tikatu: (Default)
Had a lovely Independence Day celebration! Went down to my Bro's house for grilled burgers and hot dogs. SIL made her potato salad and cole slaw. I brought what ended up being a rather expensive salad based on one my SIs made when we were in MA last August. It included baby spinach, romaine lettuce, blueberries, dried cranberries, raspberries (she used strawberries, I chose the other), glazed walnuts, and goat cheese, tossed in a light raspberry vinaigrette. (I saved the goat cheese on the side for those who might be turned off by it.) The salad was a big hit with most everyone - except Mr. Picky Eater Boy #2. I'll make it again sometime, I'm sure.

Then we went to Heritage Park for a concert by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, followed by a fireworks show. We'd had some rain during the day, but early enough that the grass wasn't too wet, and the temperatures were cool. The conductor, Edvard Tchivzhel, is originally from Russia and defected 20 years ago. He has a lovely accent that made some of his between-the-pieces introductions rather humorous. They did the 1812 Overture with real Civil War cannons! Wow! Hearing those go off made the fireworks sound tame by comparison.

The Girl is now at their house for a full week - she doesn't have any classes, and wants to spend some time with her cousin. It will make life around here quieter, and the boys will have to pull a little more weight around the house.

All in all it was a good day with family... kinda like these things are meant to be.
tikatu: (Default)
My hubby gave me the entire DVD series of A&E's A Nero Wolfe Mystery show for Christmas. He got the idea that we should watch them in the chronological order set out in the books. It's interesting, because the series pilot, The Golden Spiders, takes place well into the story chronology. I could see the differences, not only in the sets, but in the way Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin portrayed the characters. (Not to mention that the pilot had Saul Rubinek as Saul Panzer. He later played Lon Cohen--being replaced by a more interesting Saul Panzer in Conrad Dunn.) I think they got the roles down more after the pilot.

The first we watched was Over My Dead Body, and the last will be Death of a Doxy. The kids are really enjoying this, and so are we. We'd taken the DVDs out of the library before, but having them all here for as long as we want them is great. We've been watching them roughly one per night, and more on the weekends. Still have quite a few to go.

We've also been listening to readings of Elizabeth Peters's Amelia Peabody books. We listen to the tapes or CDs from the library during  dinner.  (Have I told you all that we have the most awesome library system?) It's a tradition we started a few years ago with old radio shows like Superman or I Love A Mystery. We've had the first three books out and are working on the fifth book (we think).  Very fun, and a way to bring the family together and keep us at the table longer.
tikatu: (hypnotic)
My dad, who I love with all my heart, has a habit of sending along forwards from his friends. It used to be that my cousin, Eddie, would send him just about any piece of junk that crossed his inbox, but recently I told Eddie off for it, and he may have either cut back or stopped. It would be nice if he had.

He also gets this stuff from his very old friend, Russ. Russ usually gets it from Eddie, so that my dad gets it twice! And a lot of times, it's stuff that so outrageous that I wonder how people believe it. Really. I do. It's the reason I have "Always check Snopes" as my signature on my main email account. One or two moments just checking out Snopes will debunk a lot of this junk.

Today Dad sent me a forward that has been floating around the 'net for probably nine years or so. It just irked me so much that my dad had sent it to me. I'm on the verge of asking my dad to not send me any forwards at all, but part of me doesn't want to do that. I don't mind the "you're my friend and I want to tell you so" forwards; I might not return them, or send them on, but I do appreciate the sentiments. And if something is actually true, I'd like to hear about that, too. Dad sent me one once that was true, and I passed it on, telling people I'd checked it out on Snopes and it was the real deal. But most times I just reply to all and tell people what Snopes said.

Maybe I'm just getting cranky about this whole forwarding business. I love my Dad, and I love to get emails from him. Just not these forwards.
tikatu: (Default)
The Girl graduated today in a smooth, respectful ceremony--much more respectful than her cousin's, where people were booted for loud, obnoxious shouting and sounding off air-horns while names were being called. She was easy to spot in the processional--my SIL had French-braided her hair and the braid went all the way to her butt. We made sure we were on the aisle she said she would come down so we could get pictures. She slipped me the money from her first art sale--the principal bought her horse picture for $100! So I guess that technically makes her a professional now! I'm so proud of her!

