Dad's visit went extremely well. I was a nervous wreck over his diabetes, but he didn't pass out or anything so I think I kept a good watch over him.

On the first day, he and Ben installed our new dishwasher. Our old one had died and it was cheaper to get a new one than it was to get the new part and a handyman to install it. We even got a great deal on  free delivery and free installation! Unfortunately you get what you paid for and the installers refused to do the work.

The installers claimed the new washer was too big to fit into the spot. Except the new one was the same size as the old one! He was measuring from the counter to the hardwood floor, not the counter to the unfinished floor that the washer was sitting on. When I pointed out all these things, he still refused because "he doesn't do floors." To add to my frustration, he wouldn't even attempt to remove the old washer for me.

I was extremely annoyed because I am sure most homes have their counters on unfinished floors. Why would anyone waste money on expensive hardwood flooring in a spot no one would ever see? The installer was just too lazy to do his job!

Since the original goal was to avoid the high costs of a handyman, I looked at airline tickets. It was cheaper to fly my dad in round trip than it was to hire someone to install the washer. So dad came to the rescue. And he didn't have that much trouble getting the old washer out and the new one in. There was one part where Ben and dad had to both lift the counter while I pushed the washer in, but other than that, the whole thing went in smoothly.

And my new washer is fantastic. It actually cleans things! (Unlike my old one which merely covered all my dishes in a film of ground up food.) I'm pretty pleased.

The next day, dad and I chopped down our horrible dead tree in the front yard. This tree was green and beautiful right before we bought our house, but the first spring after we moved in, it was half dead. Eventually the whole thing gave up. I suspect the previous homeowners poisoned it.

Anyway, dad tried to angle the tree to fall to the right of the house. Instead it fell to the left. By pure luck, my neighbor's mailbox had fallen  down a few days earlier, so we luckily did not crush it. The rest of the day was spent chopping the branches off and cleaning up the mess. The tree was horrifically brittle and sent broken branch pieces all over the road and my neighbor's yards. (My neighbors, by the way, all felt the need to come out and comment on the cut down tree. So nosy!)

The day after that, we bundled up the smaller branches. The bigger logs would make good firewood. I'm considering offering them to one of my neighbors a few houses down. He heats his house with a fireplace in the winter, so I'm sure he could use them. The bundles, we left in the street for trash pick up, but someone helpfully came in the middle of the night and took them away.

Dad had a half day left after that, so he fixed some outlets for me and helped me start painting a railing in my house. Ben had to help me finish, but it was good that we at least had the first coat taken care of.

So for the cost of a round trip airline ticket and a few days worth of food, I got my dishwasher installed, tree cut down, and various small projects around the house. Pretty good deal!

Now I get the fun and excitement of cleaning the house for another group of friends visiting. I got some of it done already, but I lost a lot of time this weekend fighting with an IMPOSSIBLE math assignment. I even asked my friend Rob, who does calculus for a living, for help and he agreed the assignment was way too hard for cal I. But with his help, I managed to get it done. Yay!

So I should probably get back to cleaning now. Ugh. I wish I wasn't so bad at maintaining a clean house.... But at least I have a dishwasher that works!
This weekend the dishwasher broke. I am not happy. The stupid thing would not drain all the way--leaving about an inch or two of gross nasty water at the bottom. I assumed that meant something was clogged (and the manual backed me up on this) so Ben and I spent nearly all day Sunday taking the stupid machine apart and cleaning every single piece.

The stuff inside was horrifying. This was not just clumps of old food. There was this weird greasy "cheese" covering everything once we got deep enough into the system. There was no way I was allowing that stuff back down my sink, so I sat in the backyard with a garden hose and a tooth brush, scrubbing the nasty stuff off.

But despite our best efforts, the stupid thing still won't drain.

I looked up the age of the machine and it's 8 years old. These days the average washer only lasts about 9 years, so it's probably not worth it to have someone come in and repair it. We'll have to get a new one. I am going to hope for good sales over labor day weekend.

And then sometime last night, someone smashed into my car. Again. And didn't even leave a note. Again.

I noticed this morning when I got in my car to head to physical therapy. Everything in the car was thrown all over the place. The coins were scattered all over the floor, my sun glasses were on the seat, papers were everywhere, things that were originally on the seat were now on the floor...

