meirwen_1988: (Default)
Well, I do, but none of the ones that come to mind are quite right. My favorite t-shirt is a Cinderella (in her brown skirt), but usually my busy is a lot less like that than something else. There are the crazy, office-centric pulling the hair out. Errr, nope, not that. There are the crazy-lady cooking, talking on the phone, working on the computer still in her pumps and pencil skirt while a toddler is crawling up one leg and a dog peeing on the other. Nope. Not me.

Anyway, today is "catch up" day. I'm in the office, because I was at a conference yesterday. (Actually, a good one, for all it got sprung on me at the last minute and makes me all nervous since there are some implications of my being sent, especially given who else went, but that's a worry for another day.) Once I've caught up here, there's a chance of dinner with friends, then home to try to make some order out of chaos.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, with an emphasis on de-nuding the dining room so that Massive Destruction for Renewal(TM) can happen starting Thursday. This means all of the furniture has to be either moved out, or moved to the center, so that demolition can occur on the walls without it also occuring to the glassware, plates, china cabinets, etc. *sigh* This is mostly happening while I am at the Welsh conference, but it still fills me with dread. Despite the heretofore successful interior work, as soon as you involve ladders and working on our house I am filled with dread. I know--silly, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Other catastrophic issues remain, and accelerate, but I'm not sure I can do anything about them. I'll give it one last try, but I'm not hopeful.

So, the students are back, with all their charm and whining, abilities and disabilities, hopes and sense of entitlement, humility and hubris. In short, the usual mixed bag. It's the first week, and I'm already exhausted.

The auguries--not so much with the good.

Still, my life is good on so many levels. Must remember that. If I get to see friends tonight, that will be much easier.
meirwen_1988: (Strong)
Today is the last unstructured day before the semester begins in earnest.

There are things I need to do, things I want to do, only some of which cancel each other out, so there's that. I've breakfasted, which my stomach is telling me isn't the smartest thing I ever did--apparently wrong things. Oh well--that's why I've got the big bottle of meds. And of course the piece of certified mail that came on Saturday doesn't have anything to do with the state of my stomach.

The furnace is working--that's a plus. And the bill was about half what I feared. On the other hand the side-by-side still isn't working right. But the refrigerator part is, and that's the essential part. The freezer part is a luxury. The repair people are baffled--what is going on with it "is not possible"--so I guess we'll just cope.

Alrighty then. As my friend would say, "Time to put on pants" and get the out-of-house things done.
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
Well, I've read the "famed" (or is that "defamed") article. The book has to go back Friday, so I think I'll see if they've finally fixed the photocopiers and make a copy of it. Yes, it has problems, but I need to re-read it to make sure my problems with it are actually organic and not just inattention on my part.

In other news, Friday I head off to Cleveland for the National Gymanfa Ganu, which should be fun. I will have terrific company, and there is a film series, so I can even justify it to the people who cut me a paycheck (not enough to get them to pay for it, but enough they aren't giving me grief about cancelling some classes).

Irene spared us for the most part. Our power flickered on and off, with some sporadic fairly short term outages. The yellow delicious apple tree is now horizontal, but the roots are still below ground, so we're hoping we can do some radical pruning and save the tree. The big pine in back is another story.

We have christened it the "Tree of Damocles" because, well, that's how it feels. The tree is appallingly tall, the trunk is snapped 3/4 of the way through about 4 feet up from the ground, and what's holding it up is a moderately sized maple. If that shifts at all, Damocles is going to come down on the carriage house attached to the house proper. It is a very real danger, and something we want to avoid. So we called in the tree guys. Who blanched when they saw it. Taking it down is both very necessary (they agree with us), and very dangerous. The kind of dangerous where if something goes wrong it could very easily result in "very bad things" happening to one or more members of the tree crew (and we had more than our share of "very bad things" happening in an around the house 3 years ago, so, to be avoided please). And they estimate that there are 1000s of pounds of tree to deal with. They said they'd throw in the the maple in front (that is threatening to come down on the residential part of the house) for $300 off their usual price for a tree that big (it towers over our 19th century Victorian), because that really needs to come down before the next big storm. So they quoted us a price. We blanched.

