Eventful Week

It’s been a busy week.

As noted on Monday, Robin passed his CDL exam.

Tuesday I stayed home sick (cold). Robin went to the DMV and got his temporary paper CDL. Shortly after he got home Wolf called with a paperwork oops. In the afternoon, the Werner recruiter called. Orientation starts Monday (as in tomorrow)…

…AAARGH!!!

Ahem.

The dogs seemed very snuggly the rest of Tuesday.

The first thing Robin did after talking to the recruiter was to institute a fix we’d come up with for the edge of the linoleum at the kitchen/dining room doorway, but hadn’t gotten around to. I love him so much.

Wednesday I made it to work, Thursday and Friday I stayed home sick and tired, while Robin ran here, there, and everywhere getting ready to go and I worked on doll clothes. Being sick I forgot to call a dog-walking service to arrange mid-day trips outside for the dogs.

Orientation is at Werner’s terminal in Indianapolis. They’d have sent him a bus ticket, but Gimi and I are going to take him – they don’t have space for parking/storing personal vehicles. Werner is building/enlarging a terminal in Joliet, so when that’s done Robin will be based there.

Friday night I didn’t sleep, between too much naptime during the day, coughing (drainage), and being unable to get comfortable – both temperature and propping myself up enough to minimize coughing. About midnight I finally got something like comfortable and fell asleep. About 3 AM I woke up (hack hack hack) and tried to poke my iPad to see what time it was. No iPad. WTF?

The sticky holding the metal plate to the case had given way and it had fallen off the wall, fortunately no damage, thank you Otter case. Turning on the light to find my iPad meant the dogs woke up enough for Gimli to demand a trip outside.

I took a blanket downstairs and spent the next couple-three hours on the chaise. I’d considered doing that while it was still Friday night, now I know I should have. Fortunately, I improved enough yesterday that I could sleep with only one extra pillow last night, which my back highly approves of.

Ron is on the way west to Peoria, depending on where he stops and how falling apart I am about my baby bird leaving the nest I may detour to see him on the way home this afternoon/evening.

Quiet Week

Not a lot to report since the last blog post. I do seem to be settling into a routine on the weekends: Work on Otter Necessities-related stuff on Saturday; and on Sunday I change water in the aquaria and while doing that eat lunch, fold laundry, and clean Baljeet’s tub; around the water change I do dishes and continue work on Otter stuff.

Sunday afternoon/evening, Robin went looking in the refrigerator for feta. Didn’t find any we were willing to eat, but he did clean out a lot of other things that had been lurking in the depths of the ‘fridge for far too long. While he was at it I stayed out of the way and emptied a bin that had, at some point, migrated out to the dining room and was mostly just wasting space. The bin itself was badly cracked, and the few things it contained were easily put away in more sensible spots in the kitchen and pantry.

The eclipse was, of course, really cool, what could be seen through the clouds (and I didn’t have eclipse goggles). Ron was in central Illinois, and it was also cloudy. Sounds like traffic heading north wasn’t too bad for him.

Ron was originally going to be home Monday evening, but they needed a load taken to Green Bay. That wasn’t happening due to Ron’s available drive time, so he dropped the trailer off near Milwaukee, and came home Tuesday morning. I had a routine doctor’s appointment mid-afternoon, so I got to spend part of the afternoon with him, yay. The dogs snubbed him for a couple/few hours, but were done with the snubbing by the time I got home.

Robin is going to Escanaba, MI . . . at some point. My sister is buying a house, and had moving covered until closing date changed, and she asked if Robin would be willing/able to help. And then it changed again. And again. Kiely is Not Pleased, and I don’t blame her! Not sure what the moving plan is now.

More natter on the Otter blog, I think that’s about it here.

Mid-August Already?

Last week was reasonably quiet. Or maybe not, re-reading? Are schools really re-opening this week and next? I’m not complaining about not having really high temperatures, but I’m having trouble grokking that we’re already halfway through August.

Ron went back on the road Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon/evening I went to the yard twice – on the way home to retrieve food Ron thought he left in the SUV but actually left in the pantry, and with Robin after he got home from gaming to fetch home the SUV, since the Kia was acting up. That was repaired and Robin picked it up today (John & Scott’s was busy last week), so we met at the yard tonight to drop the SUV off and proceeded to get dinner on the way home.

