Monday, May 10, 2021

At long last...

 My house was built in 1970.  It has acoustic texturing on the ceiling (also known as popcorn ceilings), with glitter.  Yes, glitter.  And the texturing is heavy--which hasn't been made at all, by anyone, in over a decade.  The glitter hasn't been made in longer.  And the applicators have had their seals rot from disuse and age.  

Which...has made it very difficult for the drywall guy to match, so that the patch on my ceiling doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.  

He's decided he's going to have to scrape and redo the ceiling with a coarse medium texture.  No word on glitter, yet, but he said he'd have to flick it up with his fingers, if he was able to find any at all.*

He said, when he called on Friday, that the material had just gotten to him, and that he'd be out on Monday to finish the job to my satisfaction.  

I'm thankful for that.  All of the things in the entry hall have been in the family room for a bloody month already.  

 I'm ready to put my house back the way it's supposed to be, rather than having stuff cluttering rooms it doesn't belong in (and I need to clear stuff off the old study table for moving it into the garage for kid art).  I have so much to do...and not a lot of energy to do it with, so it won't get done quickly.  

Hit a lick at a snake when I can, and things get done.  Eventually.  But they do get done.  


*I promised if he had to do that, I'd write a note for his wife, explaining what he was doing and swearing he wasn't at a strip club.  He got the giggles, and said he wasn't married anymore, but would have taken me up on that if he had been. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Updates and random stuff

1. The drywall should be fixed Monday.  Turns out that it was a good thing the drywaller wasn't able to come out on Friday, since I had to run to Sam's Club.  That's the last thing that needs to be put right before the new roof project is completely put to bed.  Well, that, and the roofing company cashing the second check...

2. The imp's meds have been adjusted.  Rather than raising the dose on the extended release, the doctor has given us a second, immediate release version that he's supposed to take early in the afternoon.  I'm  watching to see if I can give it to him immediately upon picking him up, or if he needs me to leave it at the office: the deciding factor will be whether it interferes with bedtime.  

3. My meds have also been adjusted.  I have lost something like 20 lbs since Thanksgiving (when I started monitoring my weight to prevent holiday weight gain), and that means I needed a lower dose of thyroid meds.  Eventually, I may need to drop the celery seed extract, if it starts messing with my blood pressure the wrong way...which will leave me with Tylenol as a go-to for pain. 

4. Doc still has me on a massive, mega-dose of D2 once per month.  Today was the day scheduled for that.  And she told me to keep taking the fish oil caplets with 2000 IU per day on top of the 50,000 IU per month.  She wants another screening for that with my next blood test in July.  She says my vitamin D levels are "getting there." 

5. Still writing...as my brain is capable.  I'm an idiot, and keep trying to push myself to do more than I'm actually capable of, and setting myself way, way back in trying to keep to anything resembling a schedule.  Damn it.  

5a. I am within spitting distance of finishing the first revision on Having a Pint.  I'll be contacting people for beta reading as soon as I'm done.  There's been a lot of fleshing out.  It went from a hair over 51,000 words to a hair under 58,000 words, and I've got something like a chapter and a half to go.  

5b. I've got a short story that I was working on.  Got it finished.  Realized I hated it, and that I'd done it from the wrong POV.  I'm redoing it, am less than a third of the way done, and already have a hundred words more than the first draft.  It'll likely get chucked in another collection of my short stories, along with a couple with other odd creatures and pets.  So far, there are five stories that will likely go into the collection.  All semi-centered on critters showing up and making room for themselves in the human characters' lives.

6.  And that reminds me...I need to get off the blog, finish a story, then do planning for the next week or so of meals and chores.  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Oof. Unpleasant.

 My endocrinologist is...different.  She listens to me, yes; however...she's really uncomfortable with the natural thyroid that I've been doing well on.  I'm not sure she believes me when I say that I take it at the same time every day: about 5:40 am, and 4:00 pm.  I take it at those times because it disrupts the rest of my day the least at those times.  

Thyroid replacement requires an empty stomach.  You need to take it an hour before eating/drinking coffee, and at least two hours after anything you've eaten.  So, I take my first dose at 5:40, when other half's "go swim" alarm goes off.  He wakes up, I wake up, I go take my pills, he turns on light and gets dressed, then hits the snooze to give me another forty minutes of sleep.  On days he doesn't swim, the only change is that the light doesn't go on, and he doesn't get dressed.  