My bro took some pictures, and I took some with her camera. One of my bro's pictures is so good, I'll be using it as her official picture this year, and get it printed up for the relations. Here are a few that I took.
cut for pictures! )

When we got home, we had a fabulous dinner with BBQ chicken (requested by the graduate), corn on the cob, two kinds of macaroni salad (one with tuna and one with salmon), five-cup salad, and decorated wacky cake for dessert. It was really good and everyone pitched in to help

The boys are now also officially out of school for the summer and I think everyone will sleep in tomorrow--for a bit. The animals don't like to wait for walkies and breakfast.

Bad night.

May. 16th, 2009 05:23 am
tikatu: (Default)

I got to bed at a relatively decent hour, but the muggy warmth of the room, my feet buzzing in pain, and worries about finances all conspired to keep me from sleeping any solid length of time today. So, I finally got up, took the dog out, and made sure my stories were all available on the family jumpdrive.

Plan for the day, for as long as I can stand it: write between bouts of baking and cooking, this morning; brainstorm in a similar way this afternoon; collapse this evening. Dinner will be ready when Hubby gets home, and I'm moving the laptop to the kitchen so I can keep going as much as possible. Won't be easy; but I think I can do it.

Overall, I'm convinced that I need to prioritize things so I can do the things that really NEED to be done, and do the things - especially in fandom - that I want to do/feel I should be doing.

For example: 
I need to be taking better care of our finances.
I need to be bringing in some money, somehow.
I need to take better care of the house.
I need to take better care of the Hubby.
I need to take better care of myself.
I need to spend more time listening to/correcting/playing with the kids.

Fandom stuff:
I want to finish my WIPs.
I want to continue my RP site.
I want to finish my Thunderbirds website.
I want to make my own personal site, and post my fan fiction there.
I have at least three stories that I want to write, new stories that are fandom-specific.
I want to finish my NaNo novel from last year.

This may mean dropping back/out of a few things. It definitely means spending less time online just putzing around.

So, you may find me online today, but marked as busy. That means I am busy. Whether it's with brainstorming, washing clothes, baking breads, making dinner... I will be busy.  I apologize if this puts you out in any way. But I need to do what's best for me and my family.
tikatu: (Default)
My sister called me today; Boy #1 intercepted the call and forgot to tell me, but the Girl mentioned it and I asked him about it. So I called back and left a "Tag, you're it" message. She returned the call, and had some news for me.

My dad is in the hospital again. He was complaining of chest pains, but the doctors have ruled out heart attack. Still, they're keeping him for the weekend, and will do a stress test on Monday. Both my sister and I are of the opinion that he is under a lot of stress, which caused the bout of angina.

She also told me that he has an appointment with the cancer center, mostly to get a definite reading on what stage the cancer is in, and a second opinion on treatment. He's 72, so surgery - which would have been the treatment of choice had he been younger - isn't what the doctor is suggesting. The doctor says that implanted radiation seeds are the way to go - which is better, I suppose, than what they'd recommend if my Dad was older (which would be nothing at all).

It's hard to see your parents get old.
tikatu: (Default)

Ah, home sweet home! There's nothing like it after a week of vacation, even as good a vacation as this one turned out to be.

Lots of pictures taken, and some video, too. I need to upload them to the desktop and download them where people can see them.

tikatu: (Default)

Yes, we're actually going on vacation. For a week. To MI, where the in-laws live. Everyone is supposed to be there; my SIL from Hong Kong just arrived today. Big family get-together planned for Sunday afternoon, so we're planning on driving straight through. The Niece is housesitting so we don't have to put Lacey in a kennel and someone will be here to keep an eye on the cats... and the fish.

Colored my hair tonight in preparation. Chose a "totally toffee" light brown instead of the usual auburn. The kids hate it when I go red, though the Hubby and I rather like it. Hopefully I won't look like I have black hair... which is what happened when I went "chocolate brown". 