Thursday afternoon I went to the doctor for a UTI. At least the antibiotics kick in quickly.

Saturday I did mostly Otter Necessities stuff (natter over on the Otter blog), with breaks to hunt for an un-eaten mouse, and check snake water bowls while I was hunting. Scatha has taken over hiding un-eaten mice from Tanis, apparently. Earlier in the day Ron had obtained pasties and crossed the Mackinac bridge at about 20 mph (truck speed limit) in very nice weather. That knowledge did not help the mouse hunt. I eventually consoled myself with sorbet, fetched by Robin.

Yesterday I did some Otter stuff, and more general housekeeping. I got groceries, changed water in the aquaria, continued the battle against snake mites in Baljeet’s tub (cautiously optimistic that we’re winning), worked on doll clothes, folded laundry, did dishes, and made skirt steak and dressing for dinner with Robin’s help. And did not vacuum the living room and front entry, which in no way look like the cleaning fairies just came Tuesday. Part of the Otter stuff meant straightening up in the dining room and front entry (including throwing some stuff away), which led to tracking shredded aspen around from the front entry. And there was also a lint explosion from a load of white towels/rags.

Saturday Gimli was very worried, as moving Otter stuff around looked too much like getting ready for MuseCon for his comfort. He was better yesterday, I think because things were getting more put away.

MuseCon Report

Looks like I last posted on Tuesday of last week.

I’d been on the MuseCon Board for about two years. If you recall a previous post, we had an un-planned ConCom meeting back on July 1 to deal with some bumps in the road. Over the last couple months I’d come to the decision that it was about time for me to be done, with changes at home and whatnot. More than once Ron convinced me that I should stick out the last bit of my term, until elections in September.

On Wednesday, dealing with things directly or indirectly related to said bumps in the road made it clear that my I’d developed too many differences of opinion to other board members to make my continued tenure useful. So I resigned. And if you see my Facebook posts, completely ran out of fucks.

Anyway, Thursday I finished up MuseCon signage and sent it to be printed, finished up Otter Necessities stuff, getting all the merchandise I planned to take into the Point of Sale (PoS) inventory and tagged (except I couldn’t find my tiny safety pins to tag doll clothes, so the tags were just tucked inside kosode).

Friday morning Robin helped me stuff the dogs into a truck, I dropped them off of the vet’s for boarding, stopped at JoAnn to get a dress form-shaped pincushion to display doll clothes on, forgot little safety pins, stopped at Kinko’s for signage, Then to the hotel. By then I was slightly less devoid of fucks. I got signage either put up or distributed, talked to some people, ordered dinner, and was very happy to see Ron when he finally arrived – he went from Iron Mountain to L’Anse where he swapped trailers, stopped at a drop yard south of Milwaukee to swap trailers, then home, without running out of 11 hours of drive-time in 14 hours of on-duty time.

Saturday Ron and Robin both helped me set up two tables and a triangle of gridwall in the vendor’s room, and I theoretically supervised the room. Since there were 5 vendors in total, it wasn’t a very hard job. Sales weren’t bad, but I’m not used to doing such a small event any more (I think attendance was in the 200-225 neighborhood).

Yesterday we packed up, checked out, Ron and I headed toward home had breakfast, did some grocery shopping, picked up the dogs, were glad to see Robin eventually get home, started dehydrating vegetables, and marinated skirt steak for jerky. Dogs were very happy to see us, and we were very happy to see them.

Today we did even less: Dehydrated the jerky, ran to JoAnn to pick up an American Girl doll clone I’d ordered on-line for store pickup, and Robin and I took stuff back to the storage locker.

I’ve reserved space for Otter at the Fremd HS holiday craft fair at the beginning of December, and will probably also get space at the Palatine HS version the Saturday before Windycon. Fremd is the other HS in Palatine, and both are one-day events. I plan on taking no more than I can cope with myself – purses, satchels, buckled belts, doll clothes, books, and maybe potion bottles.