Basically, by the time I get to coffee, the hour I need between pills and coffee has passed: I get up, dressed, get the kids up, fed, and dressed, get their lunches fixed, and then I get to sit down with my first cup of coffee.  Yes, there's a check-list on the fridge for "brain no work sans coffee."  Yes, I sometimes still get lost.  

This morning sucked.  My doctor wanted me to get my blood draw done before I took my pill.  I dropped the kids off, and realized...the imp was missing his trumpet.  So, I took an extra ten minutes and went to go get it and get it dropped off...which put me at the lab at 8:15...and waiting for a half an hour.  Yep.  I got back to my car, and got my pills taken at 8:55.  More than three hours later than usual.  With only a cup of coffee on board beforehand, and having to wait until a) I got home, and b) a full hour had passed before I could have cup #2.  

Oh, and I take celery seed extract to deal with some of my joint inflammation...and that has to be taken no closer to either dose than 4 hours before or after.  And that made my "take your meds, stupid" alarm at 10:00 useless.  And the timing on this morning's thyroid dose has made my "take your meds, stupid" alarm for the second dose useless, as well. 

I have felt out-of-step all day, today.  And I have repeatedly checked my to-do list because I keep feeling like I've forgotten something.  And I can't tell if I have, or if having my meds timing FUBARed just threw me off that much.  

Yeah, I think I'll have a Scotch.  An hour after I take my second dose of thyroid meds.  Around 7:30-ish.  

I have definitely earned it, and I am in the mood for it. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

I...wow. I had no idea I was that good of a mom.

I'd been thinking for a while about getting a good desktop computer, and a better desk.  My desk is adequate as a writing desk, but would not be a terribly good computer desk.  I'd peg it at probably forty years old, maybe older.  It's got drawers on both sides of a knee-cubby, and they're too narrow for much.  I mean, they're full, but they're freaking narrow.  

And the desk itself doesn't have a whole lot of space.  

So, yesterday, when this posted, it crystalized a lot of my reasons.  I've only been getting a year--if I'm lucky--out of each laptop.  Next year, it may be difficult to replace it.  Between shipping chains being iffy and the whole damn world slipping away from capability as America loses its mind, they're going to be either priced out of reach, or totally unavailable.  

And so, yesterday, we went shopping.  Grandma'd taken the kids to give us a break after a stressful week, and gave us a lovely opportunity.  

We started at Sam's Club.  All they had in stock was one of the two brands I wanted nothing to do with: HP.  And it was a total zoo.  So, we moved on--left the cart with the book the kids wanted sitting somewhere out of the way, and just walked out.  

Then we went to Office Depot.  They had a couple of Dells, an HP or two, and several Lenovo systems--the other brand I wanted absolutely nothing to do with.  We wandered back, and looked at desks, and found a couple we sort of liked (one of which I really liked--the desk surface was a gorgeous, almost parquet type design).  And then we headed out.  

We...went to our favorite bookstore in town.  It's a small, used book store, and it used to be a house.  It shares a parking lot with a plant nursery, so the parking lot was full, but we were one of two couples in the entire store.  And yes, we came home with several books for each of us.  

By that time, it was time for me to take my thyroid replacement (since it's a natural thyroid, I have to take it twice a day).  And we fixed supper, and ate.  And I realized that I needed a visit to Hobby Lobby, because I needed some supplies I didn't have to learn a new threadcraft.  So, off we went again.  

Hobby Lobby was quick.  It took two minutes to get a ball of black tatting thread, and a ball of bright blue.  Everyone says that learning's easier when you've got different colors on the shuttle and the ball.  And...that has proved true.  My first two attempts failed miserably, but last night, after we got back home...dang, that's easy.  It takes some focus, and attention (which will make it a good meditation and quiet prayer aid), but it's pretty easy.  

The one thing we looked for that they didn't have was woodworking supplies: carving tools.  I think I may visit the local hardware store to see if they might have something.  

Then, we went to see what Walmart might have in the way of what we'd looked for at Sam's Club and Office Depot.  Oh, not the desks--Walmart furniture is shit--but the towers and peripherals.  

