Friday, October 31, 2014

A long and winding update

Life at Casa de Jammies has been interesting since the end of September.  It's election season and my boss is running this year, so there have been some volunteer things, but there has also been a slew of replacement appliances both small and large.

First up was the coffee maker.  The old one was one of my parents' old coffee makers which had been replaced when they did an upgrade.  That one died early this year, and I used a 4-cup freebie one I'd gotten years ago from Gevalia while I fiddled around and researched and generally put off buying one.  I did have fun reading online reviews which included comments about how some coffee makers "let too much sentiment into the carafe" but it wasn't until mid-September that I finally made up my mind and got a Technivorm MoccaMaster.  It is worth every single penny.  It's quiet, quick, energy-efficient, makes great coffee and I don't even care that it isn't programmable.  You also get to watch the bubbles as the water boils for the coffee!

Next up was the water heater, which was more than 15 years old, and then a new dishwasher, which was just installed today.  The dishwasher was actually delivered a week ago, but the Home Depot installers wouldn't do anything because the water shutoff was in the basement.  I hired an actual plumber and it turned out to be a bigger job than either of us anticipated.  He was here for over three hours, but it's working now and it's lovely.  As a bonus, because he had to turn off the breaker for the back half of the house, I got the guest bedroom neatened up and all the houseplants into the garage because I wasn't sitting in front of the computer.

When the plumber was done today, he asked what I wanted to do with the old dishwasher.  I asked him to take it to the curb, and he expressed a little concern about whether the city would take it.  I told him that if I had to, I'd call for a special pickup and pay for it, but I was pretty sure a picker would find it before Monday.

After he left, I brushed my teeth, tossed the dog in the basement and ran out to do my grocery shopping.  I was on my way in less than 10 minutes, but my driveway was blocked by a giant pickup truck whose driver had just chucked the old dishwasher in the bed.  I told him he'd never back out of my driveway, but if he pulled into the turnaround I could get past him and then he could get turned around and out.  He said thank you and "I just had to have the dishwasher" which made me grin.

So all is well and warm at Casa de Jammies, and I have had more baths in the last 10 days than I think I had in the 10 months prior!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sometimes I forget...

that MS is a killer.  Then I go to the calling hours of a man only three years my senior, who only in the last few years has re-connected with his grown sons and met his grandchildren, and I remember.

I have been so lucky that MS has only lightly touched me, and overall has not diminished my quality of life.  But the flip side of that coin is that I have a responsibility to be mindful of my luck.  I don't always know what is right, but I know that I can always try harder.

So as I wish healing to the family of a man too young to die, I resolve once more to think about who I am and how I treat others.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

SRK is not nearly as fun as MFK*

But I still need to make a dent in the drifts of paper claiming all the flat surfaces in my house, so I sit here quietly, sorting everything into piles of Shred, Recycle or Keep.

Growing up is severely over-rated.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

I am mercifully NOT currently perched on Rex's Erection with a water gun in my hand

Mercifully because after three days of "Do this.  No, we don't like this.  Do that.  Ha!  Fooled you--do that, but someplace else" from the miserable troglodytes at Express Scripts, I finally have my Lexapro refill.

Ever since Tuesday, when my nurse practitioner called in a new script to my local grocery store pharmacy, Express Shits has turned down the script twice, not told me until I called them, and then given me directions that turned out also not to work.  Everyone I had face-to-face interactions with was so very nice that I couldn't vent my rage, which just made it harder to cope.

Finally, after a second pharmacy was called and was willing to call the first pharmacy to transfer the prescription (since it had been e-mailed in, not faxed or written on paper) and I'd spent most of my breaks and lunches on hold, I got my Lexapro.  Of course, I had to wait for nearly 45 minutes at the second pharmacy because Express Shits kept asking for more info that they didn't have, but I got it.  I no longer feel like a donkey on the edge, and I am no longer tempted to climb a tower with a Super-Soaker in my hand.

Oh, and stop that, you dirty-minded people, I'm talking about a local landmark. :P

Monday, September 01, 2014

In which your humble correspondent is appalled and distressed

Dear Mr. Mann,

Whilst I understand both your modern need to be inclusive and your desire to keep your readers guessing, the inestimable Mr. S. Holmes would never so mangle the Queen's English as to use a plural pronoun with singular verbs and to do so for several paragraphs.  Frankly, I am shocked at this lapse in an otherwise excellent series.  For shame, sir, for shame.

Very Truly Yours,


P.S.  Torturing the language to make it gender-neutral only makes it very clear to the reader that the villain is, in fact, the female character.

Yours, etc.

Friday, August 01, 2014

I'm inclined to say it was ducky.

Both of my nieces and the younger of my nephews are visiting my parents this week, and yesterday I took the day off work and Mom and the kids and I headed to Pittsburgh for the day.  Our drive was largely uneventful, barring a wee bit of a spat towards the end where Mom listened to the end of the directions rather than the whole thing and missed the middle bit, we were parked across the street from Station Square at 11:00 a.m.

We walked through the square and the kids looked at the river for a bit, then walked all the way down it, out the other side and across the street to the Monongahela Incline.  I'd ridden the Dusquene incline in my childhood, but not this one.  Mom of course, had ridden both as a Pittsburgh native.  Super Doughnut was a little nervous for some reason, but everyone enjoyed the ride to the top and the view from Mount Washington.  Then we had a discussion of which three rivers meet in Pittsburgh which ended with me asking the fare-taker if the third was the Allegheny or the Susquehanna.  For the record, the rivers are the Ohio, the Monongahela and the Allegheny.  Then we rode back down, had a nice lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and then lined up for our tour.

The weather was absolutely perfect--warm and sunny but with a nice breeze.  We had an interesting and loud tour through the city, then hit the water.  Literally hit the water, because we took a Just Ducky amphibious tour!  For me, being on the water was the best part, water-loving critter that I am.  I think it was also my niece's best part, because she was one of the kids asked to steer the boat while the guide took a break and the captain talked.  Because she had purple rhinestones on her t-shirt, the captain called her "Captain Sparkle".

After the tour, we walked through the old train station which is now a fancy restaurant, and I forgot to ask Mom if it was still a station when she was a kid.  After some more not-fun with the GPS, we made it back to Mom and Dad's and then I headed home.

By some twist of luck, the first Just Ducky video I found features the same guide we had yesterday, so here's Carol:

Monday, July 28, 2014