Lots to do tomorrow. I'm taking the laptop and hoping to get some writing done somewhere along the line. I don't expect much time online, actually, unless we can find the occasional cyber cafe or something. In fact, the first thing I'm packing is the laptop! The kids want to bring the VHS tapes of LotR with us; we do have a VCR and TV built into the car. That and their gameboys should keep them occupied... I hope.

So much to do, so little brain...

tikatu: (Default)
Had to take three out of four cats to the vet for shots, cortisone treatments (flea allergies) and in one case, worming. This meant getting up and taking the Hubby to work so I could have the car, which put me in a sleepy mode all day. The cats are not the most cooperative about this (especially Tika!) though listening to them complaining in three-part harmony was funny. We've got antibiotic for poor Cotton, who hates it. Three out of four also have new collars (or at least, they will once we get Ink Jet inside to put his on). Callie goes tomorrow to the mobile vet for her shots; it's far, far cheaper than the regular vet! Another morning of getting up early and staying up.

Boy #2 has a friend over for the night. The friend is fine; he's a polite young man who I like. But they were up until 11:30 playing the PS2 (this was after DVBS ended). That's too late, and I had to tell them it was time to stop.

One of Boy #1's friends called him... at 11:20 p.m.! I told him that it was too late to call, and truthfully, he was lucky to find Boy #1 up and about. I hope I got through to him about not calling after 10 p.m. - I originally thought it was some kind of emergency!

And... Boy #1 has just gone to bed - a little after midnight. He took a shower after the phone call and wanted to wash some clothes! I'm beginning to despair of getting this crew back on a normal schedule come August. I know part of the fault is mine, but they do know better and these late nights really take their toll on Boy #2. And going to bed doesn't actually mean going to sleep... sigh.

Hubby spent a few hours out and about when I sent him for milk, even going to Barnes and Noble! Fortunately, unlike yesterday, when a trip to the library lasted until nearly nine, he was home early enough for us to have dinner before the DVBS bus came to collect Boy #2. First eight-hour day in about three weeks, I think.

So, there you go. As they say, when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
tikatu: (Default)
Yes, it's raining again! 

We've had scattered showers every day since Saturday, which is good considering how dry we've been lately. The showers never last long - maybe 20 minutes at the most - but they're heavy and sometimes have thunder/lightning accompanying them. I keep telling my friends up north to send the rain down to us; looks like they've been able to send a bit here and there! LOL!

The Hubby is home today, and is playing chauffeur for a change. He went down to the Bro's house to get the Girl (and the Niece, who will be staying until Sunday) and then it was off to take Boy #1 to a friend's house for a few days. This isn't getting the fence finished, but I don't mind. The weather has been so hot that he's been drained at the end of the day. At least with the van, he's in air conditioning. 

I've been working on TWW Ch 62. It's slow-going because I know what I want the characters to say, but they keep pushing things along faster than I want. So I'm doing a lot of rewriting as I go. I also have a bit of Overtures 27 done, and have a new scene in my head for my Tracy sister fic. On top of all this, I went through my bunny hutch file and found a plot bunny that made me write at least one little scene on it! Feast or famine in the land of inspiration these days. Sorta like the rain. Either we're dry or we're really wet.

Now the rain is done for the moment, and  the sun is trying to come out and turn everything to steam. Yuck! Bring on more rain!

ETA: And we had more rain! A lovely heavy thunderstorm came through and pushed me off the computer for a bit. Drenching rain, thunder, lightning, a power blip... who could ask for more?!
tikatu: (Default)

Do you know how much crap collects in the casters of your rolling desk chair?

I sure do.

Mine rolls around on a hardwood floor, wearing down the finish on said floor and picking up more hair and thread and just general crud than you'd believe was possible. It wasn't rolling properly; some of the wheels were barely moving at all. So I had Hubby turn it over and put it on the back of the couch so I could clean out the wheels. Took a couple of hours as I had to do each wheel separately. They turn on their own, you see; each is on their own little axle, and not paired up so the two wheels work together. That made ten of them. Using an X-acto blade, scissors, three different pairs of tweezers, and a pair of needle-nosed pliers, I finally got down to the metal on some of them, and close enough to see the metal on others. A fresh X-acto blade at the beginning of the process might have made things a bit easier.