Yeah.  HP, Lenovo, flashy gaming Acers and Dells.  Don't want a flashy gaming machine.  Do one something semi-capable of some limited gaming, but nothing flashy and showy.  This is going to be used for writing (sometimes), and kid homework and research (sometimes), as well as limited gaming (my other half enjoys some).  Flashy and showy is distracting.  

We did find a monitor we wanted to ask about a price on, since there wasn't one anywhere on the shelf or the box.  We gave up after spending five minutes waiting at the electronics department desk for anyone to freakin' show up.  

So, we put the monitor back and wandered off.  Grabbed a movie that the imp was wanting to see that did not hit Disney+ like we'd assumed it would, and grabbed a folding umbrella chair for me.  Just a cheap one--the more expensive ones are heavier than I can manage on my bad days, when I actually need to go out and sit in the sun.  And we headed for the self-check aisles.  

Holy God.  I know there's a reason I go to Walmart when I need to be reminded that, in spite of slips and small failings, I'm not a shit parent, but damn.  

As we made our way toward the self check, I noted two little girls, no adult in sight, fighting over a clamshell of raspberries.  They abruptly quit fighting--the thing had come open, and there were several that hit the floor--and tried to jam it back closed, all while ignoring the raspberries they'd dropped, and cramming a few in their mouths.  They looked up, then hurried around the corner into the check-out area, and I noticed that both of them were in socks.  No shoes.  Oy.  

Mom and Dad (surprisingly) were around the corner, with a teenager, and a small boy in the shopping basket; the teen was whining at Mom, the little girls dancing (in socks stained with smashed raspberries) demanding that the raspberries be "paid for already--we're starving," the boy in the cart was standing, yanking at the cell phone in Dad's hands, trying to get it to play with, and Mom and Dad were ignoring the kids and each other.  

Yeah, we got the hell out of there.  We scanned both our items, and paid for them, and were gone before the "family" behind us had four items scanned, starting before us.  

Holy God.  

I'd been feeling a bit like a failure as a parent, the past week.  I'd been down sick--kidney stones, likely, and a bad reaction to a med prescribed to help me pass the stones--and dealing with the new roof going on, so...yeah, I was focused on getting through that, and not so much on the kids' needs last week.  

Not feeling like such a shit parent after that Walmart trip.  My kids aren't feral.  Even with a week of Mom not focused on helping them deal with school, they're not feral.  Even without Mom pointing out this, that, and the other that they needed for school, they didn't forget shoes in public.  And their socks mostly were matched (same type, same length, even if not same colors on toes and heels).  And their dress was presentable in public, not stained, too tight (one of the little girls couldn't fasten her pants, and they didn't go down past mid calf), and hole-y.    

No, by comparison, I'm a fucking paragon of motherhood.  

And we've decided to order mostly from Amazon.  Because I do not think I could stand more in-person shopping. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A wee tad bit different...

 I've posted my egg muffin recipe here, before--the base one that's easy to modify.  I've found one my husband likes, in playing with the basic recipe.  


French Toast Egg Frittata*

1 dozen eggs

1/2 c heavy cream

1/2 lb bulk maple sausage

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/3 c (or so) cinnamon-sugar (ours uses about a tbsp of cinnamon for about 2 cups of sugar)

1 to 1.5 c shredded cheese (milder blend works well here)

1. Grease a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet (a very solid spray of cooking spray, or grease it with lard or Crisco, all the way up the sides.  Butter might work, but I haven't tried it), and put it in the oven.   2. Preheat oven to 350 with the skillet.  Yes, I mean that.  It's why I said use cast iron.  Trust me.  3. Brown and break up maple sausage.  4. Beat heavy cream into eggs, and mix in vanilla and cinnamon-sugar.  5.  Fold in cheese, and browned sausage.  6.  AFTER skillet is preheated with the oven, take it out carefully, and pour the mixture in quickly.  You'll hear it sizzle when it hits the puddle of melted grease in the bottom--this is a good thing.  7. Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown and set.  I know ovens vary, so it may not be as long, or it may be longer.  8.  When your frittata is done, take it out of the oven and flip the skillet upside down over a plate.  The fritatta should fall right out.**

 I will warn you now: it's absolute torture, smelling this cook.  It's utterly delicious with a little bit of syrup.  My other half likes butter-flavored syrup best.  