My first instinct was that someone had broken into my car. But after a quick review, I confirmed that nothing was missing. It was getting late at that point, so I resolved to figure it out later after my PT appointment.

When I got out of the car and started to walk towards the building, I noticed the paint. Tons of magenta paint and scratches all over my rear bumper.

When I got home, I looked in the street and, sure enough, there was pieces of broken magenta car scattered about. It looks like they must have hit my bumper fairly straight on, so my car didn't get too damaged. But it looks like their car took a decent beating. Which they totally deserve for hitting my car and then not even leaving a note!

The lack of note is what always gets me. How can people be so rude? I totally understand accidents happen. I don't understand cowardly running away! Jerks.

Once I have a job again, the first thing I want to do is widen our driveway so I don't have to park in the street anymore. This is getting old and annoying.
My first week of work was crazy.

When I arrived on saturday, everyone told me how happy they were to see me. Then they threw a giant pile of work at my head. :P

So apparently my predecessor left rather abruptly with a package in the works but very far behind. And no one else knew what to do with it because the woman DID NOT WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. They gave me that package to get out the door. We're still not there, but we are a lot closer than we were before and I have been writing stuff down to make the whole process easier as we get to the end.

Among the problems I've had:
- No contact info for the artist
- No status on draft or reviews of the art
- No indication if the copy was even final
- Specs for the art did not match original specs in the mail plan
- Mail plan didn't have ask build info (telling me how much money we should ask for from donors)
- Data strategy included 3 times more online activists than real donors (online activists are the suckiest type of prospects. you want to only have a few in the mix if you want any at all)

Despite absolutely no orientation training beyond "this is how you log into your computer" I have managed to keep this disaster floating at least. I hope at some point I will be given some training.

Aside from that crazy situation, the place seems nice. They threw a big welcome lunch for me the first day. And everyone has been very helpful when I come panicking to them because something else in that horrible nightmare project has exploded.

I share an office with a woman fresh out of college. She doesn't know anything about marketing at all so they have had to train her every day on everything. I didn't require that sort of training, so I was told by multiple people on Friday that I was "a rockstar" for being able to jump into the project and hit the ground running.

My clients are African Wildlife Federation, Food and Water Watch, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. It's a good mix, I think. I was afraid of getting clients with goals I didn't agree with, but these are all pretty good. (I'd be happier if that last one wasn't religious, but you can't win all battles.)

The workload is a little stressful right now (I had to work late on the first day!) but hopefully once I get more stuff written down, the madness will abate. I can't believe the previous woman never wrote anything down. How did she get anything done?

Anyway, other than that, life goes on as usual. I took Noname to the vet today. She developed a rash. I thought it might be the same rash Maggie had a little while ago, but it didn't respond to the medicine I had leftover from Maggie's treatment (just a solution to wash the region) so I made an appointment to get it checked out.

The vet said it probably started like Maggie's rash, but because Noname was licking it all the time, she introduced even worse bacteria that for some reason was resistant to the old medicine. So now she has a bottle of antibiotics and a bottle of antihistamines. Between the two, the rash should clear up and Noname should stop licking it. However, they didn't have any medicine around the office small enough for my dog! So I have to break up tiny capsules and roll them in cheese or something similar to deliver the medication. The vet even had me do a practice run in the office to make sure I could do it correctly.

After that adventure, I returned home to help stain the deck. During the summer, we only applied one coat before the heat wave hit and we couldn't work outside at all. Then came the rain that didn't stop for a month. The single coat didn't hold up well to that abuse at all. So now we have to completely start over. Ben worked on the floor while I did the tiny stupid details on the railings. I didn't finish, but the railings were in much better condition than the floor. Ben is going to apply a second coat tomorrow. I will probably work on the railings as I have time in the coming weeks.
So I was offered the job I interviewed for. It is likely I will take it.

+ I like being employed
+ Out of all the resumes and cover letters I've sent out, no one has bothered to call me back.
+ The company has a good reputation which will likely help me in the future
+ The position is a step up and pays more

- The commute is just as bad as my old job
- I'm intimidated by the idea of working for competent people. (What if I don't measure up!?)

