did everyone have a good Easter?

Weather wise, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Friday was bright and sunny, Saturday was supposed to be raining all day but we only got a fraction of it, and Sunday the temperature rose all the way to 21C (70F). I guess spring is here after all. Awesome sauce!

The grandbaby kept us entertained on Sunday with her Easter egg hunt. They had one at the play group we go to and they were allowed to keep the (plastic) eggs they found, she came home with quite a haul. But yesterday was even more fun because there was “stuff” in the eggs - a couple of tee shirts, some wind-up chickens and bunnies, and a zoo full of plastic animals.

The eggs from the day care kept her amused for days, but the eggs I hid for her here were abandoned when we gave her the play set we’d got her:

We also gave her the dress she’s wearing and when I added up the cost of everything, I was a little surprised. When did Easter become so commercial?

When I was a kid, we always got a new outfit to wear to church, complete with hat. I’m not sure whether we hunted for eggs or not, but we usually got one of those hollow chocolate chickens as well.

When my daughter was little, I used Easter as an excuse to make her a new dress and we’d hide plastic eggs (so the dog wouldn’t get them) filled with jelly beans. We’d each get a solid chocolate bunny as well - hers would be a white one, which isn’t really chocolate because believe it or not, she didn’t like chocolate.

A lot of kids got bikes and toys and you’d almost think it was Christmas. I filled the grandbaby’s eggs with toys to cut back on her chocolate consumption, and gave her the traditional new dress, so was the play set really necessary? Probably not. But I knew how much she’d love it and Easter was the perfect excuse.

And in keeping with the season of rebirth (or in this case birth), April the giraffe had her calf! It was a bouncing baby boy measuring 5’9” (several inches taller than me!) and weighing 129 pounds.

Almost looks like a stuffed toy, doesn't he? 1.2 million people watched the birth via the web cam, me included although I didn’t set out to do so. I just happened to check on April at the right time. Toys R Us sponsored the web cam and had their logo on the bottom left of the screen. After the birth the logo changed from Toys R Us to Babies Are Us.

I’m not sure how long the web cam is going to stay going, but I have to wonder, what are all those people going to watch when it’s done?

Apr 10, 2017

Medullary Monday

medullary ~ consisting of or resembling marrow or pit

That stupid giraffe has still not had her calf. I guess when you’re pregnant for between thirteen and fifteen months, a due date is a little hard to pin down but still....

My sinus cold has morphed into ... something, I’m just not sure what. I’ve got most of my hearing back, and although I have no trouble breathing my sinuses are still pretty full. Right now the worst part is my throat. It’s not really sore, per se, more like it aches from the swollen glands. And it comes and goes and when it’s really bad it makes the teeth in my lower jaw hurt.

It was a sad week for us last week - we had to say goodbye to our sweet little Julius.

There he is with his mommy Panda, whom we lost several years ago to kidney disease. Just look at that face. He was a sweet boy and will be sorely missed. But I'm sure his mommy is waiting for him on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, ready to give him a good chase and then a virgorous washing.

Have you heard about the Rainbow Bridge? Here's the original prose poem:

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special, someone who was left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass, faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

*Author Unknown*

RIP Julius

Apr 8, 2017

Attention all Poetry Lovers

If you're on my Facebook or already read My Writing Journal then you know that my best bud Jamie challenged each other to write a poem a day for the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month.

I chose to follow an A to Z theme of poetry forms while she is following prompts supplied by a workshop she participated in. While I can't exactly say I had fun writing all those poems, it did get me writing every day, which is a really good thing.

To keep each other honest, we emailed each other our poems on a daily basis and today we've posted our whole week's worth of poems on our respective blogs.

You can find Jamie's poems HERE and mine are HERE.


Apr 3, 2017

Mainour Monday

mainour ~ stolen goods discovered on thief

I am not going to talk about the snow we got last week.

Nope. Not one word. Not a single, solitary word.

Never mind the fact that the heavy white blanket melted away the following day. It’s not worth mentioning at all.


Anybody else watching April the Giraffe on Facebook or YouTube?

April, for those of you who don’t know, is a very pregnant giraffe in an animal park in the U.S. Due to the inclement weather, she’s mostly been penned up in her stall in a barn, her significant other, Oliver, in the next stall. There’s a video camera mounted on the wall next to her feeding station that provides live coverage of the impending blessed event.