*I use a skillet to make this, rather than muffin pans.  I should probably pull out my cast iron muffin pans, instead.  

**THIS is why I recommended the cast iron.  With anything else, these things stick.  Even to non-stick. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

*That's* done, now.

The last, major, expensive repair and upgrade on the house is done.  We have a new roof.  It needed a lot more work than was initially estimated (we figured it would).  We needed:

  • 12 new rafters put in.  The 2' centers were just...too much.  
  • 35 sheets of OSB put in.  The ones they were removing were crumbling as they removed them.  
  • Something like 3200 square feet of shingles--Owens Corning Duration, Slatestone, if you're curious. 
  • 12 new metal box vents.  We had a mix of box vents and turbines, and the turbines (one of which didn't work) were removed and replaced.  
  • Soffit venting.  Sometime in 2011, the previous owners had a new roof put on, and whoever did it built in the soffit venting.  Covered it over entirely.  But still put the vented vinyl back up over the soffits.  Pisses me off that whoever did that to little old people.  Anyway, that's now fixed.

The dog has been inside, much against her will.  First, because they were working on the back of the house yesterday, and needed access to the back; second, because I didn't want anything dropped on her by accident (or not); and third, because she's capable of being the most irritating creature in creation, when she wants to be.*

The cats have...not been happy.  Cricket hid inside my recliner for part of yesterday, then managed to squeeze her 11 lb self under a cabinet set four inches or less up off the floor.  I have no idea where she hid while they were working today.  Shadow was jumpy and clingy--and that cat is never jumpy and clingy--but settled down faster than Cricket after everything was done. 

We had one minor disaster that the roofing company needs to fix: one of their guys stepped on a board that was just laid across a couple of rafters across the ceiling, not nailed down, and the board slipped.  His foot came through the drywall in the entry hall ceiling.  He caught himself, but there was a good deal of profanity (from him, and I doubt he realized I heard him).  There's a large-ish hole in the drywall, even now, and about a cubic foot or so of insulation came down.  I'm honestly not sure who was more startled, him or me.  

*This is the dog that pissed off a box turtle to the point it was hissing at her and trying to bite her.  And when I rescued it, it hissed at me before it turtled up.  And tried to get back in the yard at the dog who was snuffling under the gate, looking for it.  Turtle was that pissed off. 
 

Monday, April 5, 2021

The joys of home ownership, part...ye gods, I've lost count.

We've had several quotes, now, about a new roof.  We've done research.  It's down to whoever will give us the best deal for what we want: metal shingles.  Not the barn-roof type metal roof--I don't think that would look very good with our roof-line.  If we didn't have a hipped roof (and built-on garage, which complicates the hipped roof roof line just a bit) it might be different.  

I'd also rather not have the fasteners exposed to the elements.  

I do, however, want the benefits from having a metal roof.  I want to only do this once.  I want something that, if the neighbors who sell fireworks (and store them on their property) have a nasty disaster, will protect us from any fire jumping to our roof.  

We've had quotes from hair curling to "OH MY GOD!  I COULD ALMOST BUY A HOUSE FOR THAT!!"  

The lowest quote was the guy that quoted for asphalt shingles.  And his quote said that any lumber repair would drive the cost up.  We...we're going to need at least some.  So yeah.  Not only is his product not what we're looking for, I don't think his quote was particularly accurate.  

Thing is...my aunt needed her roof repaired.  She needed repairs for almost twenty years.  It kept degrading, to the point that she started needing a new roof something like ten years ago.  She left it for longer.  With all the leaks, and stuff.  And now, after the ice storm just after Christmas shattering trees and dropping them on her house...well.  You can imagine.  She needs the roof replaced.  All the way down to the ceilings and beyond, in some places.  Just to the ceilings in others.  Her roof is going to cost something like twice what mine would.  Because she didn't get it done before it got really bad (and doesn't have insurance on the place to pay for ice storm damage...which is another level of stupid I won't go into). 

I do not want to end up having to pay more than what I already will have to, by not doing the repairs/replacement as soon as it's needed.  

And that's ignoring the fact that we're already seeing some inflation on the money pumped into the economy by the igornatti in Washington, D.C.  

I want this done now, before the dollars we have won't stretch to pay for what we need.