The commute issue may solve itself. They mentioned they are looking for a new location and that it will not be closer towards maryland. I hope they move to arlington. That would be closer.

I feel like I should be excited but I am insanely worried this isn't the right choice. What if I'm saying yes just because I don't want to feel like a reject anymore? I slept on it last night in hopes my subconscious could work it out.Instead I dreamed a billion different possible options. A lot of them were about the regret of NOT taking the job. *sigh* I hate when my future has too many open possibilities.

In other news, I am destroying the bushes in front of my house. I don't believe the previous homeowners have ever trimmed them. (Did they do ANY maintenance on this house while they lived here!?) The insides are a solid ball of dead branches. So I've started to trim them back a couple inches smaller than I want them to be next spring and then pulled out all the dead brittle stuff in the centers. I only managed to finish one bush so far. The other, I got the entire front trimmed back. Still need to do the sides, back, and top. This second one is in even worse condition than the first. I have four more after that on the front of the house and then two giant ones on the side that ben is going to have to help me with.

They look terrible now but I know they will look much healthier in the spring. And then a quick annual trim should be enough to keep them in line.
The storm was nothing for my area, as I expected. In fact, we've had thunderstorms more powerful than that. When I went outside yesterday to check for storm damage, there wasn't even a broken branch on the ground.

However, I did find a crack in the foundation. This wasn't there on Tuesday, so I guess it popped up during one of the aftershocks. It's a small crack, so I don't think it'll be a big issue. After we seal it shut, it should be ok.

Ben and I took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood yesterday afternoon. I didn't see much damage there either. Pretty good. I'm glad we bought a house in a reasonably safe area.
holytoastr: (angry gir)
I would like to tell you a bit about the Gerry Walk-Thru Gate.

It is a baby gate designed so that you can theoretically swing open the gate easily and walk through, then re-lock so that small children (or dogs in my case) can't get through.

Unfortunately the person who invented it has never had to deal with small puppies (or I assume children) or homes that do not fit the perfect dimensions the gate wants. And I assume the people that tested it never tested it under those conditions either.

This morning I attempted to assemble this gate abomination to prevent Maggie from accessing her new favorite pee spot in the house. Getting the correct tension to hold the gate firmly against the walls requires a phd in physics. Each attempt I made alternated between too loose, causing the gate to fall over when the slightest pressure was placed on it - and too tight, so that no one but a body builder would have the muscle strength needed to force it to open.

Finally I got it to a tension that appeared adequate. I felt triumph bubbling up inside me. Then I tried to open the gate. (Which is no small task by itself, mind you, because it is designed with a stubborn puzzle of intricate moves needed to release the lock.) Thunk. The gate could not open. Because it was stuck on the moldings around the nearby laundry room door.

Turning it around (and repeating the issues above all over again), thunk. The gate would not open because of a table in the way. I have nowhere to move this table, so I am stuck again.

At this point I want to find the inventor of the Gerry Walk-Thru Gate and smash him over the head with it repeatedly.

After this storm is over, I am going to buy a new baby gate.
Yesterday was a cleaning day for the most part. I got up early and started making the house ready for the puppy.

Then I took a break to go to the farmers market. The person selling strawberries and cherries was brilliant. She sliced up a bunch of fruit and let the wind take their smell all the way across the market. By the time I got to her booth, I HAD TO HAVE a box of cherries. They were as good as they smelled!

I also picked up cucumbers, which I brought home and turned into pickles. They will be tasty on burgers next weekend.

After that, ben and I finally finished applying the first coat of seal to the deck. We'll work on the second coat after the 4th of july. One coat is good enough for now. It was so hot, the stuff was drying almost instantly. It was a bit hard to work with.

We were starving after all that work, so we went out for fast food burritos. It was energy food! I felt much better after that.

When we got home, ben mowed the lawn and I continued my war with the weeds growing in our front garden. Some of the weeds are practically trees. Slowly I am cutting them all down and reclaiming the garden as my own.

I took a short nap after that. Then got up and did some more cleaning. Aside from a few heavy boxes I need ben to carry, I think the house has been fairly puppy proofed. Yay!

And then I took a couple minutes to give noname a bath because she was rolling in something awful smelling in the yard. She gets so adorably super hyper after a bath. She was running all over the house, flipping over and wiggling on every patch of carpet.