Unlike the thousands of other viewers of the web cam, I don’t really care to see the actual birth. I just want to see the baby giraffe. According to the web site, this will be April’s fourth calf and Oliver’s first.

I started watching in mid-March, excited by the promise that delivery was coming any second now. It’s still going to be any second now. I’m starting to wonder just how long a giraffe can be in labour.

So while I wait, I get a kick out of the running commentary by other viewers. Some are encouraging, some are convinced it’s all just a hoax, and a surprising number seem to have put their lives on hold so they don’t miss anything.

Seriously? Have you people nothing better to do?

Of course who am I to talk? I used to spend a lot of time watching the Volcano-cam that was trained on Mount Saint Helens, and the Afric-cam that focused on a watering hole on a game preserve in Africa where you had to have a lot of patience to actually see anything interesting.

If you’re into that kind of thing, you can find a cam for just about anything - puppies, kittens, eagles, leprechauns, ghosts.... Just be careful, they can be addictive. :-)

Mar 27, 2017

Mungo Monday

mungo ~ waste produced in a woollen-mill

Did anyone catch my little faux pas last week?

I wrote a post for my other blog later on Monday and accidentally posted it here. It was up for almost an entire day before I realized what I’d done.

Well, the first true sign of spring arrived. Just as I was taking up supper, I spied a flurry of motion out the kitchen window and watched as Daphne and Donald landed in our pool. Of course the cover is still on it, but there was just enough unfrozen water for them to land in.

That’s actually a picture from a couple of years ago, but it’s the same pool and same ducks. I just couldn’t stop what I was doing to get a current photo. Picture the same scene only with a little less ice in the pool. ;-)

But it gives me hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow for this year.

In the ongoing saga of my ear ... I managed to get an appointment with the nurse at my doctor’s office, who had the doctor look at me, who set me up with an ear/nose/throat specialist. He held a tuning fork up to my head and said that currently I’m hearing through the bone on the left side of my head, not the ear, which is apparently a good thing.

At least it was good enough that he’s not going to put a tube in my ear. There is a hole in the ear drum, but it’s already started to heal. He’s pretty sure the fluid in my ear will dry up without help and my hearing will come back on its own, but if it doesn’t I’m to call his office directly to make another appointment.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished my second round of antibiotics and I still can’t hear but at least the railroad spike pain is gone. :-)

Julius, our poor sick kitty, seems to be doing a little better. Although he doesn’t appreciate being force-fed (no more than I like having to do it to the poor guy), I think he feels better having eaten. Because he’d been starving himself, we decided to start him with the steroid that’s supposed to ease the internal inflammation, and build his strength up a bit before starting him on the cancer drugs (which can have harsher side effects). He’s been tolerating the steroid well and today I start him on his cancer fighting drug.

Wish me luck!

Mar 20, 2017

Moulinet Monday

moulinet ~ machine for bending a crossbow

Happy first day of Spring!

I woke up to a weirdly orange sky this morning, like the light was being filtered through tangerine koolaide. It was enough to make me do a double take. By 7:30 or so the light was returning to normal but still, you have to wonder what caused it.

You notice I didn’t say when the sun started coming up. That’s because it’s almost 9 a.m. as I start this and I’m still waiting for the sun. It’s kind of grey and gloomy out there, especially since it’s the first day of spring and all.

You also might have noticed that I kind of skipped last week’s post. Mostly it was because I’m feeling pretty stressed out lately. So prepare for a somewhat whiny explanation. ;-)

I’ve had enough colds and flus this year that I’m seriously considering getting the flu shot in the fall - and I don’t believe in the flu shot. I blame the day care I’ve been taking the grandbaby to on a regular basis. Or more specifically, I blame the parents of the runny nosed, sniffling little plague rug rats we encounter there. See, the day care/play group is part of the local YMCA. And if you’re a member, you can drop your child (under the age of 6) off for free while you go work out. And apparently these parents don’t give a rat’s ass who their precious little germ factories infect as long as they get their workout in.

My latest is a really, really bad sinus cold that was on top of a speck of something I got in my eye that became infected. So off to the walk-in clinic I went where the doctor gave me drops for my eye and told me my sore throat was due to swollen glands, and did not give the rest of the cold a second thought. Had he checked my ears, it might have prevented what happened later that night.

