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1. Last-minute apartment cleanup before my parents' visit, i.e., I cleared and organized the piles of stuff that had collected on my coffee table, living room table, and kitchen counters over the past few months, and temporarily stashed some other stuff in my bedroom to free up my armchair for people to sit on. Also I dusted a few shelves, because reasons.

2. Collected trash from wastebaskets and took the combined bag to the trashcan outdoors. I think one more bag and the can will be ready for curbside pickup -- so, maybe early June?

3. Paid my monthly internet bill.

4. Welcomed my parents and Dottie! ♥

more items under the cut )

14. Peeled the moldy layers off my sprouting onion and sprayed the thing with diluted anti-fungal solution. Hopefully this will help more than it hurts. (It did not seem to cause any harm to my pepper seedlings when I sprayed their little peat cylinders back in March, since they'd acquired fungal spores while they sat in storage for a year.)

15. Dumped the resulting gunk and some other compost into the communal bin.

16. Baked brownies for church coffee hour tomorrow morning.

And I think that's about it! It was a very full two days. :)
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Mom drove up to Ithaca today to collect Dottie, so as of about 3:30pm I no longer have a dog. Woe!

On the other hand, I have a lot more available time now. Pets are wonderful, but they eat time like nobody's business.

Anyway, we went out for lunch at the Heights Cafe, a restaurant we hadn't yet been to (discovered via a listing of pretty much every restaurant in the greater Ithaca area, which was published in a recent-ish issue of the Ithaca Time and which I duly saved and took down to NJ for Mom's use), which turned out to be both pretty easy to get to and a place we think Aunt Cara would like, and which we may therefore end up visiting again on either the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

(We are doing Thanksgiving at my place again this year. That pattern began several years ago for perfectly sound logistical reasons, but I have a feeling that this repeated confluence of work schedules and transportation options means that I have accidentally 'inherited' Thanksgiving, whereas Vicky's the one who will 'inherit' Christmas if and when our parents get tired of hosting it. We've done Christmas at Vicky's place twice now (once in Spain, once in DC), but she's never hosted Thanksgiving and I've never hosted Christmas. I'm still gonna make Vicky do all the Thanksgiving cooking, though, while I handle the cleanup and leftover-packaging work. That split ends up making everybody happier than if we tried to split the work 'evenly' or I cooked while she cleaned.)

We also went to Michael's (an artsy-craftsy supply chain) to buy some gold paint and paintbrushes, so I can attempt to touch up the frames of some old pictures my parents inherited from my paternal grandmother. This would be by way of a Christmas present to Mom, who doesn't want to do the work herself.

...

The reason I had Dottie this time is because Mom and Dad compressed a ridiculous number of home renovations into a single two-week period and for obvious reasons could not have a dog around for any of it. (In fact, they couldn't have themselves around for the second half, and duly drove down to DC to visit Vicky, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Charles & Aunt Ji-lan.)

The first week, they had several ceilings repaired and replastered, had the massive hole in the living room wall repaired and replastered (the hole being a side-effect of a water pipe fix from earlier this year), had the hideous wallpaper in the stairwell stripped and destroyed (which should have been done thirty years ago, and I am not exaggerating that time period in the slightest), and then had the entire downstairs plus the stairwell and the main upstairs hallway repainted. The second week, they had the wood floors of the dining room, living room, staircase, and upstairs hallway stripped and refinished, because they were beat all to hell, aka ugly as fuck and a bit splintery in places besides.

So now they are slowly moving furniture back into its normal locations, and also trying to decide what they want to do with regard to carpets and/or area rugs. I think they have decided against wall-to-wall carpeting, but I will be curious to visit at Christmas and see what they've done with the place.
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Obviously I fed and walked Dottie every day; take that as read. :) Beyond that, though...

