Thursday, December 23, 2010


Tree at the bottom of the drive

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Snowy and cold

Spent far too much time yesterday morning doing annoying paperwork, but at least got a lot done and out, along with party invitations. Then, it was off to Sears to look for the electric snowblowers — which they didn’t have. The guy was very, very nice. He agreed that they’re great and said that a lot of people who bought gas blowers last year are now having problems because the ethanol content has changed in gasoline and is mucking up the engines. And I overheard a woman tell an elderly couple looking at one, “You don’t want to keep too much gas in the engine when you’re not using it, or it might cause a bad accident in the garage.”

Definitely electric.

The sales guy told us to go to Home Depot, we dashed over and got THE LAST ONE. At $100 less than I’d seen it advertised. And the clerk at Home Depot got me set up with the correct cord, and the check out guy got me set up with an extra 2-year replacement warranty for under $12, so now it’s covered for 4 years.

Happy camper, me! 😉

Ran some errands in Osterville, including dealing with a bank error (they fixed it immediately, and, in fact, gave us more than what we asked for — TD has great customer service), and I stopped at the hardware store, where I found a reasonably eco-friendly ice melt for the front walk and driveway. It’s pet, lawn, and car-safe, which is probably as good as it gets. It got the 25 pound bag, because I knew the 50 pound bag would be too hard for me to maneuver, and I designated it its own scoop cup to make it even easier to spread.

Got everything home, picked up the two invites I had to hand deliver, got them off, got back before the snow started up again. Read in the afternoon, met the mail carrier at the bottom of the drive (I’m trying to help them by not making them get out of the truck in bad weather). Some more books arrived — again, happy camper.

Quiet evening watching TV and reading. Think I figured out the fireplace kerflamma, so will try again on Christmas Eve.

The Hounds of the Baskervilles woke me up at 2 AM, just beside themselves with frustration, baying at something. And it sounds like something talked back. Then, I worried that I hadn’t locked the front door properly when I turned off the trees last night. I’m less worried about some sort of animal around the house than people — there have been a lot of burglaries in the area lately.

So, my ritual bogwood axe and I crept down the stairs in the dark. Not that it could cut anything, but it’s heavy, so it might be useful in an emergency. Iris waited half way up the stairs; Violet came with me. The moonlight on the snow reflected so much I didn’t have to turn on any lights. The door was locked properly and I couldn’t see anything amiss, so I went back upstairs.

More fresh tracks around the house this morning, though. I’m pretty sure something is taking shelter under the deck. I don’t mind — I hope it’s not a stray dog or cat, because I’d like to help it, and whatever it is, my worries are twofold — I don’t want it to starve or freeze, and I certainly don’t want it to expire under the deck! The size of the paw tracks makes me wonder if it’s a fox. I like foxes — they’re one of my totems — but I’ve never had to deal with one, so I’d probably just stare at it.

Up early this morning, plugged in the new snowblower. It took a bit of time to get coordinated with the cord, and the cord JUST barely reaches to the end of the driveway (at least I know how long my driveway is now). It works pretty well, although when the wind shifted, most of the snow blew back in my face. I’ll get better with practice. But I have a feeling I’ll go with a gas lawn mower — I don’t think the cord thing would work in the long flat back portion of the yard, and, heaven forbid they have battery-powered mowers! I mean, that would be quieter and logical, so obviously, it can’t happen!

I found a pair of arm chairs on Craigslist that I really want at an excellent, fair price for both of us, so I’m talking with the owner about when to take a look, and, hopefully, pick them up. They’re not quite Victorian wing-backs — a little shorter in the back — but that style. So, hopefully, we’ll get that sorted out today and tomorrow, before the next big storm hits.

I’m going to get some writing done today, hopefully, and tackle the assignment for Confidential Job #1 in the afternoon. I’d like to get a couple more boxes unpacked — even a few a day will make a difference.

It’s still snowing, and supposed to do so until about noon, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can do a chair run this afternoon.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on December 23, 2010 at 9:07 am  Comments (7)  
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I forgot to mention that on Tuesday, I bought and read the first book of Juliet Blackwell’s new series, entitled IF WALLS COULD TALK. Like the Witchcraft mysteries, it takes place in San Francisco, but this one involves home renovations and the protagonist’s burgeoning ability to sense spirits. I enjoyed it, but Lily Ivory is still one of my favorite protagonists.