To make a long story short, my sinuses worsened, my left ear started really aching, and finally the sinus pressure blew a hole in my eardrum. Looking on the bright side, at least it helped alleviate some of the pain. Back to the walk-in clinic the next day and the Doogie Howser-esque doctor looked in my ear, recoiled, and said he’d never seen such a mess. Charming.

Yesterday I finished the antibiotics he prescribed and he said if my hearing hadn’t returned in a couple of days to see my family doctor. Trust me kid, if it was that easy I’d have gone to her in the first place. However, my hearing isn’t back so I’ve been dutifully hitting the redial on the phone since 9 a.m. only to get through and find out that my doctor had to cancel her appointments for the day and all the emergency appointments were gone. Better luck next time.

Added to this stress is the fact that one of our cats has taken ill. He’s the sweetest natured of the bunch, and after blood tests and an ultrasound (which required two separate trips to the vet for the poor guy) it was determined he has cancer. He has between 20 and 30 nodules on his liver and spleen which have caused inflammation which in turn caused him to lose his appetite.

The big thing right now is to try and get him to eat. I’ve bought a variety of foods for him, some he shows interest in and some he doesn’t. And of course the other cats are a little miffed at the preferential treatment he’s getting. It’s a stressful situation all around.

And the thing is, I don’t deal well with stress. Pressure, yes. I actually work well under pressure, like the pressure of a deadline (just don’t bug me while I’m working). But stress will shut me down every time. I don’t deal with stress - stress deals with me.

But in any case. It’s the first day of spring, even if it doesn’t look like it out there. So sunnier, happier days are sure to be ahead.


Mar 6, 2017

Meteorism Monday

meteorism ~ abdominal cramps and swelling due to flatulence

You ever have one of those brilliant ideas that turn out to be not so brilliant after all because it has a ripple effect that had you thought things through a little better might have been enough to make you think twice? Yeah, that was me yesterday.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about how I wasn’t happy with the orchid on my kitchen window sill and was considering moving it. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, this particular simple thing took me half a day.

The little table I was thinking about moving it to had a very large ceramic pagoda which had to be relocated. First I thought it could go up on the bookcases in my office. So I got up on the step stool and shuffled things around and the pagoda fit - just barely. But it looked terrible up there.

So then I figured it could go on the bookcase in the upstairs hallway, which was lower and wider. I took the pagoda apart, took it upstairs, and removed the large ceramic knight on his horse and the dragon he was fighting from the shelf. The insanely dusty shelf.

Naturally I dusted the shelf off before reassembling the pagoda, which looks great up there, especially since the opposite shelf has a Chinese doll in a case and mythological beastie. However, I couldn’t just have one clean shelf, so I ended up dusting off the rest of the rather large bookcase. And the books on it.

At this point moving the orchid was simple, but the one drawback of the table is that it sits between the cat tree and the bookcase in the dining room, and the cats like to use it as a gateway to the plants on top of the bookcase. Which is why the pagoda was there in the first place, to block their passage.

So to kill two birds with one stone, I decided to plant the sweet potato vine in a small planter box and drape it over a bamboo trellis I just happened to have. This necessitated finding my planting stuff in the depths of the basement - no mean feat in itself. I found a partial bag of dirt that had just enough for the vine planter, but not for the pineapple that is also growing hydroponically.

Now, the sweet potato vine has been growing for several weeks, and it kind of grew up around the other plants on the window ledge. It even had a shoot wrapped around the stick in the orchid pot. And another that was wound around part of the window. And several tendrils were growing up and intermingling with the hanging plant above it. In retrospect, it might have been easier to just leave it there.

But all’s well that ends well. The orchid is in its new home, the sweet potato is in its new pot, and the plant hanging in the kitchen window received a much needed divesting of dead matter.

I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but the sweet potato vine looks a little wilted. In my defense, it was already wilting before I planted it in dirt. I’m not sure if it didn’t like the sun we were getting, or if it was just tired of being hydroponic. I’m hoping it’ll be happier in dirt, and the blinds should shade it a bit from the sun.