1. Confirmed the two days I am swapping with my coworker. (Hmm. Miss Cactus, maybe? Not for any personality reasons; she just grows a lot of succulents as a hobby.) Also wrote down my vacation day schedule for November and December, and passed it on to Mom for use in family holiday planning.

more items under the cut )

I also got through several chapters of rereading for my Yuletide assignment, and am noticing all kinds of layers to the work in question that I missed on my first two times through. (The first time, it's because the cover art and back cover text gave me slightly misaimed expectations of what type of story I was in for, and I was hurrying ahead to reach elements that never really appeared the way I thought they were going to. The second time I think it's just that I was relatively young and therefore lacking in a certain sense of perspective, and also that I wasn't reading with a specific eye out for details because I was not intending to use it as source material for fanfic.)
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I think from now on, work is going to become one of the background events I don't bother to mention. Just take it as read that I am working three days a week unless I specifically say otherwise. :)

Anyway, the list!

1. Drove down to NJ on Saturday to pick up Dottie for another stint of dogsitting. Drove back on Sunday with the dog in tow. This time I remembered to bring Aunt Cara's present with me -- Mom had it sent to my apartment when she pre-ordered it, because the shipping date overlapped with one of their summer trips.

I have been feeding Dottie twice a day, walking her twice a day, and piddling her in the afternoon except on Tuesday when Upstairs Neighbor E took care of that for me so I didn't lose my lunch break at work.

more items under the cut )

14. Mixed a new batch of dental hygiene water for Dottie after the old one ran out today. I also made several new meal additive containers, by combining little blobs of frozen wet food with some of the pre-cooked vegetables Mom also sent along. At the moment, I am two containers short of what I will need to use before my parents pick Dottie up next Friday. I have a whole bunch more wet food blobs (Mom packed them in a large Tupperware, in layers separated by wax paper) but I ran out of pre-cooked vegetables. So I think I will buy a bigger yellow squash than usual when I go grocery shopping tomorrow evening (I have made a list) and use a few slices as Dottie-food instead of putting the whole thing into a batch of veggie sidedish.
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I got my Yuletide assignment (wow the new matching code is fast!!!) and... I think I may be writing for a fandom other than the one my recipient and I matched on, because while I can write the character and story they requested in that fandom, I am much more intrigued/excited by their prompts in two other fandoms. I hadn't offered those fandoms because the stories/characters I felt I could handle were too limited to make it practical, but these prompts happen to fall squarely in my personal wheelhouse, so. :)

*grabs one canon off my own bookshelf and makes note to hit the library for the other on Thursday or Friday*

-----

In other news, I successfully dognapped Dottie over the weekend and she seems to be settling in all right. Upstairs Neighbor E (and maybe Mini Upstairs Neighbor C, her daughter) will be taking her out for her afternoon piddle break on Tues. the 11th, Sat. the 15th, and Tues. the 18th; I will abuse my lunch break on Wed. the 12th and Wed. the 19th when she is busy with other things. And one or both of my parents will drive up on Fri. the 21st to retrieve Dottie once all their home renovations are finished.
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1. Went to church, mostly because I'd signed up to do coffee-hour cleanup. I do not find services particularly compelling, which is undoubtedly one reason I am willing to spend almost every Sunday doing RE stuff instead of in the sanctuary listening to sermons.

While I was cleaning, a member of my old hospitality team (we rearranged all the teams this summer) asked me if I'd be interested in joining the Stewardship Committee. I said I wasn't sure I could make the meetings -- my job hours might interfere -- but barring scheduling conflicts, sure, why not.

2. Took the house's shared recycling bins to the curb for pickup. (Brought them back onto the porch the following day -- emptied, obviously.)

3. Took the house's compost bin to the curb for pickup.

more items under cut )

17. I also photographed my peppers on Monday the 19th and Monday the 26th (plus a couple times in between, to document squirrel vandalism incidents) but I haven't downloaded or posted those yet because I only have so many spoons available each day. I may get that done this weekend, or I may just spam you with three weeks of pepper photos in one go on Monday the 3rd. We'll see how I feel, I guess. *wry*
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I... kind of have a functional computer again?

The new battery and power cord arrived today, and after I fed the dog, walked the dog, and fed myself (because one shouldn't attempt laptop surgery when slightly loopy with hunger), I opened the laptop, did a final check to make sure I had the right battery type, replaced the sucker, and closed everything up again. Then I plugged in the new power cord.

Net result: Shadowfall is running fine on wall socket power, but the battery charge light is staying solid red and the system tells me it cannot detect any battery at all! Meanwhile, the little battery charger popup window thinks there IS a battery and it's 100% charged. *headdesk* And before you say anything, YES, I tried turning the machine off and on again. That changed nothing.

