mellymell: (Default)
Chris and I have been rocking out the outdoor projects for the past couple of months. We built a short fence out of cedar (which smells just like pencil shavings) around our A/C units with a gate so we could access the water faucet back there but also dampen some of the noise from the machines. It seems to work on both counts and gives us a little hidden storage and a nice clean look there. It also makes our patio seem a little more enclosed and private and so we've been contemplating not building a deck on top of it but rather tiling over the concrete (because I've seen it done and it looks super easy) and maybe later installing French doors in place of the dining room windows and building a covered deck over there. Regardless, we have got to rebuild our back steps ASAP. They're rotting and falling apart and they were a hazard even when they were brand new because of the odd angle at which they were built, so that needs to be fixed.

In building that little fence (by the way, we feel like total experts on fence construction now), we had to move the ornamental grasses that were there in front of the A/C units before and after much contemplation and consideration, I decided to create a new garden there that would envelope the little Japanese maple we had planted out from there before. I rearranged the grasses so they curved around creating a backdrop for the maple and I really like how it turned out. It needs more plants, but for now, it looks great! We finished it off with some mulch this past weekend while Chris' parents were here to keep Jonah entertained. I have a strong desire to plant some hardy ornamental banana trees there.

Also, on Saturday, we mulched and weeded the garden that's under the dining room windows and now borders the new A/C fence and this new garden. I need to get some summer annuals in there pronto, but it looks good for now, as the gladioli and cannas have risen and are thriving in all this rain (as is everything else). Just before dusk, we managed to get two flats of veggies and herbs planted into our now six 4'x4' plots for such. We went to Flowers Nursery out Briley this time (they've supplied All Seasons with their heirloom tomato plants in years past). They sell all their stuff in 4 packs of plants, so we wound up with 8 types of tomatoes, 8 types of peppers (though we missed a habanero and will need to remedy that), 2 types of eggplant, 1 each of zucchini, straight neck yellow squash and cucumbers. We planted the 4 packs little clusters that we'll sort of grow as one plant. I've never tried anything like this before, so we'll see how they do. It sure was much cheaper!

We picked up basil, tarragon and dill to put in our herb bed along side the peppermint, chocolate mint, thyme, oregano, parsley and sage we had there last year. Last year's basil plants turned into a huge shrub that crowded out our blueberry bushes. We'll see if these do as well.

Apart from all that, about a month ago I planted seeds in rows for 4 types of lettuces (a romaine, a bibb, and two types of leaf lettuce), a mix of 3 types of baby cabbages (red, green and savoy), a baby bok choy, cilantro (yes, a whole row of it) and green onions. I'm going to try to do successive plantings of those until it gets too hot for them to thrive.

We didn't get around to moving our raspberries, so I'm just going to have to be vigilant about keeping them contained. They really need their own space. They triple in size every year. I'd also like to start an asparagus bed.

Also, have I mentioned how much I absolutely love our garden shed!? We picked it up the weekend Chris bought his truck and got it all set up and stocked and I just totally love having it there. Again, it's really provided great storage in a tidy package, just like the fence around the A/C units. I sure hope I have before pictures of our yard when we bought this house somewhere. There was seriously no landscaping done when we first bought the place. We now have 7 gardens and we've planted 6 trees, 6 crepe myrtles and 15 shrubs, not counting the ones we've lost or the blueberries and raspberries.

I absolutely love this time of year. All the leaves are in, the growth is exponential with each rain and everything is still lush and new before the summer heat and drought comes.
mellymell: (Default)
We had a day of reprieve from the time that we got back from our trip to the time that Chris' parents called saying they had no power in Huntsville and wanted to come stay with us until they could get power again. Six days later, they went home (yesterday) to find they finally had power again. As far as I know, no one I know personally has lost their homes or worse in this round of storms. I think everyone has checked in at this point and I feel very lucky to not have lost anyone down there.

From 12:30pm yesterday when they left to right now, I have not turned the TV on at all. If I ever hear the voice of another news anchor, it'll be too soon. There were times the first day or so when my mother-in-law was watching the royal wedding coverage and my father-in-law had tornado coverage cranked up so loud on his laptop that I'm certain his speakers were blown, I would retreat into my bedroom with my nook and shut out the world.