But I guarantee you, I will think twice before deciding to move a plant again. :-D

Feb 27, 2017

Montiform Monday

montiform ~ shaped like a mountain

I was sitting here on Saturday, looking out at the rain, and I was finding it hard to believe it was February. Late April maybe, but not February. It was especially hard last week when one of the days had a record breaking high temperature.

The birch tree in the front yard has buds on it. And yet we had a smattering of snow on the weekend. Wednesday is supposed to be +10C (+50F) and Thursday is supposed to be -2C (-28F). The weather is on crack, I tell you what.

I suspect this is going to be a short post. Last week was pretty uneventful. I mean seriously, do you want to hear about how I cleaned out the pantry and got it all organized, which was pretty much the highlight of the week.

I know, just for something completely different I’ll do something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’ll post a recipe. This was something new I tried last week and it was absolutely delicious. It would have been even better with biscuits, but I didn’t think of it until just now.

Slow Cooker Cowboy Casserole

1½ pounds ground beef, browned and drained
6 medium red potatoes, cut into 1½ inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chili, undrained
¼ cup water
1 ½ tablespoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1. Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat.
2. Add potatoes to 4-quart slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add onion and garlic.
4. Add beef, beans, and tomato. Pour over water.
5. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.
6. Sprinkle cheese in last 15 minutes and continue to cook covered.

Now, for the record, I used a bag of those mini red potatoes instead of the big ones, and I used herb and garlic tomatoes because I couldn’t find any with chilies in them. But other than that I pretty much stuck to the recipe. I honestly thought it would turn out to be more like a stew than a casserole, but the cheese thickens it up. It’s like a cross between a stew and chili. Yummy!

If you'd like to read something a little more interesting ... the first Friday of the month I’m posting a picture prompt on my writing blog, and the last Friday I’m posting a story, poem, or article that was inspired by it. I posted my first story last night and you can read it HERE if you like.

Have a good week!

Feb 20, 2017

Macrocosm Monday

macrocosm ~ large and complex structure considered as a whole

I’m late!

Or rather, this post is late. You’d think this being a long weekend I would have had plenty of time to get this post written, but you should know by now that’s not the way things work for me. ;-)

Saturday I spent the better part of the morning and part of the afternoon uploading my newest book to the e-publishers (more about that in a bit). I don’t know why I find it so stressful, this is the sixth time I’ve gone through the process and it’s not like I do my own formatting or covers. All I have to do is fill out the forms. Easy peasy, right?

Anyway, after that was done I had that curiously let down feeling you get when you finish a big project. So I decided to reward myself and indulge in a little shopping therapy. So I went to a couple of thrift stories, then the mall, and finally Walmart. And all I managed to come home with was replacement blender so I could start having smoothies for breakfast again. *sigh*

Next I tried on-line shopping and found a fairy tale book I’d been searching for at Abe Books. The way it works is they act as a broker - you purchase the book on their site, then they contact the seller who is supposed to contact you. I’m still waiting to be contacted. Seeing as this is the weekend I’ll try to be patient.

Day two of my long weekend, Sunday, I spent babysitting. The daughter and her hubby needed to go to IKEA to pick up new beds for them and the grandbaby. I can’t say that I’d want to be trapped in a car for an hour each way with an active toddler, nor would I want to have to wrangle said toddler in IKEA. But, by the time I got home again, it was time to start supper.

Anyway, I’d been planning to do a blog post for my writing blog on Sunday - that didn’t get done. And I usually do this post Sunday evening - I could barely keep my eyes open for Rizzoli and Isles, let alone type anything. So that didn’t get done either.

So this morning I had not one but two blog posts to get done, and I started with the one on my writing blog because today is Release Day for my newest book, An Elemental Earth, book 4 of the Ardraci Elementals series.

Help an author out, would you? Brazen Snake Books, read my interview, and enter the contest to win a free print book plus a gift basket. You don’t have to guess the correct flower, any flower will do. Just scroll down and leave a comment and you’re entered.

Thanks, and good luck!

Feb 13, 2017

Myrmidon Monday

myrmidon ~ follower; hireling; mercenary

I have a problem. I currently have four orchids. Two are tucked away on a stand next to the deck doors in the dining room, and two are on the window ledge of the kitchen. All four get pretty much the same exposure to the sun.