How I Spent My Summer Not-Vacation

Short Version:

Last week I got tummyaches and backaches and they didn’t get better and got really bad, and Friday night/Saturday morning I was wondering if I should go to the ER. Saturday I was a little better and I mostly-finished the MuseCon program book and really-finished it on Sunday and sent it to the printer. Then I went to Kenosha to see Ron and still had a tummyache and had dinner and came home and more tummyache. Monday morning I went to the ER, and eventually they said it was my gall bladder’s fault and admitted me. On Tuesday they took my gall bladder out and yesterday I went home and now I’m kinda sore and really really tired but no more tummyache, exactly. The end.

Plus Some Other Natter:

So, I’m pretty sure that the assumed food poisoning I had back on July 5th was actually a gall bladder attack. And the tummyaches and backaches last week seemed to start out as plausibly the usual monthly discomfort in my lower abdomen.

My target date for getting the MuseCon book to the printer was actually Monday, Tuesday at the latest. But I think my subconscious was telling me that I really was sick and it wasn’t going to just go away/end well, so get the damn thing done. And I did.

I drove myself to the ER, which I believe amazed some of the hospital staff. The abdominal pain at that point, when I was poked and prodded, was between my appendix and gall bladder. And I got pain and anti-nausea meds, yay! If I understood correctly, CT didn’t show my appendix at all (or else the doctor meant it didn’t show as abnormal), and is lousy for the gall bladder; so then it was time for ultrasound, which required much pressing down on uncomfortable bits.

Meanwhile, Ron was waiting in line to unload in Kenosha…for about 5 hours after his 7 am appointment. His original schedule was that he was supposed to do another short run back to the same place.

Ultrasound showed no gall stones, but thickening/inflammation of the gall bladder wall. The ER doctor kinda implied not having it operated on right away was a possibility, but since I wasn’t going to get better without getting rid of it, my response was to go for it.  So he called the surgeon and I waited.

Because of all the waiting to get unloaded the first time, Ron didn’t have time to make the second trip before running out of available on-duty time, and eventually got his truck down to the yard and then to the hospital.

Blah blah blah admitted blah blah blah, Tuesday night blah blah blah, originally scheduled for 6:00 pm Tuesday surgery, but then midday it got moved up to, oh, right now. Which still involves a certain amount of time between leaving my room and the operation starting blah blah blah. Surgery, waking up in a panic and demanding Ron and I have a vague memory of having a grip on a recovery nurse before they got Ron to me (before he’d normally be allowed to see me), blah blah blah, recovery, back up to room, blah blah blah.

So, even Tuesday night I was feeling better – still sore from 5 holes in my abdomen (laproscopic surgery for the win!), especially the main one. Blah blah blah recovery, another night in the hospital blah blah blah home early afternoon yesterday to SHOWER. And recover. Not bothering with narcotic painkillers, Alleve seems to be sufficient. No energy, though. Taking off through at least Tuesday to recover, Ron goes on duty tomorrow morning, but I have Robin to help with the dogs.

The end. For real.

Busy Week

Let’s see, I last posted Wednesday. But I forgot to mention that my truck acted up on the way to work, so I dropped it off at the shop.

Ron had been over to his truck for one reason or another every day since getting home, a pattern which continued all week long. Yes, pretty sure that the week off after orientation & training is for truck setup.

Thursday felt like Friday.

Friday I took off for birthday party (mine belated 50th, and Ron’s). I didn’t get quite as much done as I could have. The shop called, they couldn’t get my truck to act up (it had done it once previously, a week or so before, so not a surprise). Probably a transmission thing, choices were to start poking around in the transmission or to wait and see. We opted for wait and see, so all I paid for was the oil change they’d also done.

Saturday morning we had a MuseCon meeting to iron out some bumps that had come up in the road. Which was held in our back yard, and added to the party preparation fun. Between the meeting and the party several strong people got into the trailer and got out gridwall, which is now packed in Mongo the truck until MuseCon.

Then we had the party, which was a little lower-key than Ron’s 50th last year, but still fun. I didn’t go quite as overboard on food, either. Pen met and held Ying, my big carpet python. Other snakes got to come out and be social. Dogs did not for much of the day, due to allergic humans in the house, but survived without *too* much complaining. And when they did come out Gimli decided that Doug was his new favorite person.