And then the day was over! Just like that! It went far too fast. I miss the weekend already.
I always like the days when I wake up to happy news on twitter. Today it was that NY legalized same sex marriage. This will be awesome for all.

Even my racist, homophobic mother supports same sex marriage. Because she is in the party planning business and knows that this means lots and lots of money on silly wedding favors. She has no problem putting a man and a man or a woman and a woman on the cover of a photo album, because everyone uses the same sort of money.

Anyway, the rest of the day was tiring but productive.

Ben and I went to a local bagel shop in the morning for a nice breakfast. I got a strawberry bagel. It was bright pink. The place was totally packed, but the staff were super efficient so the wait times weren't bad at all.

Then we went to costco to buy some stuff for the 4th of july. I wanted patio furniture but ben wanted fold up furniture. We compromised by buying a big tablecloth to hide the ugly fold up furniture and ben has to carry the fold up stuff to and fro any time we want to use it.

We dropped that stuff off back home and then went to lowes to get a bbq. We found a nice small one that looks like it will meet our needs. Looks big enough to entertain small groups, but small enough to not take up too much space.

Ben returned home to cool down and I headed back out on a quest for citronella candles. Ended up buying six of them. I hope they will be enough. Ben imagines us sitting in the middle of a citronella smoke pile. I really hate mosquitoes.

After I returned home and had some lunch, I went back out shopping. This time I took my dog with me. We went to petsmart. She had a wonderful time. She peed outside. Then sniffed a million other dogs. Then peed inside. Then sniffed some more dogs. Finally I got a wagon and put her in it because she was getting very very excited and unmanageable. We were able to pick up the last things we needed for the puppy. Now I just need to set everything up. This will be one very happy, very spoiled puppy.

Taking my dog shopping is exhausting. So we took a nap as soon as we got home. I woke up really groggy though. It took me a while to be useful again. But once I was functional, I did a bit of cleaning and laundry. I cleaned my bird's old cage. I think I might freecycle it. (Unless anyone in the area that I know is thinking of getting a bird?) And I found my dog's rabies vaccination certificate! So now I can get her a dog license! Yay! I was a bit worried about her operating as a dog without a license because we have a county sheriff just down the block.

I am now contemplating a trip to the food store. I was thinking I could buy all the non-perishable (or slow perishable) stuff for the 4th of july this weekend. And then next weekend our shopping trip should be super fast and easy because we'll be able to stick to the fresh food aisles.

Tomorrow we plan on staining the deck. We have just a little bit more to go. (And then we can start the second coat.) I plan on doing more cleaning too. Once I get the puppy, I'm going to want to play with her all day instead of responsible stuff like chores, so it would be good to get this stuff out of the way early.
We had a huge sudden storm last night. During the worst of it, it felt like the sky was exploding directly above my house. The whole house was shaking with each roll of thunder. The windows rattled, objects on tables bounced, and the walls were vibrating. It was pretty scary. I jumped more than a few times. And the dog and bird were equally terrified. They insisted on sticking close to me the entire time to protect them. I have never seen my bird that scared before.

Thankfully the storm left as quickly as it arrived. By the time ben got home, it had mostly faded. He was able to cuddle and reassure my pets while I was finally able to pry them off of me to shower.

This morning, the neighborhood felt like a rainforest room at a zoo. Very hot and humid. I thought it was neat. My dog was less amused and wanted to return to the ac as soon as possible. She is so spoiled.
Yesterday, ben and I tried to stain and seal the deck. Unfortunately for us, huge storm clouds rolled in about an hour after we started. Only 15 minutes worth of rain came down, but it was enough to soak the deck and put an end to our work. I was extremely unhappy. And then I discovered that deck stain had found its way on my favorite hoodie. I am really really unhappy.

Right now I have so many mosquito bites, I am having a histamine overreaction. My entire body itches. Not just the spots that have been bit. There are too many mosquitoes in my new neighborhood. I think I need to buy stronger bug spray. The stuff I'm using is only 25% DEET. I'll need to find a store with a camping section and find the 100% stuff. That worked really well last year. (But bleached all my clothes.) I hope I have benadryl or something similar at home. I don't think I'll be able to sleep like this...
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
It is the weekend. I am glad. I had a rough end of the week. For three days in a row, metro had major meltdowns that resulted in hot, miserable two hour commutes. On one day, I watched a guy on a bike outrun my train. *sigh*

Work has been dull and useless. Our marketing agency doesn't listen to a thing I say. I have to have my boss repeat what I told them to get anything done. This is unacceptable.