One of the two orchids in the kitchen is really too big for the window ledge, but I’m afraid to move it. I once had a beautiful cattleya orchid that I grew from a seedling. It took seven years for it to bloom, but the single blossom it produced was magnificent. It, too, started out on the window ledge of the kitchen, and when it became too big I moved it to a counter that was further back, but it seemed happy enough.

Unfortunately, I failed to take into account that the new space was across from the air conditioner in the dining room window and it did not like the cold air at all. I tried moving it back to the window but it was too late and I lost the orchid.

The bigger of the two orchids currently on my window ledge seems to be of sturdier stock. It’s bloomed a few times and last time it did so the bloom stalk had eleven blossoms on it. Normally once the blossoms fall off I’d trim back the stem to allow for new growth, but on the advice of my neighbour this time I left it alone.

Much to my surprise, it did get a new shoot off the original bloom stalk, which I promptly accidentally knocked off. Then it got another one, which I accidentally broke off while trying to tie it to a stick to make it a little more upright. When it got a third one, I left it alone, despite the fact that it the leaves are on one side of the plant and the bloom stalk is sticking out the other side. And then it hedged its bet by producing a second bloom stalk to stick out a third side of the pot.

Now my problem is this. There’s only so much room on my window sill and the leaves of the orchid are touching the cold glass. I don’t much like the arrangement, but it’s the only way to position it to minimize the possibility of knocking off one of the bloom stalks.

The blooms will keep going for weeks, provided nothing touches them, but both stalks stick out slightly over the sink. I could make room for the plant on the stand in the dining room - it won’t be easy but it’s do-able - but I’m afraid if I move it it’ll die, just like my cattleya orchid did. Plus it’s right beside the cat tree and I know at least one of my cats will try to snack on it.

Maybe I’ll just keep crossing my fingers. It’s worked so far. ;-)

Feb 6, 2017

Multifarious Monday

multifarious ~ having great diversity; manifold

Everyone out there catch the Superbowl yesterday?

I was dragged kicking and screaming to the get together my hubby’s buddy has every year where I ate too much pizza and actually watched the last half of the game. That was some come back by the Patriots, eh?

My big news for the week is that the bathroom is officially done. Actually it was done last week but I just didn’t have any pictures to post. These pictures don’t really do it justice - I don’t know if it’s the picture or just my computer, but the colour of the dark paint is kind of off.

Once I have a chance to get my pictures organized, and maybe take some better ones of the finished bathroom, I’ll do a separate post showing the entire renovation, but these pictures should give you an idea of what it looks like. If you'd like a bigger view, just click on the picture.

The first picture shows the sink on its stand and the mirror above it:

Next we have the rest of the bathroom. As you can see, it’s a really hard room to take pictures of because it’s so small:

And finally here’s a better picture of the window with the sconces:

And no, I haven’t had a bath yet. The tub needs a thorough cleaning first and I just haven’t had time to do it. But I can’t wait!

Jan 30, 2017

Masseter Monday

masseter ~ muscle used to move the lower jaw

I’m back. Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? LOL

A funny thing happened on the way to getting my post written last week...

Usually I write this post on Sunday night. For whatever reason - I guess I was busy last weekend and too tired on Sunday night - I put off the post until Monday. But like happens all too often, I didn’t get it done before I had to leave for babysitting, and by the time I got home again it was too late.

Normally I’m the last person to complain about the cold or being cold, but last Monday I was so cold at my daughter’s house I thought her furnace had broken. It hadn’t. That was my first warning sign. The second was that I had absolutely no desire to eat the wonderful lunch I’d made myself - baked salmon, sweet potato, and brussel sprouts.

When I got home again I changed into my jammies, slippers, and bathrobe and curled up in the recliner under a blanket. And promptly fell asleep. Which is the best I can say about last week. The excessive sleeping.

When I wasn’t sleeping I was in utter misery from the worst case of viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) I’ve ever had the misfortune to experience. Thank God the hubby got the toilet installed in the downstairs bathroom that weekend. I could not imagine going through this with only one working bathroom, and an upstairs one at that.

Tuesday and Wednesday I pretty much lived on water and apple juice, alternating sips of both. Poor hubby had to fend for himself as far as suppers went - good thing we had a supply of Campbell's Chunky Soup in a variety of flavours (although even the smell of them didn't help matters). I was so sick I even bailed on babysitting.

