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...where I am sexy_romulan.
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The importer worked this time, woo!
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Things I did today:

* Bought and planted a steely blue pyramidal dwarf spruce for the front border that fills its alotted space exactly as beautifully as I had envisioned, both in terms of colour and in balancing the bulk of the miscanthus on the other corner - maybe I'm getting the hang of this design stuff, at least in my own yard! AND it was 35% off - WIN. Here's hoping I don't kill it.
* Noted while planting said spruce that despite my shameful neglect this summer, the October garden is really pretty stunning, with all the foliage acquiring various autumnal tinges. It becomes this altogether symphonic arrangement of blocks of colour.

Things I am going to do tonight:

* Make the last batch of grape jelly
* Hang out in cyberspace with my sisters
* Try one more effing round with the query letter, GOD HELP ME
* Check out the Lanark Cedar website and find out if they have remotely useful hours, such that I can lay hands on some bevel siding (so as to finally finish the trim around the door)
* Clean up the damn kitchen



Things I am going to do tomorrow:

* Marshal my thoughts wrt writing client stuff
* Print out the first 40-odd pp for markup
* Buy salad fixings for lunch instead of shelling out $$$ on takeout
* Make chicken stock w remains in the freezer


Things I am going to do soon:
* Somehow acquire above-mentioned bevel siding
* Trim around door (a weekend afternoon or two, I expect)
* Put concrete toe next to border pavers
* Dig out all the goddamn periwinkle and violets out of the east border



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Back to life, back to reality. Was not l33t enough to start the writing blog. Nonetheless, feeling pretty optimistic about things, all told. My sister had a couple of truly excellent suggestions for the next ghost story, so plans for that are in good shape. C'mon November!! Am now bumming around on the train and reading about the super-creepy Winchester Mystery House and checking out Lev Grossman's blog.

Things I need to do:

* Brainstorm creepy incidents for Ghost Story II
* Continue to read stuff for writing client

Rereading old entries I realized that there is now less than a year until all the moneez are ours, precioussss. Well, more like two years, really, because we'll have to dig ourselves out of the debt-pile first before we'll be able to throw any of it around. STILL, movement in that direction will be good! And at this point it's like pshh, a year, whatever, that's no time at all.

All the fun fixy-uppy things I have plans to do given time enough and $$$... like making the laundry room actually pleasant to be in. My thought is that we could put a wall up to make the furnace area a separate space, install ceramic tile and an actual paintable finish on the walls, put up ikea storage cupboards - likewise white, probably - and a bit of counter space, find a nice bright light fixture, get swanky water-and-energy-efficient laundry machines like my mom's got.

And a car that's not an infuriating falling-apart rustbucket with barely adequate infrastructure for carseats would be good too. Ugh. It would be really nice to buy a car that would last more than a couple years before getting to this point.

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I really hate working from home. Instead of resolving the tension between home and work it just makes the tug-of-war that much more intense - I can't shelve one set of responsibilities to focus on the other, I just end up juggling them all.

Hmmm

Apr. 5th, 2011 10:02 pm
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HVAC dude tells us that a/c units like ours were made about 20-30 years ago. Given that NRCan lists the life expectancy of a/c units as "15 years or more", I think I spy another immanent item on the home improvement to-do list.
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Well.

After spending most of the weekend with or chez Grandma, Rose zonked out so hard on the way home that she barely woke up when extracted from the car seat and didn't make a peep when I tucked her into bed. So after a fairly free and easy couple of days, I now have the evening off too.

I...don't quite know what to do with myself.

QFT

Apr. 1st, 2011 10:48 pm
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...and she went on, pondering the indifference of a man towards the exigencies that ruled a woman: that someone must be not far from a sleeping child, that one's freedom meant another's unfreedom, unless some ever-changing, moving balance were reached, like the balance of a body moving forward, as she did now, on two legs, first one then the other, in the practice of that remarkable art, walking.

Ursula Le Guin, Tehanu
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Mental health day today. So wtf am I going to do with myself such that I don't end up feeling like I've wasted it? Need to stick around the house while insulation guys are doing their thing, otherwise I would go do some soldering. But everything I've been saying I need to get done around the house is so workaday dreary that the prospect of spending a day off on it is just depressing, even though I would probably feel pleasantly accomplished at the end of it.

Tea with [livejournal.com profile] amazon_syren this afternoon will be a good start, anyway. ♥ ♥

Maybe I will put on some loud music and clean until the downstairs is fit for tea company, and then knit or something.
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Wow, this must be about the saintliest possible response to this particular brand of cognitive dissonance. From this very interesting article that I think I ran into on [livejournal.com profile] rabbitica's doula blog.