The wedding was lovely, even though I'm really not into the celebrity of it all. I could have watched just the wedding without commentary or analysis and been perfectly content. Kate's dress was simply stunning! And the huge trees in the abbey were gorgeous. The departure in an Aston Martin a fun touch. They seem truly happy together. But all the gossip and speculation and such was too much for me to handle. So irritating! There was a point that evening when a story about Syria came on and then they were about to play a statement from Gaddafi in Lybia after his son and grandchildren were killed in a NATO airstrike and I really wanted to hear it. But she changed it to wedding coverage that she had already seen earlier in the day. At that point, I got up and left the room to busy myself elsewhere.

And on the 5th day of their stay, came the news of Osama bin Laden's death, which they also didn't watch much of, favoring more storm coverage instead. I get that completely. They were trying to figure out when they could go home and what sort of things they could expect when they got back and got power again. It's locally important news that affects their immediate area. I totally get that. But not even a mention of it really? This is a hugely symbolic thing that's happened, even if it doesn't change much in the war on terror, and not even much more than a "oh, this happened" nod of acknowledgement? That, I don't get. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws, I really do. But a 6 day stay with nearly anyone is a bit much, especially when you're coming off a trip and not exactly prepared for house guests.

My initial reaction to the the news as I lay in bed Sunday night when it broke was something like "ding dong the witch is dead." But then I saw people taking to the streets, getting drunk and chanting "U-S-A" like we just won the World Cup or something. Yeah, not our country's proudest moment in my opinion. That feeling of relief quickly became a feeling of anxiety that the hundreds of radical followers he left behind will watch this and become empowered with renewed hatred against us. I'm not saying a more solemn response wouldn't have empowered their rage either. For their own reasons, they hate us and our reaction to killing their leader isn't going to change that. I'm also not saying people don't have a right to celebrate if that's how they feel about it. By all means, this is a process of grief and everyone handles it differently and everyone NEEDS that freedom to express their grief and their closure however they need to. So I'm not going to go around shaming anyone for joining in with those celebrations. But I will sit here and feel my anxiety. That's mine and I'll own it, just like anyone out there celebrating will own that. For me, I had some moments of quiet reflection (as quiet as I could get in a crowded house) on the massive loss our country suffered nearly 10 years ago and sent hope out into the world that the victims and their families could find some peace now that justice had been done upon their attacker.

And I do feel this was justice. He needed to die. That's the way of it. I feel no tinge of guilt for being glad that he's gone, out of this world, never to hurt another. Will 10 more rise in his place over time? Of course. This solves nothing and stops no wars on terrorism. But he is gone, shot in the head for what he did to thousands of people and never able to hurt another. Some have said they wished it could have gone differently so that he wasn't viewed a martyr. Shot down like a rat hiding in his nest doesn't seem very martyr-like to me, but his followers would likely spin any demise in that direction, so I don't think it matters how he met his end. Capture would have only spelled exponentially more trouble for all involved. He needed to die and he needed to die quickly. And fantastic call on not bombing the compound there, Obama! I'm so glad our forces pulled the triggers that took him down. Not a drone, not a bomb, but our people. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all our service men and women who have and continue to sacrifice for our safety and freedom.

And that's the end of that chapter. *tosses end of scarf over shoulder*
mellymell: (Default)
There were clues over the past couple of months, but nothing definitive to tell me that we were not going to Boston to a tech conference over Easter and the weekend before my 30th birthday. I suppose the audacity of my husband booking a tech conference for that particular reason should have been all the definitive proof I needed, but it wasn't. I could have completely spoiled it by simply looking at Chris' email on the tablet, but I wasn't going to do that. When my suspicions grew, I resigned to be surprised. I was still afraid that if I said anything, I would find out it was all in my head--wishful thinking--and that in fact, we were headed to Boston.

On the way to the airport, I was driving separately from Chris and Jonah as we were dropping my car off to have the timing belt replaced while we were out of town. Chris said Jonah suddenly piped up with, "mommy knows about Brandy." At which Chris' heart jumped into his throat as he asked, "what does mommy know about Brandy?" "That she's the tickle monster." I'm sure there was an audible sigh of relief. Jonah went on to say, "we should go visit Brandy some time." Chris said, "can you keep a secret, Jonah? We're actually going to see Brandy right now as a surprise to mommy." *in a verge-of-tears tone* "But I want to go to Boston! We can visit Brandy tomorrow." Poor kid, but he was easily persuaded to get on board with the plan.

When we arrived at the airport and checked in, my suspicions were confirmed as the lady checking our bags said, "going to San Francisco?" in confirmation of our travel plans. Chris shot me a side eye and said, "happy birthday" and I answered with a quiet "I knew it."