Thursday I felt marginally better, but rushed the whole eating thing (as opposed to sipping juice and water) and Thursday night I paid heavily for my folly. Friday I started to follow the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) and actually felt well enough to babysit. I’m really amazed at how much the bananas in particular helped.

Anyway, by Saturday I was over the worst of it, and slowly began to introduce solid food back into my diet. If Thursday night taught me anything, it was to not rush getting back to normal. The virus has run its course and it’ll take a while for my body to recover. Fine by me.

Now I just have to find the time to watch all the TV shows I slept through.


Jan 16, 2017

Multiloquent Monday

multiloquent ~ talkative; garrulous

You may notice the lack of a big reveal for the bathroom. My still-not-finished-being-renovated bathroom is cursed. I’m no longer looking forward to a nice, long, soaky bath in my nice deep tub - I don’t care how pretty it looks if/when it’s done. The bathroom is cursed - I’ll probably get electrocuted by the spa jets or something.

First of all, the wash stand for the sink that the hubby did such an amazing job on is just a wee bit too big for the space it needs to go in. The stand is so pretty with its many coats of paint and shiny varathane finish making it as smooth as silk. The hubby had to cut into that perfect surface to take about an inch off of the perimeter.

Next was the blind. When I replaced the ugly venetian blind in the upstairs bathroom and the even uglier curtains in the upstairs hallway with bamboo blinds, I bought one for the downstairs bathroom as well. The window in the bathroom is narrow, but it sits about three feet above the tile and half a foot below. The frame is painted the colour I was going to use for sponging, which would make a nice contrast with the dark bamboo. Except ... the blind was wide enough that it would hide the frame, not fit inside it like the others, and it did not look good against the dark paint.

So despite not wanting to leave the house this weekend, off to Walmart I went for a smaller blind. Only they didn’t have one. Since I didn’t have a receipt, I was given a gift card, which I promptly forgot about when I bought some other stuff I needed (just so it wasn’t a wasted trip).

We live in a small town and ever since Target screwed us over closed down Zellers, Walmart’s pretty much the only game in town as far as department stores. So I sat in the parking lot for a minute, trying to figure out who else might have blinds, and finally noticed the Home Despot Depot a couple of fields over. So off I went.

They didn’t have any blinds the right size either, even if I was willing to pay almost twice Walmart’s prices. But what they did have was this film stuff you can put on your window so it looks like stained glass. It’s going to look awesome.

However, before that happens we still have to deal with problem number three. The toilet.

I had requested a grown-up toilet for the bathroom, meaning one that was a little higher than a regular one. The one we found is a little higher, a little narrower, and a little longer. It was going to be perfect.

Now. The standard distance from the wall to the hole the toilet sits on is twelve inches. However, the drywall and tile weren’t up when the plumber put the hole in our bathroom floor and as a result there’s not quite enough room between the toilet and the wall for the tank. And that means we have to get a plumber in this week to move the hole forward by about an inch. *sigh*

And in the continuing saga of misfortune, I removed the blankets from my reading nook and de-haired the cushion (no mean feat in itself) but when it came time to cover the cushion back up to protect it from future cat hair, I couldn’t find the blanket I’d bought specifically for that purpose. It was more of a throw than a proper blanket, made out of arctic fleece, but there’s no trace of it anywhere. So when I was out dealing with the blind thing I got a new one. The old one is sure to show up any time now.

And remember all those pillows I washed and dried last weekend? Turns out they’re too big to use in the sweater cat beds. Also, the sides of the cat beds take more stuffing than I counted on so I’ll have to buy more. You know, when I buy some smaller pillows (which are cheaper than pillow forms from a craft store). I have no idea what I’m going to do with all those extra pillows. Hmm. Maybe I’ll embroider decorative covers for them and give them away for Christmas presents next year. ;-)

So ... while Friday the 13th wasn’t particularly unlucky, the same can’t be said for the 14th and the 15th.

Jan 9, 2017

Moirologist Monday

moirologist ~ mourner for hire

As you may have noticed by the lateness of this post, I’m still not quite up to speed with the new year yet. :-D

Last week was a little ... frustrating for me. I did finish getting things put back together in my office, which required a little shuffling of things and a bit of reorganization. I ended up buying a couple more hanging file holders for the top of my filing cabinet and some of those stackable paper trays, which are not as sturdy as they first appeared.

