stephaniecain: a picture of a smirking woman with short red hair (Default)
2012-10-24 11:41 pm

I will be so glad to see November 7

Wow, hi LJ! *dusts off blog* How is everyone doing? I have been focused so much on work and novel and SWC blog that I have been almost entirely absent here.

I love my job. Every single day I go to work and feel like I have made a difference to my coworkers and employer, and that I have given an excellent experience to our visitors. I don't think there's any way I wouldn't like a job where the mission statement was to "celebrate and renew belief in the power of the individual spirit to affect American history and culture." And one of these days, I'll even finish reading Ben-Hur.

About three weeks ago I swore off Facebook until the election was over. Too much vitriol from either side of the aisle, and frankly I was tired of losing respect for people I had always liked. Tonight I took a cool quiz at www.isidewith.com and, to no great surprise, learned that I side 76% with Barack Obama. (What surprised me more was that I actually agreed with Mitt Romney about...well, um, anything.) The website had sharing links, so I took a deep breath, bit the bullet and outed myself on Facebook as someone who's voting Democrat this year.

Of course, now I'm too cowardly to go read my friends feed, with its three lonely liberals. Ah, the loneliness of being a moderate. You may get to poke fun at both ends of the political spectrum, but you also have twice the number of people pissed off at you. *G*

Because of a request one of my beta-readers made, I've been spending my writing time this week working on an episode in the backstory of five characters. It's not something that will appear in the novel, except as each of those five people remember it from their various POVs. But the more I work on it, the more I love it, and I'm gaining all sorts of new understanding of these characters I've been living with for...um...over 22 years now. Well, most of them. Poor Ranulf, he didn't show up until draft 3, I think. *G* Anyway, it's fun.

I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I made a miserable attempt at Camp NaNo this summer, which consisted of me signing up for it and promptly refusing to write for nearly two weeks straight. That led to some consideration of my novel-writing process, and I decided that, while NaNoWriMo is awesomely fun, I have learned all that it has to teach me at the present, and I really want to concentrate on finishing my current novel revision. So I'm setting NaNo aside for 2012. I may go back to it in future years, but not this year. NaNo taught me how to plot a novel, and NaNo gave me characters like Zeva and Edmund and Fithian, and I will forever be grateful that I discovered NaNoWriMo. But this year, it isn't in the cards.

In other news, still looking for a second part-time job. Retail and waitressing are out, unfortunately, because as much as I love my job, it requires a lot of energy for someone who is an introvert. I think adding a second job that requires too much interaction with the general public would make me a wreck. And in the meantime, I'm squeaking by financially. I had to borrow $10 from my dad until payday on Friday, but since that $10 is going to keep his and mom's cell phones working along with my own, I think that's okay. And one of these days I'll get around to selling my Gaiam balance ball chair and that Boonton ware I inherited from Gedna and have no use for.

A while ago Eowyn brought me a present, in the form of a not-quite-dead mouse. I'm not afraid of mice, but I don't particularly want them in my bed, so I carried her back downstairs (mouse firmly in her jaws) and put her in a large box. She proceeded to kill the mouse and jump out of the box, leaving the mouse behind to feed me, I guess. I think she's getting the hang of this hunting thing. :)
stephaniecain: a picture of a smirking woman with short red hair (Default)
2012-08-31 09:20 pm

Kitties and tropical storms and stupid things that break

Well, we're expecting what's left of Isaac to hit any minute, if you listen to the news. Early predictions were that Isaac could "erase" the drought in some parts of Indiana. Way too late for the corn crops, of course, and every projection I've heard since has lowered the expected rainfall. Not that I mind. We could use the rain, but we've already had more in August than in May through July, and even though I mowed the grass a week ago, it needs it again. And Dad broke the mower yesterday.

>.<

Seriously, what does it take to get a break around here? Or, um, a nonbreak?

The Cub Cadet has been broken since May, and we haven't fixed it because the Snapper was running fine, and we didn't have the money to fix the Cadet. But the mower Dad broke? Of course--the Snapper. So we dropped the Cadet off at the service place today, which means I'll have a non-zero-turn mower I have to use for the rest of the season. Ugh. But at least it has a drink holder. *snort*

Speaking of breaks...

My PC is still giving me fits. It behaved itself for about two weeks, making me think my problem was fixed. Then this morning it froze in the middle of doing something, and I had to power it down with the button. When I restarted it this afternoon, I had to go through three hard reboots before it settled down to actually work. Urgh.

Took the kitties to the vet for their shots this Monday. Strider embarrassed the hell out of me. The assistant weighed him and he was fine. Then Dr. Jon listened to his heartbeat and checked his ears, and he was not pleased about that. When Dr. Jon gripped his head to look in his eyes and mouth, Strider flipped out. He hissed and growled and came off that exam table like he had a rocket under his butt. Jumped to the windowsill, where Eowyn was waiting patiently for her turn, and landed on her, then almost climbed the window shade before dropping down under my feet. I tried to grab him, which earned me a nasty stripe across the back of my hand, then Dr. Jon told me to let him go. Strider stood in the middle of the room, surrounded by four people and a very unhappy sister, and slunk off under the sink, where he growled and hissed copiously for quite a while.