The trip out was mostly uneventful, except for a 45 minute delay on the runway in Chicago. I swear, every single time I fly through Chicago, the weather is freaking awful! We finally got into SFO at about 1:15am Pacific time (meaning that Jonah was now up past 4am Central time by the time we got him in bed that night/morning, although he did sleep most of the second leg of the flight). We chatted with Brandy and Michael for a bit, then everyone was unable to keep their eyes open much longer and we all turned in for the night.

We got up late and had lunch at Gracie's Family Barbecue. Then we took Jonah to a neat park with a huge slide and peacocks roaming the grounds. He had lots of fun, even when some teenagers parked themselves at the top of the slide and tried to scare all the younger ones. Jonah just said they were silly and went anyway. Way to go, fearless. We fed him some pizza for dinner and took him over to some friends of Brandy who had a little girl a bit older than Jonah for him to play with for the evening while we went to Japantown to get some sushi and then to the Filmore to a Yonder Mountain String Band show where I stood enjoying the music (though feeling spoiled by the number of truly fantastic sound techs in Nashville and weirded out by the fact that the last time I saw YMSB was on a tiny stage in a dive bar in Nashville and here they were at the Filmore with Intellibeam lights and stuff) and contemplating life, the universe and everything. Good times. :)

Sunday was an awesome lazy Easter. We got up and Brandy made a yummy breakfast of biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. We colored Easter eggs and hid some for Jonah, then made deviled eggs out of them for dinner. Also for dinner, she made an awesome pork tenderloin with a peppercorn crust and an soy sauce/sesame oil marinade which she then turned into sort of a gravy, horseradish potatoes au gratin and steamed broccoli, then from scratch banana pudding for dessert. Another of her friends with a little girl came over for dinner, but Jonah wasn't as nice this time while playing. He chased her and pulled her hair. Honestly, I think he was flirting and that's the first time we've had to deal with that. When I questioned him about why he was being mean, he said because he liked her. Awwww... but NO! He learned the importance of an apology that night even if I had to force it out of him.

Monday, Brandy woke up sick. Boo-urns! For her especially. :/ Eventually, Chris and I decided that perhaps getting out of the house so she could rest and feel better and not feel guilty about us being there was probably the best option. We borrowed their rental car and went up to Santa Rosa to Russian River Brewery, but only after stopping off at an In & Out Burger on the way. We'd never been to one, but we did our research on the unlisted menu and ordered what we thought would be good. It was okay. Definitely no Fat Mo's. Maybe not even a Five Guys. But I'm glad I tried it! It's just something you have to do. Next I guess I have to ride a streetcar. Then we proceeded on to Santa Rosa and spent way too much money on beer, coming home with a full case to attempt to check in a wine shipper on the return flight the next day (which worked beautifully, by the way. Thank you Southwest for the 2 free checked bags!)

Tuesday, my 30th birthday, we got up early and rode in with Brandy on her morning commute to work on the ferry. She accompanied us to the BART and went on her way to work as we headed to SFO to head home. Luckily, nothing got delayed. We watched the weather with great anxiety and sure enough, we flew straight through that storm that turned into devastation for the Southeast when it was probably around Arkansas, if I had to guess. When we landed, we had a couple of hours before the first thunderstorms would hit Nashville. On the flight to LAX from SFO, apparently Owen Wilson's brother was aboard, according to the flight attendants who were fawning over him. I have no idea who he is or what he looks like though, even though I looked straight at him when I took Jonah to the bathroom as he was back there talking to them. *shrug*

We had a lot of fun and it was beyond fantastic to spend Easter and my birthday weekend with Brandy instead of stuck in a city I've never really thought about visiting while Chris was at a tech conference. :) Not that I wouldn't have found awesome things to do in Boston, but it just wasn't exactly my first choice of how to spend my 30th birthday. Also, having to buy Jonah a seat is totally worth having a row of seats to ourselves.

I'm still not considering my birthday done. I mean, it is, but there are still some things I want to do in celebration. For one, I want to finish the tattoo that I started when I was 18 (it's been an outline for 12 years). Two, I'd like to go skydiving (random, I know, but there it is). Three, I still want to do my Mad Tea Party, but I might wait until next year. Spring seems like the time to do it, really and this spring might as well be spent. I could totally pull a Disney and celebrate my birthday all year. ;)
mellymell: (Default)
I wrote this up raw on 750words this morning (my first visit there all month, which is just sad). I'm not sure if I might edit it and put it up on my writer's blog as well. It does contain somewhat pertinent information to my identity as a writer.