Checking my online banking stuff, it seems I have a credit card payment due on the 20th, although I have yet to receive a statement and there’s no minimum payment listed. Why am I not surprised? Anyway, I shot them an on-line bill pay for what I’m sure is far more than the minimum, but at least they get a wad of cash before the due date. And I still don’t have a valid pin number. Not happy with Citizens Bank at all.

The owner stopped by with an additional CO detector that does digital readings, and we’ve put it in my room. As long as it keeps reading 0, I remain a happy camper. He’s also delighted with the way we’ve furnished and decorated, and says it feels like a happy house again. It is (except for the whole poisoning thing).

There was some kerflamma with the stove repair place, but the guy showed up, took the stove apart, tested everything, and swears it’s working perfectly.

So the cause of the CO is still a mystery. The owner is going to get someone to come and check the furnace and clean it out (even though it’s clean), just to make sure.

Worked on my article. The draft meanders quite a bit, and tries to cover a lot of ground, so now it’s about focus, focus, focus. Winnowing down all the great information from my sources while still keeping the context true to the sources’ answers.

Violet likes to sit on my lap and edit while I work, so I’m constantly having to remove her “changes” to the manuscript. For someone with paws, she’s pretty agile when it comes to typing.

Ran some errands, including going to Lavender Moon to pick up a few things (l always walk out with more than I intended, but the quality if lovely). I can’t wait to take Costume Imp there! Drove to Brewster to the museum to see if we could find some stuff to bring the kids when we go to Maine on Christmas Day, but we arrived fifteen minutes before the store shut, and I couldn’t really SEE anything in that time pressure.

Home, eggnog around the tree, tested the stove, nothing went off, so I guess it’s all good, but it’ll take me awhile to feel comfortable with it again. Wrapped presents in the evening — I need a couple more padded envelopes for the last two gifts, but the rest can go out today.

Got a call back from the recommended insurance broker, but, of course, I’d left my phone on the desk while I was running errands. i will call her back today and try to get an appointment sorted out. Also got more information on the doctors for my mom, so I’ve got to see if I can get her in for an appointment in the next few weeks.

My MA driver’s license arrived! Okay, so it’s the worst photo I’ve ever taken in my life, but still, I don’t have to worry about ripping the temporary license, I have the real one. I’m now legitimate in the state. And registered to vote. Guarantee I’m called for jury duty by February.

Smudged the whole house with a combination of sage, clove, and peppermint, to get the last of the icky crap out after the CO scare. The whole house smells yummy. Forgot to mention on that on Sunday, I put together the sachets for the closet — rose, cedar, rosemary, lavender, and jasmine flower. I had enough for the interior closets; I’ll have to get more herbs and make some more for the four large closets in the storage room.

Trying to sort out the writing projects and prioritize them for next year. Spoke to my administrator about putting up the first lectures/exercises for my two January workshops early because I’m on the road on Jan. 2 & 3, and the workshops both start on the 3rd. I want to make sure I have the Welcome message and first lectures/assignments up earlier rather than later. I also have to get my new brochures done, and probably get a PO box in the area as my official business address for Fearless Ink.

Today contains more work on the article, gently reminding anyone who hasn’t returned the questionnaires (the business freelancers all returned theirs early; some of the novelists need prodding. Interesting). I need to take care of some unpleasant correspondence dealing with lingering issues from the previous home base, set up appointments here and yes, there are yet more errands. I realized I’d totally forgotten about the two prints I bought for my mom and have to get frames, and I want to get hurricane sleeves for some of the candles here before the party so no one catches any fabric as they brush past. I’m also going to continue preparing the workshops.

I sent Costume Imp the invitation, and, if he likes it,I’ll print them and get them out. I’m going to add an additional line stating that there are cats in the house, so if you’re allergic — take Sudafed. Because that’s the reality.

Read through a publication I’m considering pitching to, but I don’t think I’m quite the right fit for it. I wrote for similar publications for this company for many years, but this seems very simplistic, almost by-the-numbers, and it feels wrong. Of course, considering the many frustrations I went through with the company over the years and my concern about some of the directions they’re taking, I shouldn’t be surprised. I have to think about it. I wrote for them for so many years, it’s more of feeling secure with the devil you know than anything else, I think. Which is not the best choice for a career.

I really want to try a class at the yoga center nearby, but haven’t had the chance so to do. I don’t want to just sign up for a 20-class pass without actually experiencing a class.

Back to the page.

Devon