I did not get the reading nook de-haired, but I did get the pillows washed that I’m going to repurpose into cat beds. I even washed the sweaters I’m going to use. However, drying the pillows took FOREVER. The washing machine was willing to wash them, but the spin cycle didn’t work so great. And honestly? I think a couple of them could use a little more drying time, but I really don’t care. Hopefully they’ll air dry.

With my nice cleaned off and newly organized desk you’d think I’d get lots of work done in the office last week, but sadly that was not the case. The tile guy arrived shortly after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, as he did for the rest of the week. And with the bathroom practically across the hall from me, I didn’t feel quite comfortable enough to work at my desk. Although I did get my enormous amount of shredding done.

But the good news is, the tiling in the bathroom is done. The guy did a great job - here’s what it looks like:

Well done Henry! Especially since our walls are a little lop-sided, a fact that wasn’t discovered until he only had the window wall left to do, but which meant he had to painstakingly remove almost an entire wall of tile and redo it.

Here’s another picture showing the tile with the flooring. It’s not the greatest quality picture, but it gives you an idea. The floor looks like tile as well, but it’s wood laminate. And we couldn’t have picked a better match for the tile if we’d been trying to.

Now all that’s left is hooking up the toilet and sink, and cosmetic stuff, like putting up the mirror and sconces, and a thorough cleaning.

It’s getting close ...

Jan 2, 2017

Mirabilia Monday

mirabilia ~ marvels; miracles

Everybody have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year? Happy to see the end of 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms? Just so you know, we’re not out of the woods yet. 2016 was the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar, and monkeys love to play tricks, which accounts for the difficulties of the year. The Year of the Monkey doesn’t end until January 27 - let’s hope the Year of the Rooster is kinder.

I’m just happy all the holiday stuff is behind us now. More and more I’m finding the holidays are too people-y, and I can only handle people in small doses. And sadly, it’s not quite over for me yet. We missed one of the family get togethers due to weather issues, and we’ve yet to come up with an alternate plan.

I’ve had ten days off from babysitting, and I’m happy to report that other than the one day I lost to a stomach flu, I’ve been putting my time to good use. There was the holiday madness of baking and cooking and sewing and crafting, and since then there’s been the finishing of An Elemental Earth and the cleaning of the office.

Which is one of the reasons this post is so late. I was up until 11p.m. last night working in the office, and then I really needed a break so I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness. Which means it was something like 3 a.m. before I got to bed. This morning I woke up at my usual time, got up to feed the cats, then took an Advil for my headache and went back to bed for a while. ;-)

Anyway, there are no pictures of the office yet. Everything in there is clean - excerpt for the cushion in the reading nook - but I still need to put stuff back where it belongs. I’d move stuff to a clean surface as I cleaned and I just didn’t have the energy to put everything back again. I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion: I have a lot of books. And knick knacks.

While I was doing that, the hubby was slaving away in the bathroom. After doing a couple of test strips and lining things up to have a look, I decided against sponge painting the walls. One, I really didn’t like the look of the test board, and two, I decided that having a patterned floor, patterned tiles, and patterned paint was too much pattern.

Maybe if I was more familiar with the sponging technique, or maybe if I was using several different colours of paint I’d feel differently, but I kind of like the clean look of the dark paint. Hubby’s not too sure, but he’s also pretty sure he won’t want to re-paint the walls again because they look tacky.

It was too hard to try and get a picture of both the floor and the walls together (because there’s all that space to be tiled in between, so I’m just going to show a picture of the floor, because it’s really spectacular. You can see a bit of the paint at the top of the picture:

The guy who was supposed to help hubby with the tiling hasn’t been available, so in the interest of time (and because he’s never tiled before) hubby has hired someone to come in to do it for us. Which means, my friends, the end is near for the bathroom reno!

This is the point where I usually talk about my goals for the upcoming year, and recap how I did on last year’s goals. However, because I’ve been such a blogging slacker the last few weeks, this post has ran rather long. And since a lot of my goals are kind of writing related anyway, I decided to post them on My Writing Journal. So just click on the link if you’re curious. :-D

Welcome to 2017!