Oh, right. I have a writer's blog now and a pen name M.L. Hamilton (a combination of my first two initials and my mother's maiden name). I certainly hope I don't discover anymore hidden interests that might turn into major personal ventures, because I'm stretched pretty thin as far as alternate identities go.

Anyway, without further ado, if you ever wondered about my ponderings on what it means to me to be "well read" or what sort of English student I was as a 17-year-old...

(*spoiler!* A terrible one.) )
mellymell: (muderous trolls)
I've been sitting on this story, but I really need to get it out there in the hope that maybe I can help add to the numbers to help this couple finally get payment from their insurance company and move toward closure on a horrific chapter of their lives.

Thanks to bonnie_halfelvn for sharing this story! Here's a letter from the victims to their insurance company and a petition you can sign (as well as the name and phone number of the insurance company if you want to be an extra pain in their asses). Here's a news story detailing the event, the harassment they suffered leading up to it and the nightmare of dealing with the insurance company ever since.

Almost eight months ago, a lesbian couple in Vonore, TN (a bit southwest of Knoxville and on the edge of the Smoky Mountains), were spending their anniversary in Nashville along with their 26-year-old daughter who lives with them. When they returned home, their house had been burned to the ground and the word "QUEERS" had been spray painted across the outside wall of their garage which still stood.

Hate crime, arson, open and shut case, right?

Not in hillbilly country, apparently. Their insurance company, OVER 8 MONTHS LATER has yet to pay out on their claim and presumably the arsonist is still walking the streets. They're currently living in a rental home while they pay both rent and a mortgage on a pile of ash that used to be their home. They've been bent over backwards in the investigation as they're asked to provide a myriad of information (some of which seems very extraneous), none of which they've failed to provide, but they get nothing in return. Wait, I take that back. They got a whopping $610.17 check in response to continued efforts to send the insurance company receipts for all living expenses.

It's not bad enough that their bigot neighbor threatened them constantly and even allegedly poisoned their dog. But they can't even get what they need from the insurance company so they can move on with their lives. This has to be a complete nightmare for them.

This whole thing is disgusting. I'm keeping them in my thoughts that widespread attention to the story might shed some light on a very dark little corner of my home state and bring about some positive resolution.
mellymell: (Default)
Making a short story long... )

So, to recap:
1) LJ sucks because of Russian hackers... or something of that nature.
2) I feel the need to back up the last 7.5-8 years of my pointless ramblings because [reasons]. Therefore, I can now be found at Dreamwidth under mellymell, though my entries will be crossposted to LJ.
3) This changes virtually nothing for pretty much everyone but me.
4) If you followed me at mellymel_cos on LJ, consider it dead (a note to that effect will be made there as well).
5) If you didn't follow mellymel_cos on LJ, prepare to see a lot more costuming content here. Current topic: crossdressing elves.
6) The president of Russia is on LJ. o_O
mellymell: (he told me to burn things)
It's been touch-and-go for the past 24 hours, but I think *hopes once more for good measure* we're alright on Chris' truck. You see, it was a lovely weekend and we did a lot of work: a couple of truckloads of mulch and hauling lumber for the construction of a low fence around our A/C units. Being such a lovely weekend, we enjoyed open windows and sunroofs with much vigor. More the latter than the former.

Chris stayed home from work yesterday in an allergy funk and instead worked at home on his current contracting job (which is a headache in itself, honestly, but another story for another time and not really mine to tell anyway). Of course, like the rest of the East Coast, we were bombarded with crazy winds and horrible storms yesterday. Some of said storms were supposedly tornadoes, but I don't know that one came near us. I stood in the office window at around 2:20pm watching hurricane-like winds and rain whip around the house with incredible force. I kept waiting for one of our trees to snap, but they just bent to and fro like rubber bands. It was sort of zen, thinking about various Eastern philosophies of being flexible like bamboo instead of rigid like... something else. I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long as Chris and I enjoyed the thunderstorms rolling through (because really, they were quite enjoyable), neither of us once thought about the possibility that we might have forgotten to close the sunroof on his brand new, three week old truck. Not for a second.