And on friday, ben and I had an argument in the morning. It was over something really small and stupid, but I still cried. And unfortunately I wasn't able to get the puffiness down before a meeting. They told me to go back to my desk and not worry about the meeting. I was so embarrassed. I got them to let me call in so at least I would know what had happened.

This morning, I got a lot of chores done. Before it got too hot, I pulled up weeds and sprayed poison in the yard. I was the great bringer of death. Then I pruned my indoor tomatoes and gave all my indoor plants their nutrients for the week. I also started some laundry and a load of dishes. And then I went through the many boxes of junk my parents brought when they last visited. I was able to sort them into 2 boxes to keep, 4 bags of trash, and 2 bags for goodwill.

After all of that, it was late enough in the morning to mow the lawn. I was a spaz the entire time about the poison ivy. It's weird because before I knew what it was, I was walking through it without a care. Now I freak out every time I so much as brush against it. I hope the weed killer takes care of it soon. It's even climbing up onto the deck. (I used to yank those vines off barehanded!)

I was extremely gross after mowing, so I took a badly needed shower. Then curled up with ben for a bit until lunch. After lunch, I thought I would play with my dog while resting on the bed. Four hours later I woke up from my unplanned nap. Sometimes it worries me how easily I can fall asleep without trying.

When I got up, I made bean burger patties. I'll fry them up once ben is hungry for dinner. Not sure what I will do with myself until then. I was contemplating making ice cream.
Yesterday I went to georgetown to get my second laser treatment on my bikini line. I was pleasantly surprised to learn it didn't hurt as much the second time. Probably because half the hairs were burned out the first time.

Then I met up for lunch with allicia. I don't think I've seen her since her wedding. That's a very long time! We met at a place called Leopold's Kafe. I got a $10 waffle. DC prices always shock me. At least it was a very good waffle, so I felt a little better. I also got elderberry soda. It wasn't bad, but I don't think I would get it again.

After lunch, we walked through georgetown and over a bridge and were suddenly in rosslyn! It was like magic! We hung out in front of the rosslyn metro station for a bit until her husband arrived to take her kayaking. I hope she had fun. It seemed like a good day for it.

I then headed to the airport to pick ben up! YAY! I was so happy to see him! I wanted to hug him forever, but first he needed food. He hadn't eaten all day! Crazy boy! And then once he had food, he fell asleep. :P No cuddle time for me.

Instead I did laundry and mopped the floors. Woooo. Exciting times.

This morning, I went to a different place to get my underarms lasered. I liked this place better. They put an ice pack on the area first to numb the pain away. And then gave me some lotion to reduce the redness.

When I got home, I played with my adorable little dog until ben was ready to go shopping. First we stopped at the comic book store. Then grabbed lunch. Then went to lowes for a whole bunch of things.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing yardwork. I cut down one of the trees growing around my mailbox. Who plants a tree next to a mailbox!? It already looks better. And there was a random azalea growing under the first tree. I was too tired to tackle the second tree.

Instead, I went out back and did some gardening. I bought some full grown tomato plants since it was clear it was too late to grow from seed. I also have some ordered. Today I bought a replacement for the roma and yellow cherry tomatoes. I also put tomato cages up around them. And I added some trellises for the zucchini to climb up.

I'm not sure what I will do for the rest of the evening. We ate a late lunch, so I probably will skip dinner. Maybe I'll just wash up and go to bed early.
holytoastr: (melting panda-aurianrose)
Yesterday was a terrible metro day. I think I waited at least an extra hour total for trains. I read someplace that they took 50 cars out of service for ac issues and that is why all the trains are so crowded.

Other than that, the day was relatively slow. I contacted a breeder to adopt a corgi. They have yet to call me back. I guess if they don't call back by the end of today, I should call them.

In the evening, I forced myself out to the food store. My dog was out of dry food because my parents' dogs ate it all. They really liked it. Probably because it was better than that walmart junk my parents buy.