Saturday, thanks to the wonder of Amazon Prime, we got a solar trickle charger and a giant stuffed bear skin that were ordered Saturday; and Ron ran to JoAnn and picked up 10 pounds of stuffing for said bear. The trickle charger is so that my truck can go to the yard and be left without the battery running down while Ron is on the road – we’d been waffling about one, but figured it could wait as we thought my truck would be in the shop until the middle of this week, as they were busy. The bear and stuffing are Ron’s co-pilot. There were many interesting comments while Ron stuffed the bear during the party. Most were of questionable taste. Bear is more orange the light brown than Ron was expecting, so it was named Sweet Potato, as in the famous “I Has a Sweet Potato” blog post on LJ.

Ron was supposed to go back on duty at 9:00 am yesterday. He didn’t have a load assigned Saturday night, or when he got up in the morning. Went to the yard, was ready to go, and still no load. I brought his perishable food and a couple other things I found in Mongo, and still no load. I went off fabric shopping, went home, and about lunchtime Ron came home to lurk around the house. Still no load. Fleet Manager said try again in the evening. Nada. This morning they finally had a load, to be picked up in Madison on Wednesday. So Ron’s home for two more days. Waiting and not knowing when he’d get a load was frustrating for him, so this is an improvement.

This morning we discovered that Tanis the corn snake’s enclosure was infested with whopping big flies. Mr. Shop Vac was called into service to suck most of them up, then we completely changed her substrate. As far as I can see they spontaneously teleported in, and that’s the explanation I’m sticking with, especially since we cleaned snake cages on Friday. Then we did some running around – to the yard to get some stuff Ron had left in the truck that he’d need/want before Wednesday; to Dick Blick to NOT use a coupon that was for Michaels, not Dick Blick, oops; lunch; back to the truck for Ron’s trucker’s atlas tablet; and then home with a brief stop for me to run in at Osco for dairy enzyme pills.

This afternoon, since Mr. Shop Vac was sitting out I cleaned up the dog hair and whatnot from the window sill behind the couch, sucked the dust off the fireplace screen, and blew the dust and whatnot off the downstairs bathroom window screen. A little off on the timing, I should have done those things Friday. Oops.

And I’m working on the MuseCon program book. Yes, it’s long, grim slog of doom time. For reasons related to bumps in the road I’ve simplified the page-layout in the programming section a bit, which is making it easier, but smooshing down said bumps will be adding other complexity to make up for it.

I have no special plans for tomorrow, except to cook the rack of ribs I got and forgot to cook on Saturday, and I’m thinking it would be an appropriate time to watch “Independence Day: Resurgence”, probably after watching “Independence Day”. And I expect I’ll be putting Gimli’s Thunder Shirt on tonight. He could have used it last night, but we realized that only after we were in bed, and it was downstairs. Fortunately, although we’ve always had one dog afraid of bangs, they’ve never been of the panic and tear around trying to escape variety of fear. The “worst” problem we had was when I gave Lobo a tranquilizer that kicked in before we went to bed, and Ron had to carry the resulting 65-pound puddle of limp husky up the stairs.  🙂

A Week in Bullet-Points

I feel like doing some bullet-points today!

CDL training:

  • Ron’s been driving on the road, and “real” driving, out on “real” roads, not just circles around the industrial park.
  • Saturday’s instructor thinks he needs just a few more hours and he’ll be able to pass the test.
  • Which is good, because he tests a week from today.

Drawing:

  • Saturday night I started coloring the large version of “Shai-Hulud and the Fremice”. I’d had some reservation about a change I’d made to once of the mice’s legs, in ink, but decided to carry on.
  • And discovered that the reviews that said to use the back side of the Bienfang marker paper (relative to how it is bound in the pad) were correct.
  • So I abandoned that drawing, and will try again, soonish.
    Instead, I did “Smaug has a Flower”, pretty much a copy of a photo we took a couple years ago, with a baby Smaug peeking around a plastic aquarium plant.
  • I modified it so the flower is more like an impressionistic peony.
    Got carried away with the green around things, but not horribly.
  • I need to go back and add some darker shading on a couple of Smaug’s light spots. Which may not true to the photo, but as-is they look wrong.
  • Ordered three books (by one author) for myself, two on imaginary creature design and science, and the third a gallery of the author’s imaginary creatures.
  • A couple weeks ago we were at Dick Blick, and Ron found a good sized (11 x 17-ish, or it may be the A-series paper sizing analoge) LED-driven light box on sale. I said get it and call it my birthday present.
  • It is nice – Ron didn’t see a point in making me wait to use it, so I traced the Fremice using it. IIRC maybe half an inch thick, and adjustable brightness.