I was with the doctor I train with doing the initial steps of an intake — an ultrasound to date the pregnancy and a full history.The patient says to the doctor, “I should not be here today. I agree with the people out there.” Gestures out window to street. The people at the bus stop???? “The people who are protesting. I think what you are doing is wrong. I think you should be killed.” Oh. Whoaaaa!

Dr. S does a clinical version of “Werewolf-ing Yourself” which consists of extensively documenting this woman’s ambivalence in the chart, alerting the counseling staff to a patient who would require a lot of support and quickly peacing out of the room before she voiced any of the many justifiable but possibly hurtful words that could come in response to someone looking you in the eye and telling you that you should die for what you do. The only thing that she did say before closing the door was to me, and it was “Your turn!” This is because my secret healthcare superpower is invulnerability to other people’s cognitive dissonance, no matter how profound.

So I told my patient what I truly believe, which is: “I’m so sorry that you feel that way because feeling that way has got to make this an even harder decision than it already is. I imagine it must really feel awful to think that you have to do something that goes against your own beliefs.” (Secret inspiration: my own feelings about the situation!) “I know there is no way you're going to go home feeling you did the absolute right thing no matter what happens today. We are not going to do any procedure until you are absolutely certain that this is what you want. I do not want you to have an abortion. The only that I want you to do is the thing that is most right for you, whether it’s continuing this pregnancy and becoming a parent, or adoption, or abortion.” Then we brought her with her boyfriend to the counselor who talked with them for hours about the spectrum of resources available for not just abortion but adoption and parenting. At my clinic, we joke that we turn away more patients than the protestors do. And although she did end up terminating the pregnancy, the procedure went well, there were no complications, and she told the staff we had been the “most supportive!” I personally thanked her and told her it was an honor to be there for her and still get teary when I think about it. Ice burn, Lila Rose!


More head-shaking/jaw-dropping stories along this line here.
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Appointment with the OB today, which was full of surprising information. There is no VBAC ban in force at the QCH - midwives are not allowed to take on new VBAC patients there, but the doctors can, and mine seemed to pretty much take it for granted that this was the safer and preferred option, although if I decided to go for an elective c-section she would sign me up.

So that pretty much changes the landscape completely.

Next step then is to find myself a doula. Even if I'm stuck with caregiver roulette, that should provide some of the continuity and expert support that I wanted. Fired off a few emails on that score this afternoon.

I don't know. Not altogether sure how I feel about this. Equal parts relieved and intimidated. Does that even make sense?
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Sweet merciful crap, I have not had such a bad night with Rose since she was an infant, and possibly not even then. She woke up screaming every 20 minutes to every hour. No idea what was wrong - she was clearly tired and would go right back to sleep, and when she eventually woke up in the morning she was cheerful enough. I got maybe a few hours of very interrupted sleep. And of course this WOULD happen the night before I've committed to taking on some work from home despite being sick. When I finally slogged through that and collapsed into a 3h nap, I ended up dreaming about fighting with people at work over stupid procedural BS and woke up with a worse headache than I fell asleep with.
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Success! Here we have the latest contender:

Photobucket

What say you, intarwebz? Is this an improvement? - well, almost anything would be, really, but I mean enough of an improvement to shell out for.

+10 class

Mar. 19th, 2011 08:23 pm
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Ohhhhhhhh new light fixtures, they are so awesome!!! Electrician dude was in the end able to hang the one above the stairs, which provides at least twice as much light in addition to the swank factor. Just need to hang the one at the top of the stairs (and finish the stained glass closet windows, ahem) and Project Improved Lighting will be COMPLEEEEEEEETE.

Must see if I can get the camera and the computer to talk to each other so as to post a pic of the Very Brown Potential Carpet Runner for the consideration of those with better home fashion sense than mine.
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Better today? I think? Still hacking up a lung, but at least I'm not audibly wheezing anymore, and an actual solid night's rest seems to have helped on the general constitution side of things.

Am also greatly cheered by electrician dude's presence - he is adding light fixtures to the bedrooms and hopefully also changing the fixtures that I bought two years ago, although he wasn't sure whether his ladder would be able to get him up there either, so we'll see how that works out. Insulation people are coming in a week to fill the cavities under the upstairs overhang with spray-foam, which will hopefully mean the bedrooms will be sort of the same temperature as the rest of the house next winter (upgrading the attic seems to have helped keep the a/c up there, but not so much with the heat).