The grocery store's options were pretty lousy though. Ended up getting rachel ray brand dog food. To my horror, my dog really likes it. My dog really has no taste.

Ben called me very late last night. He had a bit too much to drink again, so most of the conversation was about how much he loves me and how pretty he thinks I am. I'm glad he's a sweet drunk. I hope he doesn't have a headache today.

I am glad today is friday. I don't have much planned for the evening. I think I'm going to drop off some more clothes at goodwill and then do some gardening in the front yard. It's about time I started doing battle against the weeds out there. Some of them have started to creep into the path and stab me with their horrible sharp stems.
A minute to breathe.

My parents arrived Thursday night. Their car broke down just a few blocks away from the house.

It had to be towed to a transmission place on Friday. We don't know when it will be back.

After the car was towed (that took all morning), I took my parents to Lowes to buy a ridiculous amount of wood. We also got a new sliding back door and a new garage door. We had to rent a truck and still it took two trips. I spent nearly $2000. :(

On Saturday, my parents took out the old sliding door to discover that the new one is about a foot bigger. So they had to cut open the walls a bit. Where they were reminded of the metal studs in this house. So it took the entire day to get that door in. They started working on the deck when they were done, but there wasn't much sunlight left so they were only able to add a few planks.

Today they continued to work on the deck. It is looking unlikely that they will get the new garage door installed. Just not enough time.

Also today was the day ben had to leave for his business trip. I took him to the airport and got pulled over along the way. I thought I was speeding. But it ended up being a case of mistaken identity. The cop saw a blue car cross a divider illegally and assumed it was me because I was the first blue car he saw. There weren't even any dividers to cross on the route I took! So the cop let me go. It was still really scary.

My parents took my car to the store to buy even more supplies. Hopefully they do not crash my car.
I was highly productive today.

In the morning, I began to spray paint an old rusted firepit left behind by the former homeowners. I dream of summer smores. In between coats, I did laundry and worked in the garden a little bit.

Then ben and I went to the hardware store to pick up some supplies he needed for replacing a ceiling lamp and to look at garage and patio doors. It began to rain just as we got home. I was annoyed by that because I still had a lot to do. I decided to take a nap to wait it out. That was a good idea because the sun was back and shining when I woke up.

I spent the rest of the afternoon mowing the lawn in the backyard. It had grown very very tall. It took me hours to do. I was dripping in sweat when I was done. I badly needed a shower. Especially because I turned the sponge BLACK with all the dirt I had caked on me. Yuck!

I was too tired to make dinner after that, so we ate leftovers. But I think now I'm going to prepare some pie dough so I can make some mini veggie pot pies this week. Then sleep. Glorious glorious sleep.
So after my massively long nap yesterday, I was feeling much better. And kinda upset over losing an entire day. So I did the laundry. And washed dishes. And sorted all my cookie cutters. (Fun fact: I filled two gallon sized bags with halloween shapes. Christmas, easter, and thanksgiving fit together in one bag.) And sorted the tupperware. And cleaned the entire kitchen. Right down to polishing the stovetop.

In the morning, I managed to sleep until 8:30, which I guess means there was still a tiny bit of recovery needed. I built a menu for the week so that I could make a shopping list. Then I went to the grocery store and did battle with the soccer moms and church crowds.

Soccer moms are the more aggressive variety. They will ram you with their wagons if you happen to be standing in front of something they want. On the other hand, the church crowd has alllll the tiiiiime in the worlllllld. They clog all the aisles with their slow sunday morning stroll. I managed to acquire food though, and put both groups to shame by buying absolutely no prepared foods.

When I got home, I put groceries away. Then ben helped me clean out the guest room/library. My parents are visiting soon, so we need to buy a bed and set it up. While we cleaned, we set roomba to vacuum. The whole set up was highly efficient.

After that, we went out for lunch. Because I was starving and was too dumb to remember to buy lunch foods at the food store. So we had burritos. And there was a free taco on my burrito elito card! Woo!

Once I had been sufficiently refueled, I mowed the lawn. When I was about halfway done, ben came out and took over. I think cause I looked near-death. While he finished up, I dragged out the edge trimmer and took care of the rest. Now our lawn looks pretty and presentable!