Weekend Natter:

  • Friday night I was pretty much a slug.
  • Saturday we were pretty much slugs, until it was time for Ron to go drive, when I worked on drawing, as nattered about above.
  • I did get my hair cut on Saturday.
  • Yesterday we were less slugly.
  • Robin had to go to open at Pizza Workplace (after closing Saturday night, boo hiss), and Ron felt like getting out of the house.
  • We waffled between Brookfield Zoo and the Field Museum, with extra “do-anything-at-all?” waffling because my back was stiff.
  • I was leaning toward the Field Museum, which led to “drive or train?” waffling.
  • I checked the Metra schedule. Train was leaving Palatine in 13 minutes. Fortunately, the dogs were already in their crates and we had our shoes on. To the Mongo-truck! (Trains only run every 2 hours on Sundays).
  • Yes, we made it, with a few minutes to spare.
  • Free parking on the weekends, lots of open spaces in the garage, and the Ventra app for ticketing helped make it easier.
  • Brunch at Ogilve station, then a taxi to the museum.
  • Since I couldn’t find my Field Museum membership card, which I never remembered getting anyway, we approached the member service desk humbly, craving their assistance.
  • Which was very pleasantly rendered. Cards should be (re-) sent.
  • We saw the “Tattoo”, “Specimens”, “Cyrus Tang Hall of China”, and some other bits of regular exhibitions on the way in and out of the named ones.
  • Those all happened to be on the west side of the museum, which is where I spent my visit last time. Next time I need to go through some of the stuff on the east side. Just because.
  • Ron took some pictures, mostly playing with his new wide-angle lens and the automatic HDRI mode on his camera.
  • Decided it was time to go, stopped at one of the shop for a couple books that called to me and weren’t available as e-books, and was also called to by another book that was available as an e-book, which I got that way, then out to a taxi.
  • I’d been pointedly not checking the Metra schedule at all until we got into the station and checked the board at the foot of the escalators.
  • Next train on the Northwest line was leaving in 5 minutes. Made it, but without time to get something to drink.
  • Got home, found and consumed beverages, and were slugly for a while.
  • Then I made dinner, loaded the dishwasher, and we were slugly for the rest of the evening.

Critters:

  • Beagles are snuggly creatures.
  • Pippin contends he’s not snuggly, he’s just forced into contact with us because we don’t give him enough space on the couch or bed.
  • Lummy has apparently decided he does not like radiccio this week.
  • Snake enclosure rearranging (moving a couple from the bedroom to the living room, who’s in which, and upgrading Kajura) following on from moving BPs to tubs has not proceeded. See above re: “slugly”.
  • The largish enclosure that’s been on order for a couple months arrived last week. Still un-assembled, re: slugly, again. I think Fezzik will be moved to it.
  • Nor have vacated glass enclosures been removed to storage. Yeah, slugly.
  • Got some indented kraft paper to try as a substrate for Buford, who has a certain special scent all his own, and which is probably best dealt with by more frequent complete substrate changes.
  • Large sheets of paper should be faster/simpler to change than shredded aspen, which is best removed with a shop-vac, and fresh stuff always always escapes and gets spread around the room while being put in enclosures.

Aaand, I think that’s about it.

Doing Things

I had another out-of-town conference last week, this time Tuesday-Thursday in Galena, IL. Very pretty town, reminds me of Houghton/Hancock. It’s a river town, with *real* *hills*. Only about a 2-and-a-half hour drive away, and I didn’t have to drive there. I rode with a co-worker, and drove a new-to-us pool car back (old one went in for an oil change, and was declared dead due to rusted-out frame). I stayed at the DeSoto House hotel, which is reputed to be haunted, but I didn’t see any ghosts. I sketched a lot of snakes.

Yesterday I scanned the sketches, enlarged three of them by cropping and printing to as large as possible on letter-sized paper, then traced one onto ledger-sized vellum-ish marker paper, and inked and colored it with my Copic markers. I also did the same with some I did at the floodplain manager’s conference earlier this month (see G+). Not sure if I’m getting better, or if the one I did yesterday was just an easier one to do – the snake in question has simple, bold patterning, and a simple head-shape. OTOH, the background is not a mess, despite being experimental.