Yeah, D'OOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!! doesn't even begin to cover it. By the time he tried to leave to go to the grocery while Jonah and I were at a play date across the street, he found about 2 inches of water standing in his cup holders in the center console and presumably a comparable amount in all the leather upholstery and the floorboards and the electronics and everything else. *CHAGRINED!*

Since he had a long distance crisis on his hands, dealing with this asshat that he's writing an app for (see previous comment about another headache in itself), I had him pull it as far into the garage as he could manage (since it's full of aforementioned lumber right now, among all the other things it's normally full of) and we went at all the hard surfaces with towels and I started in with the shop vac to try to pull out as much moisture as I could from all the soft surfaces. He pulled things apart, opened things up and left all the doors open to try to air it out. He cranked it up and left the heaters on full blast, which really did a fantastic job of drying stuff out, actually. Who knew heated seats would come in handy in Tennessee?!

He left it home today for me to open up in the sun and breeze and finally, it seems to be dried completely. I mean, I propped up the edges of the carpet on the floors to help air out underneath of them and everything! It seems to be all good, but we'll still probably air it out more and he stuck a container of Damprid in there.

Lesson learned: Check all windows, including sunroofs, before exiting the vehicle and never, ever leave them open, no matter what the weather. Chances are you'll forget to go back and close them later and you just don't want to have to deal with this sort of thing. Really, you don't! We've done this on my Forester once too, but that's a MUCH bigger sunroof, though I believe it was a much smaller storm and the car was not three freakin' weeks old!
mellymell: (Default)
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Rivendell. Done.
mellymell: (maleficent)
My first pieces for both Maleficent and Celeborn came yesterday! That oh-so-essential undergarment for Celeborn and an accessory for Maleficent that I scored on the cheap while being bad and browsing eBay last month. My rationalization was that Maleficent is bad and therefore I was merely channeling her when I hit "bid". Unfortunately, I think it might be a little too small for the ball that sits atop her staff. So, I might be at square one anyway. But as I said, it was uber cheap, so even if I don't use it, I'm not out much.

Gangsta says, what? )

For Celeborn, I got the compression shirt, which means that has incredibly speeding shipping! I posted this in a comment to [ profile] wicked_swann, but I thought I'd post it here as well. Maybe my initial impression of the shirt will help someone else.

Possibly TMI for those who don't want to know how to make your boobs disappear. )

And that's that. Onward and upward!
mellymell: (celeborn)
I started work on Celeborn Thursday. But I quickly found out that I'm just not going to be able to drape this thing on my busty dress form (bustier than I am, for sure). I don't yet have a compression apparatus for my own chest, so I couldn't even really take accurate measurements to draft something. But, that didn't stop me from playing. I mocked up what I think is a good place to start for the front of the inner robe down to the waist seam.

Friday, I promptly ordered a compression shirt. ;)

I got an immediate shipping notice & it's coming priority from Miami. So maybe it will be here tomorrow or Tuesday and I can check my work and move forward on that.

In the meantime, I pulled out my Arwen Angel gown & I'm going to pin it to the dress form tomorrow and work on these in tandem. I've got it all cut out from way back in 2008 or 09 when I last worked on it and the lining is done. It's all the freaking handwork I have left to do on it that's going to keep me so busy on that one. Celeborn has a little couching to do, but not a million seed and bugle beads on his edges!

I think if I break both these projects up into tiny pieces and stick to a schedule, I might make it to an event where needles and thread are a precautionary measure, not necesities for finishing a costume. I will not be sewing on the riverboat at ALEP2! ;)

Posted via LjBeetle
mellymell: (Default)
Included in my last long post about all the things was a mention of a distant neighbor/professional handyman/musician (because that's Nashville for you) coming to take a look at our problematic gutters. We had a bit of rotting around our master bedroom window as well as some around the gutter that ends at that same window. We assumed it was the gutter causing the problem. But as he began to pull off a couple of completely rotted 2x4s & the soffit, he found the culprit. Our master bath is right there as well and apparently, instead of being built properly, the exhaust fan just vents into the corner of that soffit. Yes, warm, moist air trapped in an entirely wooden soffit with no where to go seemed like a good idea to whomever constructed our house and the building inspector who passed it.

Surprisingly, it only took him 5 hours and cost less than $250 for him to replace the vent hose, all the rotten wood (with composite which will never rot again), properly vent the fan and put everything back together. But everytime he knocked on the door to show me what else he found, it just seemed like it got deeper and deeper. I totally felt like I was talking to Holmes. He even wore overalls! He also had more piercings than I do. ;)

The gutters, it turned out were just clogged downspouts. Or so we hope.