I was SO SHOCKED. He has never behaved like that in his life! It was worse than one of Merlin's freakouts in volume, though he didn't actually bite anyone, and I'm not sure he intentionally swiped me. But he was very loud about warning everyone off, that's for sure. He hid under the sink while Dr. Jon ignored him and did Eowyn's exam. She wasn't pleased, but she behaved herself very well. I think she was more shaken up about Strider than the exam or shots. Dr. Jon had to get The Net, which he used to capture Strider and (mostly) immobilize him, so he could give him the two shots. And then we realized that Strider had pooped on the floor. >.<

Neither of the kitties like car rides, but I'd held Strider on the way to the vet, and he'd been completely content once he could see out the window and everything. He didn't get that privilege on the way home. Strider got put in the backseat of the car, carrier draped with a towel, while I rode in the front seat and held Eowyn in my lap. Strider let out a couple of growls, but calmed down pretty quickly. When we were about two miles from home, Eowyn started panting really bad, which panicked me a little. We got a little water in her, but she wasn't really thirsty. Once I pointed the A/C vents right at her, though, she started doing better. I got her inside ASAP and made sure she was okay.

The funny thing is, we left Strider's carrier on the floor in the garage for a minute while I settled Eowyn. (I was planning to isolate him if he didn't behave.) Eowyn walked around meowing as I carried his box up the stairs. He was acting just fine, so I let him out. Eowyn went up to him, sniffed him, and stopped meowing. I think she thought I had left him at the vet!

They were both lethargic and not very hungry for the first day after the shots. Eowyn snuggled up on my lap every single chance she got. In fact, Monday night I slept on my back in one position all night, because she was lying on my stomach when I went to sleep, and she was lying on my lap when I woke up, and my back freaking killed me. LOL Strider was very sleep and a little subdued all Tuesday, and it took Eowyn several hours to forgive him for jumping on her. I know he'd taken a chunk of her belly fur off, because I had to pull it off his back claw when he came out of his cage.

They're both fine now, and adorable and well-behaved as ever. They're getting along fine now, too.

I'm sort of terrified of taking him to the vet next time, though. I think I'm going to schedule them for different days, so he can't, at least, traumatize her again next time.
stephaniecain: a picture of a smirking woman with short red hair (Default)
2012-08-13 11:36 pm

Things going on

So I love my job. Seriously love it. I GET to go to work every Friday and Saturday, and it is awesome. The more I learn about Lew Wallace, the more I adore the man. And it's so much fun to share that love with people who come to the Study.

I am, however, not making a lot of money. As in, hardly any. So I am still hoping that another historic location in town will get in touch with me regarding some part time work.

In have changed my mind about Camp NaNoWriMo and dropped out. As soon as I signed up, I think I got this mental block. As soon as I deleted my profile, I got unblocked. I think I may have come to the end of NaNo's usefulness to me. It's fun, but honestly, I have to find the motivation to write within myself, and I have been, and I no longer seem to need the camaraderie of NaNo to keep my word count up.

Except that I have backslid a great deal this month. Of course, Mom goes back to school this Wednesday, so I am trying to enjoy all the hanging out time and all the accomplishing projects time that we have left. Today we hiked a little over four miles at our local state park. It was awesome.

We saw a yellow-billed cuckoo today. First one we've seen there in years. We saw a cuckoo in Trinidad (a squirrel cuckoo, I think), but it's neat to see the local one. :) Our cuckoos don't really say "cuckoo" though. There's a little "coo coo coo" noise, but the awesome one is the "c-c-c-c-couwl couwl!" It's a fun bird to listen to.

Eowyn has caught five mice in the past four days. Friday night she caught one and we threw it way out in the yard. Saturday night she caught one and brought it upstairs to me. I was at the computer when she jumped on the bed and I realized what she had in her mouth. I carried her back downstairs, mouse still in her mouth, and ended up taking the mouse outside. Then Sunday she wasn't downstairs for two minutes before she had her first mouse. I felt bad for taking them away from her, so I put her and the mouse in a big box and let her play with it for a while. Then Strider jumped in the box, took the mouse, jumped out, and ran for the upstairs. I had to chase him and take the mouse away. These wretched, adorable creatures. They must really want to feed me mice. >.< Eowyn caught another mouse 15 minutes later, but it got away down a hole to the crawlspace. Then about an hour later, we heard growling from the area of the stairs. Eown had caught a mouse, was holding it in her mouth, and was growling around it at her brother to keep him from stealing her mouse!

