Monday, June 30, 2008

Honor thy father

means not killing him, right?

Clearwater was typically non-specific about the arrival time of the water softener installer, so I was home and changed out of my work clothes by noon. Dad arrived about quarter after, and was pouty because the work I'd brought home was stuff I had to do on the computer. After his little hissyfit, he stomped out to the garage to hook a battery charger up to my lawnmower while the coffee he'd pretty much demanded I make was brewing. At some point after Dad went to the garage but before he came back in, Bigfoot pooped on the breezeway floor.

On his way back in, Dad not only stepped in it, but failed to notice that he'd done so, and he tracked it through the breezeway, the kitchen, the hallway and the bathroom. When I told him what had happened, he got angry with poor old Bigfoot and angry with me, and bitched and whined about how it would never come out of the treads of his shoes. NB: I took them outside and used the pinpoint setting on my sprayer head and they cleaned up perfectly. Dad put his shoes back on, poured coffee into his traveling mug (leaving a small pond of coffee on the kitchen counter for me) and went to the bank and to do some shopping. He told me to call him when the service guy arrived, but he came back at 2:00 and no one was here yet.

I closed all my files and told Dad he could have the computer for ONE. HOUR. At 3:15, I basically had to bully him into giving it up, and he told me I hadn't given him enough time to put the keyboard, monitor and speakers back where they were. After rebooting and re-arranging, I went back to work on my book. Dad installed the new bathroom fan, and I had to go admire it.

The guy finally showed up at 4:05, and I put Littlefoot in my bedroom and tied Bigfoot up outside. Dad borrowed one of my garden hoses to drain the hot water heater, put a "severe kink" in it and then borrowed my good snips to cut it apart. It started to rain, so I let poor Bigfoot back in and got yelled at for not keeping him out of the basement, despite the fact that Dad is the one leaving the damn door open every time he goes down there.

Right now, the guy's still down there installing, Dad is wandering around being a major grump, the water's still off and I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally need to piddle.

I need to send my mother flowers for putting up with him for forty-six years!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sweat equity

Mom & I worked for four hours at the law office today, then had breakfast for lunch at a neat little local cafe, then worked three more hours on a house she's cleaning out for a guardianship. For those three hours of working in yucky heat & humidity dragging things down the stairs or up the stairs and out of the house, I earned four plastic outdoor chairs, an aluminum outdoor lounge, a recliner in decent condition, four or five books on gardening and a beautiful old steamer trunk with a domed lid.

I ache in every muscle and while I am clean and no longer sweaty, I miss being able to soak muscle aches out in the tub. I have my bath for Monday night all planned out--Aura Suavis bubble bar & shower gel, plus the spearmint/geranium Winter Stress Relief OOAK perfume from BPAL. Maybe I should have a ticker for hours left until bathtime. ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Who, me?

The Little Mermaid put me in for our "Helping a co-worker" award and I got a nice e-mail and a $10 gift card for Starbucks. I'm all blushy and sniffly.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


You wouldn't think two hours of work and six hours of training would be more tiring than eight hours of work, but I'm exhausted.

My arm hurts like hell.

Driving home was a nightmare--the rain was so heavy the freeway traffic was at a standstill.

I burned my tongue.

*looks at ticker*

I can haz JammiesFest naow?

Oh, and be jealous--the lovely Kogi sent me a commemorative mug.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let there be (drinkable) water

Yes, there will be water in time for JammiesFest '08. Rob will not have to worry about remembering which is the potable water if he wakes up in the middle of the night, and I will be a relaxed and happy Jammies owing to my renewed ability to bathe.

On either June 30th (hopefully) or July 7th (more likely), Clearwater Systems will be installing a new AquaSystems Smart Choice 200 model water softener.

I'm so excited I may go organize my bath products, and I am already debating what scent my celebratory bath should be.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Buggre All This Everything

The following is from Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible.* The lengthy compositor's error, if such it may be called, occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse five:

2. And bye the border of Dan, fromme the east side to the west side, a portion for Afher.
3. And bye the border of Afhter, fromme the east side even untoe the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
4. And bye the border of Naphtali, from the east side untoe the west side, a portion for Manaffeh.
5. Buggre all this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typeƒettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbeƒticke. I telle you, onne a daye laike thif Ennywone half an oz. of Sense should bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thiƒ mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workeƒhoppe. @*"Æ@;!*
6 And bye the border of Ephraim, from the east fide even untoe the west fide, a portion for Reuben.

*[The Buggre Alle This Bible was also noteworthy for having twenty seven verses in the third chapter of Genesis, instead of the more usual twenty four.

They followed verse 24, which in the King James version reads:

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life," and read:

25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.