Posted via LjBeetle
mellymell: (Default)
First, I want to say that, although I didn't go back and reply to all the comments on my step-mom, I really appreciate everyone's sentiments and well wishes and thoughts and prayers on the matter! It really touched me that people thanked me for the update, showing that our family are not the only ones thinking about it. So thank you guys so much for caring! The procedure is really fascinating and medical science just amazes me. They don't understand what the stem cells are doing or how they do it, but they just know it works at this point and that's sort of amazing in itself.

Now, the other things. )
mellymell: (rainbow at island in the sky)
[ profile] arymetore posted this a few days ago and I keep meaning to repost it.

In memory of family and friends who have lost the battle with cancer; and in support of the ones who continue to conquer it! Post this on your LJ if you know someone who has or had cancer. 93% won't copy and paste this. Will you?

I'm lucky to not have lost anyone to cancer. But I have an update on my step-mom that I've been meaning to post for a few weeks now.

Around Christmas they had gotten to the point where the chemo and other treatments weren't doing what they wanted them to do. So they promptly started harvesting stem cells from her blood. They did this for 8-12 weeks. She would go in frequently, maybe even daily some weeks and they would go through a process similar to taking plasma (pull out the blood, separate out the stem cells, put everything else back in).

Early this month, I got a call from dad saying that they had finally done her transplant. They had harvested more than enough stem cells for two transplants just in case something went wrong. She got her dose of lethal radiation that killed off everything in her bone marrow on a Wednesday and the next day got her transplant. By that Friday, when I talked to dad, he said she got up that morning and showered by herself, which was a big deal for her at the time. She has to remain in an incredibly sterile environment for about 30 days. Even the salt and pepper on her food has to be brought up to bacteria killing temperatures. She can't eat anything raw, except for fruits and veggies that can be peeled (bananas, oranges, anything with a rind, basically). Even then, she has to either wear gloves or let someone else do the peeling. She's basically radioactive right now. Or was at the time (I'm sure at this point some of those effects have waned).

Something I hadn't really thought about was just how much this is sort of like hitting the reset button on your body. In a year, once her blood production looks good and they're sure she's not going to have to go through the process again, they're going to have to readminister every vaccination she's ever had (and then some, since we get a lot more vaccines now than we did when she was getting them as a child). The nurses gave her a little birthday party the day she went in for her transplant. They said it was sort of like she was being reborn.

At that point he said it would take about two weeks for the stem cells to do their thing and start producing blood cells again. So she's in a fragile state right now, but they're all very positive about how she's responded thus far and very optimistic that this will help put her into remission. As soon as it's safe for her to have visitors, we'll go down and see them, I hope.

Time was of the essence for her. She was diagnosed about a year ago and this is how far and how fast it progressed. Because they caught it early on, they were able to monitor the progress and plan an attack, so to speak. Of course, she will always go in for tests on a regular basis from here on out, even if this does exactly what they hope it will. But again, because they'll be monitoring her, they'll be able to do this all over again if necessary.

So, I'm more grateful than usual that I can post that I've not lost anyone to cancer. A year ago, it looked considerably more bleak for our family on that front. I'm eternally grateful to the doctors and nurses who have worked with her and continue to provide her care. Everyone has been tremendous. I'm grateful that my step-sister-in-law (that's a mouthful) is right next door to help my dad out with things and help take her to appointments and help her get around and such. I wish I could be closer right now and wish I could do more for them. But I'm so glad they're in good hands.
mellymell: (Default)
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My current fancy is Greece. I'm not sure why, I'm just feeling really drawn there right now for some reason.
mellymell: (Default)
The day after my last post about the asshaberdashery of the insurance company we were dealing with, we had everything resolved and Chris and I took a trip out to Gallatin Friday afternoon to get the truck he wanted.


After enjoying the benefits of having a truck all weekend, it's a little easier to ignore the fact that we now have three years of debt because of it (unless we pay it off early, which we probably will).

Jonah had his second soccer game on Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 8:30am. Sure, that doesn't sound like it's that bad, except that it takes an awful long time to get shin guards and tight knee socks on wobbly little legs that don't know the meaning of the word "still". Jonah's natural rising time is at about 8am, exactly when we should be leaving the house to get to the field in time. But we made it in plenty of time, despite waking a bit late and he was even fed and over his "you woke me up" grumpiness by the time we got there. The promise of a donut after the game probably helped.