After all that, my back hurt quite a bit, and all I wanted to do was sit down and be waited on. So we went out to dinner to celebrate birthdays: the Girl's 17th yesterday, and mine today. Went to Applebee's and had an appetizer, entrĂ©e and dessert! It was nice to be waited on instead of standing in line at a buffet. 

Then a stop at Bath and Body Works for a few birthday goodies (in addition to the reprint book of Marvel Comics Invaders title that Hubby had already given me at the celebration with Bro, SIL and Niece a couple of weeks ago), and home. Boy #1 insisted on coming into the store and looking for a fragrance just for him. For some unknown reason, he chooses the most floral, fruity or pungent scents possible. For pity's sakes, he's 14! Wearing something frou-frou will get him teased even more than he probably is! We finally did settle on a cucumber scent; it's not too heavy or floral. Kind of clean and fresh. Much better for a teenaged boy.

Hubby is going to try and make coquilles St. Jacques tomorrow. He likes trying new recipes, but only when he has time to fiddle with them. I'm looking forward to the attempt; I love scallops.

tikatu: (Default)
Went to the art show today and finally saw what the Girl has been doing over the past few years (I say few years because she had some of last year's art up for display). She had six pieces in the show, all of which she hoped to sell. Went around looking at a lot of the art, some of it most excellent, and found that she'd taken third place in the judging for a piece of art that she doesn't even like! It was done early last year, and what she's done since then shows her advancement as an artist. But the judges liked this one!

I'll excerpt what the judges had to say about it here:

"Third Place goes to the piece with the Telephone pole in front of the brick building... The abstract composition is especially pleasing. Shapes and patterns become more important than realistic subject matter in this piece, and causes us to look at our surroundings in a new way. While working for more contrast and taking a little more time with the drawing of small details would have made the piece stronger, capturing the abstraction seen around you is clearly working outside the box."

"The simple pencil drawing of the telephone pole has an interesting contrast of the monumental and the small, intricate detail."

The Girl was a bit put out by the fact that the item in question was not a telephone pole, but a walkway covering support! She was peeved that they kept calling it a phone pole!

I think that the show was rather poorly attended, partially due to lack of advertising before the event. We definitely made way too many brownies!

And in other news, I made [community profile] metafandom thanks to partly-bouncy!
tikatu: (Jeff Tracy!)

Yes, I'm up at 2 a.m. I'm usually up at this time of night; rare are the evenings I go to bed earlier than this.

Tonight (this morning) though, I had a bit of an experience. Not earthshattering or anything, but just some reflections and observations on this particular 2 a.m.

tikatu: (Default)

I guess I'm living in them.

It's been an interesting past few days. We got the notice over the weekend that Boy #1 has been invited to go to the Arts Awakening weekend again. It'll be over his dad's birthday, but that's okay. We'll celebrate at some other point. The weekend camp is sp onsored by the YMCA for the public schools, is by invitation only, and this is the second year that he's been tapped for the honor. He's already said he doesn't want to go up into the high ropes like last year - and I hope he doesn't get sick like last year either.

Last night we had an interesting visitor. I had taken Lacey out for a constitutional and heard a scrabbling on the bark of one of the pecan trees between our yard and the neighbors'. The scrabbling turned out to be something climbing said tree. At first I thought it was Tika, with her tail all puffed out, but once I got the back yard spotlights on, I could see it was a raccoon! It got up into the first split of the pecan tree's branches, 15+ feet up, and stayed there as long as Lacey was outside. So, I tied her out and went looking for the camera. The Girl was still awake, so we grabbed a flashlight and the digital camera and headed out to take pictures. At one point, we disturbed the neighbors, who came out and asked what was going on. He was rather impressed that Lacey had treed a 'coon!

The new dishwasher is very good! It really cleans the dishes well, and has a disposal portion, too. It seems to take longer than the old one did, but it dries the dishes and everything gets really clean. It even works with the solid detergent tabs that I'd bought before the old one went completely.

We finally got Hubby a much-needed cell phone. He doesn't like it, but admits it makes his life on the road a lot easier. We've also used some of the tax refund to buy the rest of the fencing - not including gates. It came this past Thursday, and I'm looking forward to Hubby being able to get it all up.