And this is on top of the sedan dying two weeks ago. We cashed out one of the retirement funds to get the money to get a new used car (something just above the classification "beater"). It now appears that $$ is going to go for the trees.

Our insurance company said if it had actually come down on the house and damaged it, we could apply for government $$ to cover part of it (we're in one of the hammered counties), but because it didn't we are completely on our own.

And since the oil bill went up this year to the tune of an additional car payment (actually, more than my car payment--making the total monthly oil bill more than double my car payment), life is not so happy at the white house in the valley.

On the other hand, the roof no longer leaks, and I have a job. I'll try to count my blessings. It's just a little tough right now.
meirwen_1988: (hawkgirl)
Oh. Right. They pay me.

That would be why I worked the end of May, all of June, and up until today of July, rather than going to conferences, working on my promotion packet, or otherwise recharging. They pay me. Duh. Seems so simple when you put it like that.

But now I am off. I celebrated with a mid-day shower and a glass of wine. Luxury. This weekend is GAIF, which oddly enough even counts towards promotion (5%, but "Yay!"), putting ducks in rows for the rest, then packing for Pennsic.

But now it's all about the wine, and book. Four o'clock I start taking care of others, but the next 44 minutes are MINE!!!
meirwen_1988: (Bored)
As I mentioned to a friend earlier today, it's a lot easier to have no running water in the winter than the summer.

A few years ago, Morguhn and Rowan were off somewhere at an event for a long weekend, and our water went away. I forget the reason for no water, but I think it was an issue regarding getting electrical current to the pump, but I digress. If you try to acquire water from natural sources in the warm months, it generally involves carrying buckets up and down naturally structured embankments, acquiring water that, in the best of cases, is muddy and ... lively ... because that's the kind of water you can get to. It isn't like taking a rowboat out to the middle of a lake and scooping up the top water, that tends to have lost a lot of the sediment and bacteria carrying bits, gravity having done its thing. No, you get the muddy, silty suspension, with the odd minnow or water bug. Then you have to get back up the hill without spilling all of it. A strange combination of Tantalus and Sisyphus. Not fun. Finally got water from the Irelands, which involved a not so natural embankment mostly paved, and a faucet. But still heavy. We won't even talk about driving over Skaneatles Turnpike with open buckets of water.

So, in the winter, it is much easier. You see, there is often all this lovely solid state dihydrogen monoxide laying about, often in a reasonably granular state. One simply gathers up sufficient quantities of this, often in receptacles that originally held other granular items, like cat litter, brings the receptacles indoors, and soon the granular state resolves to a fluid state. One can then use that in the tank of the toilet, meaning that purchased water can be used for human and companion animal consumption. This, in fact, is a vast improvement over similar experiences from my youth when some of the granular dihydrogen monoxide had to be collected into cooking pots and boiled before human consumption. The first deep damage to my hands occurred when I was a teenager, trying to collect enough to boil so I could wash my hair--after 2 weeks, I really couldn't put it off any more, and what we had in the house was "not for hair washing." Now, at least, Wal-mart and other places save some wear and tear on the hands. Not to mention that gym where I bought a 12 month membership back in July. This week I've thought it the best $100 I spent all year.

Tonight I will go home. A few days ago the last milk cow was sold, and the shoes were hocked, a virgin was sacrificed, and the rapacious entity that is NYSGE was appeased. Today, apparently, one of those wizards in whose affairs one should not meddle has been to the little house Ro and Yoshina built, and muttered some sort of incantation, and a staff glowed bright, and lo, there should be water. Maybe it's like fairies--you have to believe in it for it to exist.

Personally, I think that's a pretty inefficient way to run the universe, but, well, I'm just a cat in human clothing. What do I know.

*edited at 4:59 PM to add: Apparently the wizard replaced a ruptured 1" galvanized "T-joint." It's surprising what a little (1/2") gash in a piece of steel can do to the functionality of a system. Good to know. ;-)


Dec. 6th, 2010 02:28 pm
meirwen_1988: (Christmas House Mouse)
Just got the 2000 word papers from my 63 person film class. *sigh* Just shoot me now.