Got the Otter Necessities Etsy shop up and running again.

Yesterday and today I did Otter’s business taxes and our personal taxes. Haven’t filed yet, I want Ron to check and see if I missed any bits.

Ron’s CDL training continues, hopefully soon he will actually be allowed to get his butt in the seat and learn to drive.

Working on learning to read German. I had two years of German in HS, and a few bits have stuck with me, so not quite starting from scratch. Ron’s trying to learn conversational Latin American Spanish.

Last weekend I made three small snake jungle gyms. Moresby had taken to perching on the power cord for his light, so he got a simple one since his enclosure is very short. Scatha and Diaval got two level ones with a platform on the upper level, as they’ve got more headroom. Scatha approves, she hasn’t moved off hers – partly because she went into shed. Moresby has been soaking for the last day or so, he may be going into shed. He continues to be sweet-natured. Kajura is feisty, which may be their (don’t know their gender, so I’m using gender-neutral pronouns) nature, or may be just scared-baby defensiveness. Kajura’s also a very good eater.

This evening I made a DeviantArt account – MrsMorelia.deviantart.com I wanted to be Prognathodon, but somebody already had that userid. I’ve posted the enlarged color versions of my snake drawings, and a couple of the pencil sketches. In a definite ego-boost, I had people favoriting things almost immediately.

Higgledy-Piggledy Month

Since I last posted things have kind of turned upside-down and inside-out and higgledy-piggledy.

Ron and Toshiba have amicably separated, as of February 1.

Ron is working on getting a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) endorsement, so he can drive big trucks. At this point he’s passed the written exams for his CDL learner’s permit, not sure when he gets behind the wheel.

Since Ron has been at home, he and Robin made most of the baked goods we sent to the Capricon Cafe – banana bread, corn muffins, and many different kinds of scones (I did a few scones).

Nageswari definitely seems to be getting more used to us – she’s been seen out soaking several times.

Robin cleaned the pantry a couple weeks ago. Wow, space!

I could *not* come up with any good ideas for birthday/Christmas presents for my Mom, and finally in a fit of possible insanity I ordered her a reproduction china doll (with soft body) similar to mine, and sent here a couple Japanese-style outfits. She was thrilled. Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!

More natter about things that have been worked on over at the Otter blog.

Last Monday I fell off the step-stool while spot-cleaning snake enclosures. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Mostly just stiff Tuesday, pretty sore and uncomfortable (and stayed home) Wednesday and Thursday.

I was going to do some sewing last Monday afternoon, but instead I spent the day flopping around the couch being sore and headachey (did go to acute care, they didn’t think I needed imaging after physical and basic neuro exam).

We have new neighbors (house to the north sold, finally), Mom, Dad, and four grade-school-ish boys. They seem very nice.

The weather last weekend was insane. 30-40 degrees F would have been warm for Capricon weekend. Mid-60s was mind-boggling. Then last week lower-70s.

Had the house open to get fresh air in much of last weekend.

Then it got cold again, and so for the last week or more I’ve been reminded on or off that my sinuses hate big temperature swings.

Capricon: Robin commuted and worked for Dave, Ron commuted and lurked around the Cafe a bit, I stayed home.

We have a new stove, since the oven died in the old one (a while back).

Also a “portable” countertop dishwasher. Was not willing to sacrifice more floor/counter space to a larger unit.

Got rid of the full-sized dish drainer and mat, and obtained a small mat and a roll-up grate-mat that can sit across the sink for larger items that don’t go in the dishwasher (cast iron, larger pots & pans, etc.).

The downstairs bathroom faucet has been replaced with a high-arch bar faucet, with a hose adapter, and there’s a coil-y hose with good spray head hanging on a rack in the bathroom. Watering snakes is much simpler now.

Got the drafting table mostly cleaned off again (see Otter blog), and used my big cutting mat.

Did sewing this weekend – two vests and a jacket, all un-lined. The jacket is kimono-style, vests have kimono-style collars, and square shoulders. Finished the vests, except for a good pressing that will hopefully tame trim issues on one, hand-sewing on the jacket to go.