I was featured on the FanLib carousel today - with my drabble "Green", excerpted from Mosaic. I'd entered it into a drabble contest, but hadn't won. This is a better reward, I think. I'm working hard on finishing one or more WIPs; new chapters up for The White Winds and Resolutions: Redux, with a second TWW chapter halfway done. The RP has picked up tremendously over the past couple of weeks and it looks like we may have another player - this time from Australia. We'll have to really shuffle things around for her to make it to brainstorming sessions!

More later!

tikatu: (Default)

Don't know why except my muse has been in overdrive the past few days. Got up to chapter 20 in Turnabout early this week (late last week?) and started a new fic, Resolutions, which is a "chapter a day" fic. So far so good; three days, three chapters. Didn't know if I'd get to chapter three today the way I was trying to clean off my desk. Still have lots to go, but at least I got all my old bills off and shredded.

Serendipity is doing well, over 100 hits. And I've asked my husband if I can sign up for the optional pay services at ff.net as a Christmas present. He never knows what to get me and this is something I'd like to have. I think he's amenable.

Christmas was very nice, if money draining. I had already bought the kids their much desired GBA Pokemon games, but since things were tight, decided that the money my parents had sent and that my in-laws would eventually send would go toward those games. Hey, I just realized, I have Christmas money from my parents, too! I could put it toward the pay services. Well, it's a thought.

Christmas Eve was nice with Bro #2 and his wife and daughter coming. We worked hard and actually got the kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and living room looking nice and decorated well. The house smelled nice, too, unlike their place right now. I was really glad to host our family celebration here.

Got hubby the computer game Civilization III for Christmas and everyone is hooked on it (except me). The kids are even enjoying it, which surprised me. I also got him the second season of Rocky and Bullwinkle, which made him very, very happy.

Took the Girl and Boy #2 to the eye doctor yesterday. The Girl's prescription has changed, and both the doctor and she are talking contacts. But the best news was that the severe retinal scarring that Boy #2 had this time last year is GONE! His vision is as near to perfect as it's going to get and the difference in the two retinal pictures was amazing! I just have to praise God for it; when this came up I was afraid that his eyesight would be scarred forever. But God is better to us than we ever, ever deserve.

I'd better get to bed. I haven't decided whether or not to get up with hubby and take him to work again and I'd like to be awake while I drive.

tikatu: (Default)

Sunny, brisk, and pleasant. The kids played relatively calmly together. And we had Boy #2's birthday party at the Chick-Fil-A in Taylors. All of the friends he invited from church were there and none of the friends from school. I guess I'm not surprised; I'm under the opinion that the kids at the elementary school don't tell their parents what they need to. I just hope that no one went to the more local Chick-Fil-A looking for us. He won this party from the local radio station and this is the store that sponsored it, so that's where we had to have it. But despite there only being half the boys there, it was a good party anyway. They went into the inside playground and ran around in there like maniacs, they ate the food, enjoyed the cake and ice cream. Boy #2 got nice gifts, the most exciting to him being the Game Boy Advanced that Mommy managed to track down.

We had the opportunity to go to one of two parties this evening, and ended up going to neither. I can't say I'm terribly disappointed; after supervising the birthday party, I was rather tired out. And I have Christmas cards to do as well as finishing the decorating. The kids and I will be working on it over the next few days. We've got the tree up and the lights on it, and that's as far as we got yesterday. Tomorrow we're going to my bro's and SIL's to celebrate my SIL's birthday. I have no idea what to give her. I guess I'll figure out something.

Don't know why I'm so down about the holidays. I think I need to get back working with Flylady. I was so much happier with my house in order. Sigh.

tikatu: (Default)

I just spent Lord knows how long updating the journal with all the information about my Thanksgiving Day and when I go to spell check it, everything I have just typed goes up in smoke! What's the matter with this thing?

In any case, I'll just put a couple of things up now. One: our Thanksgiving Day was strange because my bro and SIL had a power outage and we had to move the celebration to my house. Everything worked out okay even though we had to wait until 7 p.m. to eat. I need to watch an episode of Tbirds today so I can finish up with chapter 16 of Turnabout. Serendipity is online at fanfics.org but I'm not sure I'm going to put it on fanfiction.net. I've got four chapters up and hopefully will get some more done soon.