The weekend involved some Christmas-fying of the house. More requires thinking about it and actually caring. Meh. See "caring."

I love my students this semester. It happens that way sometimes. I really hope next semester isn't too much of a let-down. :-(

I hate driving in the snow. So, there is an upside to the future. Yeah. Clinging to that.

This buying 8 presents for Hanukkah was not planned for this year. My bad. Still--timing sucks, not having money and all.

Oh, right, and the embroidery thing. Yeah. Not happening this week. Just sayin.'
meirwen_1988: (Christmas House Mouse)
Duchezz and I were talking last night.
We decided we have too many things.

We decided to let everyone know that this year, if you are the kind of person who likes to give seasonal tokens of affection, that we request:

Gift cards to places like Red Lobster, Outback, Pizzeria Uno, 99, Applebees, etc.
Munson Williams Proctor Institute membership (Meirwen)
Farmers Museum membership (Rowan)

The gift of your company at any of the above.

Feel free to share this information widely as appropriate.

We now return to your regularly scheduled program.
meirwen_1988: (tired)
We've been in contact with the folks who own the barn/property. Farmer Johnson (Jimmy Johnson) is doing okay. Nasty headache, mild concussion. Mending. They called Jerry Jones (I am NOT making this up--and given how Himself felt about the Cowboys, it's really funny) to come over [maybe tomorrow] to see about getting our water back. So that is moving forward about as quickly as can be expected.

I have apparently developed a fever, cough, and sore throat. I thought the cough was from all the feathers this weekend (the twin perils of an SCA event and cold weather), but perhaps it's more. So I'm going to bed early. I'd drink some tea, but that involves fluid going in, which leads to...well, let's just say we're doing some "water conservation" around here for now.

On the positive side, my triennial classroom observation was today, and it seems to have gone well. The Dean seemed happy, and he relayed that mine was the name the President picked from the list he was sent to sit on the search committee for our Center (two positions, one English, one History). While it means committee work, it is also the kind of thing that matters when next I apply for promotion. So, a very mixed day.

And all this after a lousy nights sleep that was filled with images of rubble, children in silly costumes, and the sound of groggers. Don't know what that last bit is?? Hee hee. I didn't before Sunday--don't feel bad. Let's just say that when I should have been at Mass I was sitting next to a little boy in a red cowboy hat and his dad in a yamulka.
meirwen_1988: (Huh?)

So, now that the firemen with chain saws and really huge crowbars, and the payloader operators have done their thing, and Apollo's golden chariot is doing its thing, here is the view from the driveway.

Under that big honking pile of debris, right next to that lone remaining wall, is where our pump is/was. The firemen last night offered to turn the power back on, incase we thought it would help. Ummmm--not so much. You see, the junction with the lines is somewhere in that pile, too.

With luck sometime today Duchezz will hear from the man who owns what's left of the barn and we'll at least know what we're looking at in the short term.

meirwen_1988: (Default)
So, I have to figure out a way to install the chain lock on the attic door (which doesn't really close--it either jams or pops open: pick one) in such a way that you can actually attach the chain in the slide, but have the door not open far enough for a cat to slip through.

I swear our cats can do that T2  trick of going all Mr. Fantastic (or Gold, or Mercury, or Platinum Girl, if you remember the old Metal Men  comic books)and getting through the teeny-est spaces.

So, tomorrow we shall attempt to defy the laws of physics--or at the very least the laws of cat physics.
meirwen_1988: (happy duke)
They came.
They talked and laughed and wrangled.
They ate with me and worked with Duchezz; they played with pugs and kitties.

We can put screens in windows; I have a functioning air conditioner, and hose, and grill. We have a summer suitable home!!

Our family is full of awesome. And they did this while coping with car dramah, or a 7.5 hour drive, or exhausted partners, or excruciating pain, or bruises with names, or very first hard liquor hangover, or bitchy duckess.