It appears that these verses were inserted during the proof stage. In those days it was common practice for printers to hang proof sheets to the wooden beams outside their shops, for the edification of the populace and some free proofreading, and since the whole print run was subsequently burned anyway, no one bothered to take up this matter with the nice Mr. A. Ziraphale, who ran the bookshop two doors along and was always so helpful with the translations, and whose handwriting was instantly recognizable.]

It was this passage (or paƒƒage) which made me realize that I am essentially a high-tech typesetter (not that I mind, it's actually good to have a label to use when I need to answer the "What do you do" question). After last week, I'd replace "Master Scraggs" with "Miƒtreƒƒ Patricia," but other than that, I'm familiar with the temptation.

Got my water softener estimates today. The good news is that it's not $3,500 or even $3,000 but probably more like $1,800-$1,900. The bad news is that is 95 Ladies of the Grindhouse, 158 Body Glaze Samplers or just under 30 dog baths!

Dad was a big help this afternoon, asking questions and letting me think out loud after all the salesmen had left. He also took a look at my bathroom fan, couldn't fix it, and took the carcass away to get a new one (which I hope will be installed before JammiesFest). He also did all my Windows updates and admired my Kogimugs (but refused to use one on the grounds that he would feel awful if he broke it). It was a productive afternoon if not an exciting one.

It looks as if JammiesFest will have usable water but possibly a lot of ramen on the menu. Ahh well, the most important thing is the time with the friends willing to drive all this way to be here. :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Jammies without a bath is like

...any unpleasant simile, really. I am sore and cranky and all rumpled up in my soul. Plus my bathtub is blue with orange from my showers (which are so very not the same as a bath) and my dishwasher is a giant drying rack and I'm worried about doing laundry.

On Monday there are three companies coming to give me estimates, and my dad is going to try to be here. Nothing like a Monday full of grumpy old men. :P

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Zombies, pants and Oompa Loompa water

My custom sock zombie arrived from Erin. As a result of a discussion Mallie, Becs and I had a while back, his name is Izbin. He is so freaking cute that I keep expecting him to ask "I can has bwains?" and looking into his one big and one small green eye, I would say yes, because he is adorable.

Littlefoot has no pants. He spent last Friday at the groomer's, and came home fluffy, sweet-smelling, wearing a triangle of cloth with a puppy print on it, and pantsless. His formerly Jiffy Pop butt is now sleek and you can see his cute little feet! He keeps nudging the "bandana" as if to ask me to put it back on him, which I will do for JammiesFest.

Speaking of JammiesFest, I am awaiting loan approval so I can get a new water softener. Because my water is dark orange thanks to all the iron in it, I am on both a no-buy (meaning no spending fun money) and a no-bath for the foreseeable future. I just hope I can get it fixed before JammiesFest. *sigh*

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I've never thought of myself that way!

Yesterday afternoon, I loaded all of my Home Depot purchases onto one of those big flatbed carts they have and headed up to the register. The cashier asked me, in a tone of surprise, if I had loaded everything in by myself. When I said yes, she asked why I hadn't asked for help (ummm, because I didn't think to!). The only time I have asked for help was the last time I bought topsoil at Ace Hardware, and then only because I stopped on my way to a dinner engagement and I didn't want to get dirty.

I got a similar reaction every time I bought a carload of mulch and helped load it and when I turn down help loading the fifty-pound bag of dog food I buy every month. I keep getting comments about how strong I must be. My internal response is that it's really not all that awesome to be able to heave things around for a short time--"strong" is the people who load all this crap I buy onto and off of trucks, etc.

It makes me wonder if it is my appearance (short, fat, elderly) which makes people surprised about my ability to carry things. Or is it that Americans in general have gotten in the habit of having others do things for us? Perhaps it falls somewhere in between, but I feel a little weird being admired for something that really isn't all that special, although I will cherish the comment the Home Depot cashier made on my way out.

"I sure wouldn't want to mess with you!"


Friday, June 13, 2008

I'll admit it--sometimes I am five

From 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., I was a responsible adult. I paid my bills, did my job, drove safely, had yogurt for breakfast, etc.

But when I left work, I went and spent my "allowance" on retaining bricks, limestone gravel, marble chips and potting soil. Then I picked up a soft, slimmer, tangle-free, sweet-scented and very adorable Littlefoot at the groomer's (bless his dumb little heart, he tried to walk out through the picture window).

After dinner, I went out and spread the limestone gravel in the soggy spot in my back flowerbed, then covered it over with the last four bags of mulch. I got four tomatos planted and about 2/3 of the stones on top of the first layer of the round bed in the front yard.

Then the thunderstorm started.