The only issue was that we did not account for the blustery wind that was blowing at that hour. At least we weren't the only parents that were ill equipped. Chris and I would kick the ball around with Jonah on the side lines when he wasn't in the game to help keep him (and us) warm. But as we were leaving, I noticed the ball was starting to roll down the slope toward the ditch. Wanting to keep it out of the mud, I ran up to kick it up the slope. But when I planted my left foot next to the ball, my ankle rolled downhill and I went down momentarily. I could tell immediately this was not a "walk it off" injury. I've rolled my ankles before, but I've never had anything I'd call a sprain. This is awful!

Behind a cut because the bruising and swelling is rather gross. )

I've been trying my best to take it easy and follow the RICE rules (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), but I'm not so good at the R part and I've probably not used enough I or E because I'm not doing R. But I do keep it wrapped snuggly in an ace bandage all day and I sleep with it elevated. This morning, after prolonged icing last night and taking it easy yesterday, I've noticed that the swelling looks to have gone down by about half. But now, I'm noticing new bruises on the right side of the ankle as well as a slight discoloration throughout all of the swelled parts. Waking in the morning is the worst time. It gets settled in a relaxed position and I have to bend it back closer to a working angle to wrap it. Once it's wrapped, I'm usually okay for the rest of the day, but that transition between positions is excruciating! The rest of my body is starting to feel the strain of compensating for the ankle as well. I've got to take it easier until I'm healed.

One good thing, since I have to take frequent breaks, it actually looks like I'm going to get my reading done for the book discussion on Friday. We're starting Return of the King. Wow, we've been doing this for a really long time. Fellow smialites, is this year 2 or 3 since we started discussing LOTR?

Despite my crippledness, I still managed to help Chris put up the garden shed we had bought and could finally bring home because YAY TRUCK! I didn't do much but hold panels up so he could hammer them together, but it was something. Then I stocked it with all the tools and supplies that have been rusting out in the elements for years as well as a full shelf worth of stuff out of the garage. I want to outfit it with a loft for storing seedling flats and some pegboard and hooks for tools, but for now, everything is out of the way and accessible and tidy.

I also got the last of the clean up done in the gardens on Sunday. After cleaning out the entire garage the weekend before, my missing shears never turned up. So we bought some new ones and we got all the ornamental grasses clipped back just in time for the new growth to start popping up. The guy came to mow the grass yesterday for the first time, so the yard is starting to wake up out of winter funk.

Apart from that, I have a list of things I've vowed to finish before I start any new projects. I'm slowly crossing things off of it, but I've got some tremendous guilt about some of the things I've procrastinated. Nothing to do but just get them done though. The longer I take to finish them, the worse it gets. I've always said my mantra should be better late than never, but damn it, that's not good enough. I feel like I'm screaming "THIS IS WHY I'LL NEVER BE AN ADULT!" at myself. *sigh*
mellymell: (he told me to burn things)
Firstly, I'm getting only sporadic LJ notifications, so apologies if I've seemed to not be keeping up. I've been relying on the notifications to keep me up to date and they're not working reliably because LJ are a bunch of asshats, apparently.

As I was leaving the house on Monday to take Jonah to a birthday party, I get a text from Chris saying they've totaled his car, but no one from the insurance company had bothered to call and talk to him about it. Let me back up...

So, the accident was three weeks ago today. It was quite obviously the fault of the kid that pulled out of his driveway and slammed into Chris as he passed by. That kid has Safeco insurance. Safeco insurance are the SUCKIEST BUNCH OF SUCKS WHO EVER SUCKED! It took them two weeks to assume liability. Took four days for someone to tell Chris to just go get a rental car and once they assume liability, they'd pick up the tab (and I think that was the advice of our insurance). They routinely do not return phone calls. They argued that there were scratches from a previous accident and therefore they wouldn't pay the full amount for the bumper. Fine. They would only pay 70% of a new tire because they prorated for wear. Wtf? But fine. Keep in mind that during all these storms we've had, water has been leaking in through the damage.

They finally sent a check for the damages last week and Chris assumed the body shop would begin work on his car as of Friday. Monday, he gets a call from the mechanic asking if he had everything he needed out of his car because the tow truck was on its way to haul it to the scrap yard. WTF?! Several unreturned calls and a day later, he gets this voicemail left by a woman who emphasizes that his car is NOT totaled and gives him the date they issued payment for the damages and how much. WTF FOREVER!