Full of awesome.
meirwen_1988: (Default)
Of course, I hear those words in John Lodge's voice, and think, how appropriate--it is, after all, Tuesday afternoon. (Yeah, I can't help it, I see album playlists in my sleep. I'm one of those anal retentive types whose LP collections were alphabetized by artist, but each artist was organized by album release date. Deal with it. And I always loved "Late Lament"--it fit in really well with my Poe obsession. I was Goth before Goth was cool.)

Anyway--first day of finals. I am advising. I will be in the office most of the next two weeks, and then I just have my online class.

There will be events. And finishing the socks for the swap. And embroidery. And excavating the house. (The ceiling is coming down in the upstairs landing. Feel my joy.) I hope to take a trip to NJ to catch up with my oldest friend from college (who some of you know as Shelley), and then GAIF and Pennsic.

Movies, books, and music beckon. Duchezz thinks I should work a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy in there somewhere, too. There are days it seems like a good idea, and others where...well, no. Not going there.

So, the state of the Meirwen. More when I get out from under all these papers. Ta!
meirwen_1988: (Cooking)
So, Duchezz has had a day full of fail.
Jiro "hydrated" her Millefleur throw.
She broke the travel cup I gave her for Christmas (which she loved).
She ran late and had to miss her kickboxing class.

So she came home early. Went to get her wet laundry and put it on the line. Except she programmed it fine to start sometime this afternoon, but failed to hit the "Start" button.

Went to set up the new mailbox ($60 for mailbox, $20 for portable hole--part of the great home improvement shopping excursion from the weekend) only to find that the 4x4 piece we have at the house is an actual 4x4, which of course means it's OLD, since a modern 4x4 is actually 3.5 x 3.5.

So she's working out frustrations by raking up the leaves that accumlated by the side of the road (read: did not blow across like the rest of the leaves).

On the stove are collard greens in the Dutch oven that came with the house and jambalaya in the Le Creusset Dutch oven [ profile] kelfstein gave us. And  in the kitchen is a new box of cereal for breakfast that's all [personal profile] svan_1004 's fault.

Later there will be grading and Jack (24, not Daniels).

We shall salvage the fail. That's how we roll.
meirwen_1988: (Strong)
The widowmaker that has been in the maple tree at the head of the drive since we bought the house (1996) finally fell last night, on the uninhabited side of the drive. All cars, pets, and humans are safe.

Man, that sucker was big!
meirwen_1988: (Grow)
So, we had a plan, agreed upon Thursday, confirmed Friday. After an OES rehearsal this morning we were going to either El Canelo or The Balkan for lunch, go to Lowe's and/or Home Depot to acquire needed items. And then, most importantly, heading to the theatre to watch The Fast and the Furious: New Model, Original Parts.

But, well, the dogs. Were the cute.

When we took them out this morning Ping was reluctant to come back inside, rolled on his back exposing his little pink tummy to the sun...

So, we went to rehearsal. And lunch--El Canelo in Utica (I was much less happy with this one than the one in Oneida). And Lowe's and Home Depot (we even replaced the wheelbarrow Massachusettes squire destroyed in September). And we stopped at the evil liquor emporium and I acquired a truly self-indulgent bottle of Bordeaux.

And then we came home so that the little four leggeds could run around in the sunshine. Duchezz used the new wheelbarrow to collect the astonishing number of shingles that fell into the yard this winter. Everyone is back inside, the NFL Draft is on, and all is well.

It's a plan of salad for dinner, then wine and cheese later in the evening. An early night, early Mass, and then getting ready for the reception for RW Jane, Grand Representative to Oklahoma.

Two weeks and one day left in the semester have the students in a panic, but we'll be fine.

At home, there is pain, there is loss, but the sun came up this morning, the four leggeds love us, and we have wonderful friends.

One step at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Ta da!

Dec. 14th, 2008 06:24 pm
meirwen_1988: (Default)
And lo, there was washing.
And drying.
No platforms (were smashed inside box--WTF?), but will come at a later date.

And there was much rejoicing.