Instead of going inside, I kept potting and playing out in the rain. I splashed around in puddles in the driveway, cleared the driveway drain about three times, sang to myself and had a great time. When I came in, I was utterly drenched and filthy, and while I did towel off most of the dirt and wash my arms, my bath is going to feel amazing tonight. And yes, my inner five year old will be happy with bubbles and glitter!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Because leaving your side door unlocked is exactly like wearing a miniskirt just invites rape.

Never mind that it's a side door.

Never mind that you can't tell if a door is locked unless you try it.

Never mind that anyone trying to open a stranger's door probably doesn't have a whole lot of nice things in mind.

Leave your door unlocked and get assaulted and raped, at least according to one big-mouthed member of the RCMP.

Here's my letter to the editor, feel free to write your own:

I'm sure anyone with criminal intent is very comforted to know that Cpl. Buxley will excuse rape & assault on the basis of an unlocked door which isn't visible from the street. How nice for the bad guys.

I'm so ticked I can't see straight right now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fun stuff!

I've fallen absolutely in love with a webcomic called "Narbonic." Evil scientists, computer geeks, genetically engineered gerbils and steampunk. What's not to love?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Things not to do on Monday

At least not in this particular order:

1. Apply hydrocortisone cream to itchy spot on left hand, using fingers of right hand.
2. Alternate between using pen & highlighter with right hand.
3. Nibble thoughtfully on end of pen.
4. Wonder why your lips are numb.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

I haz a zombie!

He is custom made from socks I sent Erin. You should go look at him and then buy a different zombie from her!

Oh, and Erin gave me a high-water mark in my life. I mean, how often does someone say to you, "Yours [zombie] is done, Jammies, I'm just waiting for his blood to dry"?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Great big scary Littlefoot-eating monsters

apparently have taken up residence in my back yard. Littlefoot will not go outside after dark unless I am with him, and even then, he is more interested in going back inside than he is in emptying his bladder. He started this silly behavior over the holiday weekend, and I chalked it up to the fact that my neighbors were outside having a bonfire until quite late. It's been a week now and he's still timid, so I don't know what's up. It's possible that he's scared of the deer (assuming there are some in the back yard most nights, which wouldn't surprise me) or scared of the little grey catling or who knows. I really hope that what I saw briefly on my way home one night last week wasn't a coyote, although if there are some in the area, that would be a reasonable thing for JiffyPopButt to be afraid of.

Speaking of the little grey cat, all of the no-kill shelters are full, Animal Control offered to send someone out to catch and kill the cats, and the only animal friends-type group I could reach suggested that I either catch the cat and give it a "foster home." Erm, yeah. My former co-worker has "fostered" cats--that's why she has eight. So I've hardened my heart and am following the theory of "if I don't feed it, it will move on."

Monday, June 02, 2008

WTF is going on with my hydrangea bush?

There is another cat living under there. This one is a grey adolescent, in that lanky, leggy, adorably clumsy but not really cute stage.

*chants* I am not buying cat food, I am not buying cat food, I am not buying cat food!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Even more progress

Despite an ugly bout of powerbarfing first thing this morning, I managed to get myself together and get some things done. There are only four bags of mulch left in the garage, and I can get my car in again. Those last four bags are earmarked for the spot in the back flower bed which needs a layer of limestone gravel laid down to absorb the water before I can mulch.

The laundry is almost done, the bathroom has been scoured, and all but eight of the houseplants are now outside where they can revel in sunshine and fresh air. My sheets are changed and I've done a quick inventory of the linen closet. I need another set of nice twin sheets, and I'm down to only fifteen Ice Hotels. If Lush NA ever gets their act together on offering Retro products, I foresee a great poorness in my future, especially with new scents from Skindecent and BPAL. Oh, and my second invention has made the Skindecent scent list. The first, as my few loyal readers will remember, was Treefrog Jammies, a blend of green scents & lavender. The new one is a combo of key lime, maraschino cherries & ginger ale, named Ultrasonic by a fellow Lushie named Andromedi.

Thanks to my assorted addictions, I'm rather spoiled for choice. Right now, for example, I am trying to decide what scent to use for my bath tonight. Whatever I decide on, the bathtub is one of my most important refuges. The other is my garden, especially when I am out there watering.

I was trying to describe to a friend what I love about watering plants. It's hard to verbalize because I am not a particularly philosophical person, but there's a ritual aspect to it, a definite sense of being connected to the earth, the plants, the water and a sort of calm chance to contemplate whatever my little butterfly brain feels like thinking about. I guess articulating the process doesn't really make much difference--it still feels good.

And now I have to go retrieve Bigfoot, who is outside barking hysterically at poor Rooter. *eye roll*