Vests are to wear over mock-tee shirts at the annual floodplain managers’ conference next week.

Waiting on a new enclosure for Fezzik, Tanami, or Nageswari – depends on how big they all are when it arrives in a couple months. Yes, a long wait, but worth it.

Natter, Not Politics

Posting seems to have gotten irregular again, eh what?

I voted last week Thursday, so I can enjoy my day off (one of the actual perks to being a Mind-Numbing Bureaucratic Ghoul is getting General Election Day off, which IIRC is every other year). Aaaaand, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Braising a cut-up pork shoulder roast for dinner. Still haven’t gotten the big oven repaired, so I’m doing it on the stovetop in my big enameled cast-iron dutch oven.

After a week of having a 6-ft table set up at the end of the living room I was ready for finding a better table/stand/something for Lummy. Friday a week and a bit ago I on-line shopped Ikea, then did a commando attack on the way home. I got an Ingo table, which is a fraction of an inch under 4′ long, and about 30″ wide, so a decent fit for the 2′ x 4′ stock tank. I also got an Ivar chest of drawers to sit under it, and an Ivar shelf for the chest to sit on, since it is designed to sit on/in an Ivar shelf unit, not directly on the floor, so has no bottom-edge clearance. The light-wood Ikea-ization of the living room continues!

That Saturday morning Ron assembled the table and chest, while I “read” the directions, and Robin cleared off his desk. Then we moved things into position, including Lummy and his hardware. Much better. The desk will be going to Windycon to be Mongol-expressed to a new owner. The 6-ft table is still lurking around the living room, but at least in a folded-up state. I think that was the major accomplishment that weekend.

Last week was a week. I got fed up waiting for my order of seeds for Lummy-food and ordered from a different place, so now I have two batches on the way. Oh well, some can be saved to seed his outdoor pen come spring. I also started researching materials cost for an outdoor pen. Currently, landscaping timbers are winning (vs. retaining wall blocks) in terms of not breaking the bank, or our backs. Given our gravel-pit excuse for a yard, the pen will bear a certain resemblance to a raised garden bed.

The most recent past weekend I did . . . Not a lot.

I started making a CAD drawing of our yard, working from our Plat of Survey and measurements for things not shown on the plat. I’m also going to include the septic field. The year of the Plumbing Catastrophe on ACen setup day I scanned the sketch we have of the septic field (made when the house was built and the field installed), but it doesn’t seem to have transferred over to the new computer. The old desktop is in Robin’s room, when he gets home from work I’ll find out if it would be less effort to boot that machine up and (hopefully) get the scan off of it, or dig the original septic field drawing out of the safe and re-scan.

The tortoise pen is planned for the top tier of the back yard, but we haven’t decided north or south side. South side means trundling material farther by hand/cart/wheelbarrow (no driving across septic tank/lines), but is more screened from neighborly attention by shrubbery. North side is easier to get to for materials, but room has to be left for septic-tank access, and there’s less visual screening (or shade).

I had a short attack of new-guitar lust on Sunday, but it was beaten off with a trip to Barnes and Noble. Where I didn’t buy anything, as it happens, but Ron got a Lego Wall-E. Yeah, I went to a bookstore and didn’t get any books. Shocking, I know. Blame e-books.

When Robin gets home from work I’m going to run out to PetWhatsit and get some more coco coir substrate for Lummy, so he has more burrowing depth. Seeds are expected Thursday, so I need to get more substrate in Real Soon Now. He’s also got a different UVB bulb and fixture on the way, the spotlight UVB bulb isn’t getting a lot of the tank, and a number of keepers have had issues with the compact-fluorescent bulbs messing up tortoises’ eyes. The fixture holds two tube-style fluorescent bulbs, and comes with a couple daylight-color tubes. The plan is to run one UVB bulb, and one light-only bulb, plus the ceramic heat bulb in the spot fixture. A lot of people like mercury-vapor bulbs for UVB and heat combined, but I’d prefer to control heat and light separately, and the MVBs are still a spot-type bulb.

How odd, even though the door is open, I have all three dogs on the couch with me. Must be nap time. Which reminds me, I hate time changes, even the fall-back get an extra hour sleep one.