C'est Mort

Nov. 12th, 2008 01:44 pm
meirwen_1988: (Queen)
The washing machine, that is. After nearly 20 years of loyal service. Owes us nothing, but it is still inconvenient.

Given that laundromats seem to be a vanishing institution, said item will have to be replaced sooner, rather than later. And there is that whole plumbing issue to deal with. And while we're at it we ought to replace the dryer as well, especially since it barely functions and cannot be repaired (it also is nearly 20 years old. Yes, Rhi, that dryer)since the parts are no longer available.

Ya know, after awhile, chewing gum, spit, and baling twine just ain't enough to keep things together.

Le sigh.
meirwen_1988: (hawkgirl)
literally and figuratively.

So,yesterday an amazing number of amazing people came and
took out my AC
installed windows
built windows
installed more windows
fixed our tool shed
cleaned Morguhn's shop
raked/blew leaves
vacuumed and wet vac'ed rugs
cleaned gutters
insulated the pump house
put up snow fences


There is still more to do for the winter, but it is mostly inside stuff, and can be done by Ro, me, and 2 or 3 others, a bit at a time.

People are bloody amazing.

So we collapsed last night, and got up bright and early and went to the VFD for breakfast, then the Walk Against Breast Cancer at 9:30. WE FROZE!!! but it was for a good cause, and the walk itself was very pretty, just a little challenging, very nice. But it was friggin' FREEZING.

Then ran some errands, including picking up this month's copy of Renaissance Magazine since Wolf told us yesterday that there was a great picture of our own Koredono in it. Yup--there is a huge spread of Pennsic pictures (not this year's)--many the same as are in the wonderful Pennsic calendars. So we picked it up to use for demos, etc.

Then home, moving some stuff, and waiting for Baron Daniel who's coming over this afternoon just 'cuz.

Then tonight it's grading midterms and entering midterm grades.

Color me tired but filled with the love of good, caring friends.

I am blessed.
meirwen_1988: (tired)
Saturday madness went well. Winfield Chapter's 100th Anniversary celebration was a great success. Our floor work looked good, the program was well-received, I did not have a "Robert Goulet moment" (which I feared on any number of levels), and the technology cooperated for the PowerPoint display in the chapter room. All in all, it went well.

We came home and collapsed and were all in bed, asleep, before 11.

Today I got up and went to Mass, then came home, picked up the sweeties, and we went to the LFD donation breakfast. Did our part, came home. Then I packed up Ping and headed off to the Wiggle-Waggle-Walk-a-thon.

There were hundreds of dogs of various shapes and sizes, lots of children, and many responsible parents. It was a delight. Let me just say I have never seen so many well-behaved dogs and kids all in the same place. And our boy?? I'm bursting with pride. He was incredibly well-behaved and calm, and practically raced through the course! Funniest moment was when a huge (and I do mean huge) grey Great Dane decided to say "Hello" in true doggie fashion. Ping's response was simply a "Hey...oh, well, okay, 'Hi'" and kept going. He got many treats, much praise.

I came home to find most of the roof of the porch in the yard. Okay, the top layer--wood frame is still on top. The Duke was sitting in his rocker, Duchezz having gone off to get plywood. We now have solved part of the mystery of why the roof of the porch put so much strain on the support posts. FIVE layers of asphalt shingles, in addition to the originals. Good grief. But, by snow fly we should have new roof on the new part of the porch. Yay! (and I am much relieved that the roofing materials are for the porch and not the upper roof!)

Later there will be grading, but right now the Ping is getting much deserved cuddles.
meirwen_1988: (football)
Okay, sounds better as brass.

Today is my happy Sunday, even if I'm spending it with the Jets and Dallas instead of the Bears (we don't get NBC).

Jets and Dolphins had a real game. Who'd a thunk it? My pals in Buffalo are happy (or should be). Sorry 'beau that your Browns are playing Dallas. When are you going to stop wasting Brady Quinn?

Most work is done in terms of prep for the week.

The Boy finished the half of the porch targeted for this year. The third and final roof support went up today--he even put a bannister on the front steps. Woo hoo!!


meirwen_1988: (Default)

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