I have been seized lately with a fierce desire to Get The House In Order, because we've been here 2.5 years and it still feels like we haven't really finished moving in. It seems like everything has been in a big transitional mess of one kind or another ever since we got here, between the kitchen reno, mom moving, and the general chaos that comes with having a baby. So we end up with the miscellaneous clutter of books and decorations that had to be moved out of the baby's reach, pictures that got taken down and need to be rehung on a wall that hasn't been repainted yet, kitchen miscellany that is temporarily living on the counter because two large cupboards never really got properly organized, heaps of blankets on top of dressers because the linen closets likewise need sorting out, unusable downstairs TV room full of junk and leftover moving stuff that needs cleaning up, a bedroom stuffed full of clocks, old baby clothes and extra furniture...AUGH. I am not a particularly tidy or organized creature, as anyone who has lived with me can tell you, but being my mother's daughter I at least know what tidy and organized LOOKS like, and when it gets this far away from it so pervasively and on such an ongoing basis it makes me want to scah-reeeeeeeeeeem. So I am determined to haul the house into at least a baseline level of non-chaos before the next bombshell goes off baby gets here - at least when it (inevitably) degenerates from there it will have somewhere to get back to.
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No noticeable improvement so far, leaving me in wretched and BORING too-woozy-and-headachey-to-do-much-of-anything-yet-seriously-done-with-sleeping limbo. This is particularly infuriating given the gorgeous weather. Come on, antibiotics, unleash your nuclear-strike ass-kickery already!
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Ugh. Sick sick sick. Went to the doctor today, who said it sounded like the beginnings of bronchitis or pneumonia. Great, that is so totally JUST WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW.

Well, at least I can haz antibiotics. Here's hoping they work fast.
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Next round of home improvement projects begun! Rahhhr!!

Today: purchased and assembled two floor lamps with reading lights for the living room. Ahhhh, comfortable light levels. Also booked an electrician to add some overhead lights to the bedrooms and finally install the light fixture that's been waiting to go over the stairs. Shopped a bit for stair runners, without much luck - had I known the one we actually liked was of limited availability, I'd have snapped it up on credit when we had the chance. There's a brown one at Rona that might work, and the price is certainly right. It's just...very brown. Given the rest of our furnishings I can't figure out if it would come out on the right side of the line between warm/cozy and 70s. I suppose repainting in a less yellow shade of cream would maybe help tip the scales, but gahhhhh, I seriously do not want to have to paint the entire living room and stairwell.

Also need to do something about the doors upstairs. Repainting them and replacing the doorknobs might be just as effective - and a lot less expensive and annoying - than trying to replace them altogether; I'm sure there's some sort of monkeying around that can be done to fix the couple that don't want to close properly. The closet doors - relics of the 60s - really do need to go, though.

There's also a lot of bare space on the walls that needs filling, especially upstairs. I have a pile of art and photos that need framing and hanging, and I'm starting to think I should at least look into schlepping them over to Michaels. I don't have the time to do it myself, and although I'd feel terribly accomplished if I ever managed it, the supplies are expensive enough that it wouldn't really save me any money. ...oho! And guess which venerable institution has a 50% off custom framing coupon on its website this week! Sahweeet!
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Why does my LJ think it's March 28?? I mean, don't I wish, but WTF?
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Today began at a freakishly early hour but has proceeded to be pretty awesome anyway. Cora's breakfast followed by cozy tea at a friend's house with Rose and my friend's six-month-old happily zoodling along on their own trajectories in the background. Come to find out, she went the VBAC route when he was born and had nothing but support and encouragement from her OB - orly! Will have to investigate further, but am cheered by the availability of options on that front. And also thanks to her I am now outfitted with a bunch more actual maternity clothes that do not either fall off my butt or creep up my belly. FTW!

Spent about half an hour at the Trailing Edge while the wizards there pored over my ornery computer. The hard drive, as it turns out, is perfectly fine - it's the USB ports that are fucked up. The hard drive can't get enough power from them to spin up properly, hence the error message. The warranty on the laptop is expired, but since they do a lot of business with the supplier who provided it, they're going to see what they can do on that front anyway and get back to me. I knew there was a reason that place had my customer loyalty. What a relief.

To top it off, when David Bowie's Magic Dance came on the newly acquired stereo, Rose danced all around the kitchen with me, giggling and wiggling and bouncing around for the "jump magic jump"s. OMFG, does it get any awesomer. I ask you.

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