So much for spell checking!

tikatu: (Default)

Chapter 11 of Turnabout is out of my system and posted on Fanfiction.net! Now to work on Chapter 12. Never, ever thought that this AU fic would go this long.

The neurologist put me back on a tricyclic antidepressant to help me sleep. I started it last night. It's supposed to make me groggy in the morning, and it seems to be doing the job. I don't want to do much of anything right now, and I have scads of housework to do.

Not much else to say. We're going to the bro's and SIL's house this evening for dinner. I need to make a monstrous salad for that. I've got the ingredients, just have to put the thing together. And get some Italian bread to go with the spaghetti and meatballs that we're having. Hubby took the van this morning, which is what I wanted him to do so I could sleep in. But this means I have to get the bread on the way down to Fountain Inn. I guess that's really not a problem. Just a quick hop in and out of the store.

I look at this and realize how badly I'm rambling. Time to stop.

tikatu: (Default)

Was driving back from taking the kids to school and happened to catch this flash of pink out of the corner of my eye. I looked again and saw this lady sitting down in her driveway wearing what looked to be her nightgown. My first thought was, "I don't think she really means to be sitting there like that. I'd better check it out."

So I parked the van at home and walked down the block to where this lady was. She was sitting there, unable to get up, and feeling rather cold. Her arm and leg were pretty badly scraped. She told me that she had fallen down the stairs of her house (cement steps) and that she had driven her daughter to work and when she got out of the car, she fell again. I tried to help her up, but it was no good. She said her tailbone hurt.

I put my jacket over her legs so warm them and so she would feel more modest, then walked back down to my house as fast as I could, and brought the van up, and with it, my cell phone. I asked her if I could call her daughter, and she said, no, her daughter was at work. So I called EMS instead. An ambulance came within 10 minutes (if she wasn't breathing well or something they would have been faster I think). They got her onto a gurney and took her to the hospital. I'm going to check down there in a day or so to see how she is. The neat thing was that she trusted me enough to ask me to get her housecoat out of her house and lock it up for her, which I did.

Saw my parents this afternoon and went out to dinner with them this evening. They had a wonderful time on the cruise and visiting Nassau and Jeanne the storm didn't affect them at all. They got Kennedy Space Center t-shirts for the kids, but got them a bit too small for the girl and boy #1. So boy #1 got his sister's and they're going to buy her a local one instead. Boy #2 almost ended up with two, but the smaller of the two fit him well so the other is going to his younger girl cousin, who is actually bigger than he is though she's six months younger.

The muses have been quiet, which is good I guess. Except for Turnabout, which is preying on my mind. I'm going to try and tackle it tomorrow and get Chapter 11 finished.

tikatu: (Default)

... so today will have to do. It's raining here to beat the band. I think that the vestiges of Frances finally arrived today and are pouring down outside. The girl is not feeling well; said she felt nauseous this morning, so I kept her home. She's really not one to fake such things and I'd much rather have her at home to rest and barf than have to go out to the school to get her because she's barfed all over herself there. Note: she hasn't produced yet....

Spent Labor Day at my bro's and SIL's house. It was nice if you don't count the grill nearly blowing up on us. Flames were shooting out the bottom, melting a couple of knobs and heading down the hose toward the propane tank. Fortunately, I think my husband finally woke up and smelled the Dr. Pepper and told bro what was happening and they were able to turn it off at the tank. SIL made brownies and fudge sauce: chocolate overload! Mmmmmm. It was a good day all around: I woke up yesterday to four review bots in my mailbox, two for Mr. Sunshine and two for Turnabout. Makes me want to write more on Turnabout. Trying to get a plot together for a one-shot Parker fic, too, in answer to my own challenge at fanfics.org.

Found out for the first time that the folks are flying down on Thursday, which doesn't give me much time to clean house. We got some stuff done in the living room on Sunday, but there's a awful lot more to do. I've been working in the bathroom and folding clothes so far this morning. Just taking a break now before plunging in again. I'll be glad to see them; I think they'll be amazed at how big the kids have gotten, especially the girl.

Be back later if I can.

November 2016

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