She doesn't seem to know what to do with them once she catches them though. I let her play with that one until she seemed bored, but the mouse wasn't badly hurt when she was through with it. I carried it well out into the field and dropped it in the beans. Hopefully now that Mom and I sealed up the hole to the crawlspace, the mice won't get back into the house. :P
stephaniecain: a picture of a smirking woman with short red hair (Default)
2012-05-01 05:39 pm
Entry tags:

Kitty Play Tower Pictures

A couple of people expressed interest in seeing the kitty play tower, so here are some pictures. :)

Some details I shall mention beforehand:
- I was building this out of lumber scraps I already had in the garage. Leftovers from other projects, etc. So it's a little irregular in size and material. *G*
- Dimensions are roughly 35" wide by 27" deep by 4' tall, basically because I had an old table-top that could serve as the base and was 35"x27". I had two 2x4s I could use as the corner posts, and they were 8' long, so I cut them in half for a 4' height.
- I had originally planned to use 4x4s for the corners, but 2x4s work fine.

Clickable thumbnails behind the cut )
stephaniecain: a picture of a smirking woman with short red hair (Default)
2012-01-26 12:19 am

Back in the cold again

Well, I'm home, and I'm finally starting to feel recovered from my trip. LOL We had a lot more relaxing time while we were on Tobago, but then we had a 20-hour day of traveling home, flying from Piarco (Port of Spain) to Miami-Dade, seven hour layover at Miami with a last-minute gate change, Miami-Dade to Chicago-O'Hare, then to Indy. We got up around 4:30 to get Piarco in time for check-in and some duty-free shopping (hurrah, two bottles of rum for less than the price of a single bottle in the US). At Miami we had plenty of time to go through a painless passport processing and customs, though it was fun trying to repack one of our checked bags to hold two bottles of rum and one bottle of rum punch. LOL But we did it, and then had plenty of time to kill at Miami. We arrived early in Chicago, so we had about two hours to kill there before our flight to Indy. Thank God Dad was waiting at the gate for us when we got home. I think I would have cried if I'd had to drive home at the end of that day of traveling!

The day after we got home, we were hit with about 3 inches of snow. Bleh. Then over the weekend we had thunderstorms and yesterday it was almost 50. Today we had sleet and snow and then sleet again. No kidding. Seriously, I miss the Caribbean. I've got to find a way to vacation in Tobago more often. In the meantime I've been listening to a lot of soca music and trying to make myself believe it's not bloody cold outside.

By the way, anyone know how to repair a piece of bamboo? I brought home a bamboo pencil holder with a hummingbird and the word Tobago carved on it. Gorgeous little thing, but it spontaneously cracked all the way from top to bottom. I imagine because it's ridiculously humid in Tobago and ridiculously dry in Indiana. :( I just wish it had split down the empty portion, instead of right through the middle of the hummingbird. :(

I haven't heard back from the university. Since they wanted to do second interviews during the two days after I returned from Tobago, and start the new hire this week, I am assuming that means I didn't get picked. I'm not heart-broken over it. Secretary III isn't the best-paying position in the world there, and I've applied for a lot of other clerical positions there. I've also applied repeatedly for Writer-Editor positions, and it's annoying me that I am consistently being passed over for those. How many technical writers can there be in north central Indiana who want to work at the university? And why won't the university give the creative writer a shot? *pouts*

The kitties were pleased to see me return home. Eowyn is, if possible, snugglier than ever. She is also, if possible, fatter than ever. It's not that I object to her being a bit plump, but she is positively obese. That can't be healthy. I'm thinking about scheduling her to see Dr. Jon and get his opinion. She gets quite a bit of exercise when I play with her, and she has never even tasted canned cat food, let alone people food. But I do believe Strider is the dominant cat, and I've seen Eowyn defer to him if he wants to eat at one of the food dishes first. I wonder if that makes her overeat when she does eat. I just hate to have to go to feeding times, since I've always just given my cats free access to the dry food dishes so they can eat when they are hungry. It's the most convenient thing for someone who (when employed) is usually away from the house 8-10 hours at a stretch. I suspect Strider has stayed so lean because he never sits still except when he's asleep. When awake, he's incredibly fidgety, and he's better at entertaining himself than Eowyn is. Anything sparkly and he will chase it, whereas she pretty much restricts herself to strings, which require a human at the other end. She makes an occasional foray into feathered toys, but more often than not, that means chewing on feathered hair clips or dream catchers, which displeases Mommy, for some reason. :P

Mom and I are still posting stuff from our trip over at our Tumblr. She is typing up her journal of the trip. I only wrote a journal for two bloody days, proving once again that I am a crap diarist. *sigh* I also haven't written a thing since we got back. I have a short story idea niggling in the back of my mind, but I haven't put anything down on paper but a couple of concepts.

I can't seem to find any recipes for roti that look like the roti we ate at Asa Wright. It makes me incredibly sad, because I thought it was delicious, especially with the split pea soup over it. I wanted to make some of that for the TNT party we're going to have to show our pictures and whatnot to the family. :/

In other news, since coming home, I've decided I adore the new Sherlock, which shocks me. I've also become addicted to Hart of Dixie, though I can't decide what couple to root for. So many love triangles! And I think I am caught up on Criminal Minds, but my computer's DVR crapped out on me while we were on vacation, so I am not sure. There was "Bittersweet Science", then "True Genius" while I was on vacation, and then tonight's "Unknown Subject", right?

Anyway, I think that's about it for now. Anything exciting happen in your world while I was gone?