I took a short break to drink some water, then went out back to work on my garden. All of my tomatoes had been eaten by birds and squirrels and all of the black tarps had blown away. So the first thing I did was lock those tarps down solid with wooden skewers. Then I replanted everything, plus planted my cucumber and my cantaloupe seeds, and put clear plastic cups over everyone. They have holes in them for air and water, so hopefully they will baffle the various pests in the yard while also letting my plants grow. I finished everything up just as it was starting to rain.

After all that work, I badly needed a shower. I felt like a new person once I was clean. Then I did some more laundry so that the grass stains would not set into my clothes. I also carried roomba upstairs so he could vacuum up there. He hasn't been on the second floor for over a month and it shows.

While roomba worked, I made dinner. I finally used our fancy induction cooktop for the first time. After fighting so long with our stupid slow electric cooktop, I was caught unprepared by how quickly food can heat up! I also didn't believe the pan would become instantly hot and touched it to test. Luckily my hands were wet, otherwise I would have had a nasty burn.

I made cashew stir fried veggies. It was a good, well balanced dinner after such a busy day. And I have plenty of leftovers for the next few days at work. Yay!

I guess I will get my parental phone call over with next. And then I think I might sit down and knit for a while. And attempt that thing called relaxing.
I have done too much today. I am very tired.

I woke up early this morning to head to the farmer's market. I was in need of fresh spinach. It was obtained with only mild frustration. Why can't the market sell spinach by weight? How can I compare a bag vs a basket vs a different size bag? I had to eye it.

The market is much bigger than last year. There was a new pickle booth which was too crowded for me to check out. Also a wine booth. And alpaca yarn! But wow that yarn was expensive. I thought I could get some as a gift for a friend and then went "woah" at the prices.

While I was in the area, I browsed the used bookstore. I scored a copy of The People of Sparks. It's the sequel to City of Ember, which I enjoyed.

After that, I drove to a nearby park where I knew the county provided free compost. I filled three garbage bags worth.

From there I drove to the comic book store for Free Comic Books Day. I was dismayed because there was a three comic limit, but at least I had prepared so I knew what I wanted. I ended up getting the Captain America/Thor comic I REALLY wanted, plus Baltimore/Criminal Macabre and Civil war Adventure. The Mouse Guard comic I originally planned on getting was a reprint of a past issue I already owned. Which I guess makes sense if the goal is to get new readers instead of attracting the ones you already have. I had a hard time choosing my third one and ended up picking the civil war one because it looked so so lonely. It was the tallest stack in the store. Nobody loves history...

Captain America/Thor was just as delightful as I expected. It was both an ad for the Thor: the Mighty Avenger trade and a reward for all those that bought the comic in issues. It doesn't look like they plan on spinning it off into a series, but I hope someone at Marvel will give that creative team more work. They got ME to read super hero comics!

When I got home, I had a mild breakdown because I was doing so much stuff and ben had the audacity to ENJOY his weekend. He eventually came down and mowed the grass while I went out front and trimmed the TREES around the mailbox. The previous homeowners planted trees around the mailbox! What were they thinking!?

The neighbors were nice and let me borrow a hedge trimmer to tackle the branches. It actually wasn't that helpful, but it was quite nice of them. After about an hour of trimming and sawing, I got the trees in somewhat more respectable order and now the mailperson can actually get into our mailbox.

Then I went back into the yard and emptied all my mulch into my garden. And wanted to cry. Three huge garbage bags only filled 1/8 of the garden. I had to go back and get more... Thankfully ben was able to go with me this time and help. We stopped on the way to get sturdier bags so we could fill them even more. It started to drizzle as I was shopping, which didn't help my mental state, but the sun came back out soon enough. We ended up filling up 4 much bigger bags. They managed to fill the rest of the garden, just barely. Depending on how early I wake up tomorrow, I may go back and get more mulch while ben finishes sleeping.

We had burgers (well, I had nuggets) for dinner, so I went into a bit of a protein coma after dinner. I took a badly needed nap. Now I am awake and crave dessert. I am contemplating apples dipped in caramel. Then I think I will finish reading my comics. (The Captain America/Thor one was the only one I was in a rush to read.)