I will still try that again overnight, probably.

In slightly stranger news, Chrome updated itself at some point between last Monday and tonight, yet the new program still remembered all my open tabs from over a week ago. This was slightly counteracted by the way it made me clear all my cookies before it let me access Tumblr. Chrome is weird.

Anyway, if Shadowfall doesn't start recognizing (and charging) its battery by tomorrow night, I will try taking the machine in to Best Buy and telling them that I don't care if they say my service plan only covers software issues, because I have fixed the hardware problem and clearly the ball is now in their court, because it's software that lets the operating system talk to the battery.

...

In other news, my parents are safely home from Prague, and tomorrow Dad will drive to Ithaca to collect Dottie and take her home for a week and a half, until I drive down to NJ to kidnap her again. :)
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1. Work, obviously. I may post more detail about that later this week after I have a functional computer again.

2. Went to NJ to pick up Dottie. Had dinner with parents on Sunday night, did two loads of laundry (clothes and linens), and visited Susan Monday morning.

more items under cut )

Also, obviously, I have fed and walked Dottie every morning and evening, which includes successfully getting her to eat her joint medication pills, much though she dislikes them. Yay for determination, I suppose. *wry*
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Quick post to say several things!

1. I retrieved Dottie from NJ and will be taking care of her until next Wednesday, the 28th. Yay dog! She's on a different diet yet again, but at least this one is slightly simpler than some of the previous variations. However, I now have to give her her twice-daily medicine tablet as a separate thing, daubed in peanut butter, since she won't eat them if they're mixed into her breakfast and dinner (and then may not eat the meals either, because ewww, contamination).

2. On my drive back to Ithaca, there was a dead bear on the side of I-380. A BEAR. I have seen roadkill opossums, raccoons, and deer -- to say nothing of innumerable squirrels and birds -- but never a freaking black bear. It may have been a juvenile; it looked a bit scrawny for a full-grown bear.

3. While walking Dottie last night, I spotted a toad hopping between her feet (she missed it completely; her eyesight and hearing have gone fuzzy in her old age) and briefly picked it up to say hello. Then I let it go, of course, because I'm not a monster.

4. My laptop completely died last night. :( Not only is the battery nonfunctional, the power cord is no longer working so I can't even just plug it in and use it as a de facto desktop. I am looking into repair/replacement options, but this is a little tricky because of my work schedule (Tues and Weds 9am-7pm, plus the hours immediately before and after that for dog care) so I may not even be able to take it in to a repair shop until Thursday. *headdesk*

5. Because of the computer woes, I will probably not be online much for the next week. This means I will be even slower about commenting and/or responding to comments than usual, because I only get an hour of free internet at the public library (and that only on non-work days) and it's really hard to type anything long and coherent on my phone. (I am typing this at the rental office, but I'm not supposed to use our internet for personal stuff, so I will be signing out of Dreamwidth as soon as I'm done.)

6. While in NJ, I dropped by Susan's place of work (a pottery) for an hour and a half, and got to shape two pinch-pots as part of a monthly gimmick they're doing for October: a 1000 bowl sale for charity. Susan will pick and apply the glazes, obviously, since I am now back in Ithaca. I may be down in NJ again over the sale weekend (for yet another dogsitting pickup), in which case I might try to buy one of my bowls if they haven't sold yet. :)
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1. Talked with Upstairs Neighbor E about supplementary dogsitting and gave her my new spare key. I will drive down to NJ on Sunday and drive back Monday with Dottie, who will be with me until Wednesday the 28th when my parents will pick her up and head home while I'm at work. But my job at the rental office involves very long days and Dottie needs a mid-afternoon pee break, so I've enlisted Upstairs Neighbor E to drop by between noon and 3pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays to take Dottie outside for a bit.

On Wednesday the 21st, I will just have to take a 45-minute lunch break instead of a 30-minute break and get the person who has admin access to the timekeeping program to adjust my punch times for that day -- which shouldn't be a problem, but I didn't want to say, "Hey, you only just hired me and now I need to inconvenience you by taking extra-long lunch breaks for my next four days," because that is a good way to wear out any welcome grace period really fast.

more items under the cut )

And now on to today's list. :)

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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