After much persistence on Chris' part, he finally got a hold of someone and as it turns out, yes, the car is totaled and they're going to pay us the difference between what they've already paid for the damages and what the car is worth.

But now we have to buy a new car. We weren't ready to buy a new car. Chris has wanted a truck for over a year and we've been putting back some money to buy one, but we were banking on the Toyota lasting longer to give us time to save and not have to finance. It's not like we can't afford a car payment and with what we can put down on it and such, we can finance for as little as 3 years and still probably pay it off early. But we haven't had car payments, or any debt for that matter (apart from a mortgage), for about three years. I'm just really not enthusiastic about this. We could get a crappy car for what they'll give us for the Toyota, but damn it, we really do need a truck. We do way too many home improvement projects and I'm sick of paying delivery fees! Again, it's not like we can't afford it (though it's likely we won't be able to build our deck right now, since we'll probably have to put that money down on the truck), I just don't like having a car payment. :/

Turns out a dealership in Atlanta has the truck Chris wants. So heads up [ profile] oropher_777! We might be coming down for a whirlwind day trip this weekend. Want to grab some lunch or dinner or something? Apparently he's found something he wants in Goodlettsville and we'll probably be getting it tomorrow instead of going to Atlanta this weekend.

The good news is, once we have a truck, we can finally go pick up the garden shed we got an awesome deal on last weekend. And no more shoving 8ft lumber in the Subaru. No more buying mulch 10 bags at a time. I'll just keep enumerating the benefits to having a truck until I'm complacent about the car payment.

Moon meme.

Mar. 15th, 2011 08:58 pm
mellymell: (Default)

You were born during a Third Quarter moon

This phase occurs in the middle of the moon's waning phases, after the full moon and before the new moon.

- what it says about you -

You like to make up your own mind. You may find it hard to relate to mainstream opinions on issues, and you definitely don't always like what's popular. You can work out solutions and give birth to big ideas when left to yourself, and other people will be impressed with your conclusions even if they're not sure how you arrived at them.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at

mellymell: (me at arches 2005)
I have to say, I enjoyed Catching Fire and Mockingjay a lot more than The Hunger Games.

Also, in light of my discussion with [ profile] padawansguide last time, I paid special mind not to spoil myself too much before reading these two. I didn't go off reading lengthy summaries of the books or looking for who dies in advance. I left it to my own guesses (which were right in most cases) and just jumped in and devoured them.

My thoughts and like last time, there will be spoilers and way too many words. )

Also, I chopped off about half the length of my hair on Friday. It's now at about mid-back rather than waist length and I like it a lot!
mellymell: (he told me to burn things)
I'm fumbling my way through Ubuntu and having to do lengthy Google searches almost every time I have to install something. Monday, I learned how to make a 32 bit app work on a 64 bit OS. And by make, I mean force. It took 3 separate scripts and three more lines of a partial script and a whole lot of time searching the Ubuntu forums, downloading scripts people had written for this purpose and such. But I got Amazon Mp3 Downloader working damn it! I'm trying to take it slow and just do a couple of things a day so I'm not wasting my entire day away completely relearning how to deal with linux from scratch.

I swear, this is frustrating though because it's like I retained absolutely nothing from Booksys. When I left there, I was perfectly comfortable connecting to a linux server and running, tweaking and even writing simple perl scripts to run over MARC or csv files to clean up data before converting it. But it's all lost, deep in some recess of my brain. It's like when I repressed the memories of working there, I also repressed the knowledge I gained. But then who wouldn't want to forget MARC21? *shudder* *twitch*

Don't let librarians develop data formats. Just don't. I'm sorry to all the librarians out there, but I've dealt with the results of this. JUST DON'T!

Anyway, apart from my professional experience, I used Ubuntu before I got my laptop. But a lot has changed and I was just using it. I didn't mess with installing anything or such because it was our media server and I was honestly afraid to do anything of that nature on it.

I guess I should be proud of myself for being able to figure out what I've figured out, but man, it takes a long time for me to get anything done. For me, the learning curve looks a bit like staring at the summit of Everest from base camp. :/

Meanwhile, Chris is wringing his hands saying, "everything is working according to plan, muwahahahahhahaha!"

I'm sure this will all be worth it, though.

I guess the next thing will be getting proper drivers for my speakers because they now sound like tin cans and there is supposed to be a decent sound system on this machine, including a subwoofer. *sigh*


mellymell: (Default)

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