If I wasn't so tired, I'd ask ben to take me to the Thor movie tonight. *sigh* I was far too productive today.
On Friday, ben had to stay at work late. It was cold and I didn't want to sit at the bus stop for 2 hours again so I started to walk home. Ben didn't have to stay as late as he expected, so he was able to pick me up. I got about half a mile along the 4 mile walk. Ben then bought me pizza to make up for it. He said he didn't want me to cook because if something went wrong, I would totally lose it.

Saturday morning was bitterly cold. My stupid dog woke me at 6:30, thinking I overslept. She thought she would starve to death. It wasn't a huge deal though because I had to get up early anyway. I had a 9am salon appointment for my horrible horrible legs.

I had a pretty good salon person this time. After she was done waxing, she brought out a huge magnifying glass and pulled out all the tiny hairs she missed. Now my legs are ready for summer. Too bad it's going to be in the high 50s/low 60s all week.

On the way home, I nearly killed a woman with down syndrome. I was pretty upset about it. There's a bike path near my house that crosses the road. Cars have the right of way. Luckily I was alert and going pretty slow, because the woman just went straight across the road without even noticing the oncoming traffic. I screeched to a halt, as did the person driving in the opposite direction.

After I sat at home and calmed down a bit, I went back out and bought tons of wood to build a garden. That turned into a nightmare as every single board of wood came apart from the boards I nailed it to. Ben ended up having to come out with screws and a drill because I had thrown the hammer across the yard and started crying.

In the evening, ben and I watched my little ponies together. It was a pinkie pie episode! In it we learned pinkie pie is one party away from total breakdown. I figured out early in the episode what was going on. Ben suggested that they really were avoiding pinkie pie. I was like, "NO. That's now how these things work."

For the rest of the evening, I played disgaea 2. I have decided to give up on all tedious side quests and just finish it up already.

It was even colder this morning. I actually turned the heat back on today. It was also raining today, so I had one of my awful rainy day headaches.

Ben took me out to ihop and the hardware store. Then we went home and I took a short nap. It helped a tiny bit. Now ben is playing portal 2. I like the little eyeball robot.

I need to finished sewing a coworker's pants this evening. Preferably before the stores close so I can get some thread. I'd also like to go to the food store, but that seems less likely.
I have not been enjoying homeownership. There is always something that has to be done on the house. For example, our lawn right now is so tall, I lose my dog in it. (She loves it though. She is a wild mighty hunter, stalking her prey on the grasslands.)

We finally bought a lawnmower last night. An electric one because I have never been able to start a gas one in my entire life. Plus gas is expensive these days. Tonight we'll need to set it up and charge it.

We also bought some border fencing (like these, but not that exact one) to finally build my compost bin. Which is great because we will have all those grass clippings to compost soon!

I need to start thinking about painting. We need to finish priming several rooms. And then we need to put a real coat of paint down. Anyone want to volunteer? I'll feed you!
Yesterday morning I took my dog for a long walk. She needed the exercise. But I walked her a bit too far because she needed to be carried part of the way back. On the bright side, she was too tired to be hyper for the entire rest of the day.

After ben woke up, we went to ikea. They were probably the only store open on easter in va. Stupid state is so catholic. Anyway, they once again did not have the headboard we wanted. We may have to give in and order it. And pay their ridiculously expensive shipping. ($100!!!) Maybe I should just figure out how to build one myself.

When we got home, ben was hot and cranky so we turned on the ac for the first time. And discovered that that had been broken too. The pipe that sends the water down the drain had been snapped off. Fantastic. I hate this house. Temporary solution is a bucket to catch the drips.

I think the former homeowners went out of their way to destroy the house. Did I mention the trees? Our trees are half dead. They were alive last year when we made an offer on the house. Now they can barely manage some leaves. I would not be surprised if the previous people poured poison around the roots out of spite.

I went to bed early because my foot has been hurting. I'm not very good at staying off of it unless I'm asleep. Ben's phone woke me at 2am. He still hadn't come to bed. And then he had to rush off to work to fix something even though he wasn't supposed to be on call. He eventually came home at 5. I couldn't sleep at all before he returned. When my alarm went off at 6, I refused to get up. Instead ended up oversleeping until 8am. Came into work late, but it was worth getting a bit more sleep and spending a few hours with ben.



January 2015

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