31 October 2005

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Falling Back ...

... and the damned cat

Happy, safe and mindful Samhain, Hallowe'en, Los Dias de los Muertos, Guy Fawkes Night, Hallow Tide ... bon fires, candles, trick or treating, parades, graveyard renovating, buying things, getting drunk ... however you celebrate this time of year.

A few of us gathered at Pat's house yesterday to visit and take home the last bits of his household that Cathy and Skyler had set aside for family and friends. We talked and laughed and cried, fed the kids too much chocolate and some of the adults entirely too much vodka, Mudslides and scotch. Pat looked on through the mirrors when he thought noone was looking.

Dawn and Hugh came by one Friday. We tie-dyed two of Hugh's T-shirts. He was immensely interested in bits of the process, but far more interested in what Becky the cat was up to most of the time. We tied and dissolved and mixed and submerged and stirred and checked and waited and lego'd and stirred and checked and snacked (Ryvita fruit crunch, oh my!) and poured-out and rinsed and soapy-soaked and rinsed and untied and rinsed and soaked and admired. It was a ton of fun! I found out that if we do T-shirts in one colour each and send them home wet, we can do the whole process in a couple of hours. I think this might just be do-able as a come-over-and-dye thing.

I set all the clocks back and puttered for an hour this morning, while the cats complained loudly about not being fed at their regular time. They're going to be confused for a week, but they'll get used to it. In 2007, the US will be extending daylight savings time by 3-4 weeks. When it was extended by a month a few years ago, it was discovered that it really doesn't save any on energy costs overall ... but it means a huge boost to many companies, notably those in the barbecue and golf industries.

So, around the end of September sometime, Billy finally got back to me about the cat he left here when he left after Christmas. Turns out he wants me to either keep the cat or find a home for it, which sounds reasonable enough, if somewhat irresponsible. Upon thinking about it and checking options, it turns out that it's exceedingly difficult to find a home for a twelve-year-old cat with behavioural issues. The local humane society will take owner-surrendered pets and adopt them out if they deem them to be adoptable, or euthanize them if they don't. They will not tell you whether or not your pet is adoptable, nor what has happened to your pet after they take it. I can't do that. So my choices are keep the dear old thing and clean up its shit in the front hall every morning and the small lake of cat pee under the litterbox every few days, or I can kill it. That's not much of a choice, and it's not reasonable to ask me to make it. What I would like to do is ship the cat back to Miami and hand the decision back to Billy. I'll ask him if he ever turns up back online again, but I don't expect he'll go along with it. Barbara and Nina and Brandon would all dearly love to help me with this, each in their own way.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 9:37
Hours of dark: 13:10ish
Sunrise: 7:29 am
Sunset: 5:06 pm
Start of twilight: 6:52 am
End of twilight: 5:43 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 0°C (32°F), Windchill -3°C (27°F) humidity 80%, wind S 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 30.09 in. Hg

Today.. Sunny. High 7°C (45°F)
Tonight.. Clear. Low -6°C (21°F).
Monday.. Becoming cloudy in the morning. Wind becoming SW 20 km/h (12.4 mph) late in the morning. High 7°C (45°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low -2°C (28°F). High 6°C (43°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -7°C (19°F). High 4°C (39°F).
Thursday.. Cloudy. Low -7°C (19°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -6°C (21°F). High 4°C (39°F).

27 October 2005

All tangled up in the eggs ...

In spite of telling myself I'd drive every day for a while so I get used to it, I didn't drive again until today when I went to Ikea to pick something up for Brandon 'cuz my vehicle has more cargo space than his ... and that amuses me to no end.

Barbara, Anailese and I went to Pat's sister's place for dinner with her and her family on Monday. Pat's nephew talked his Mom into letting him play Clan Lord so she talked me into going out there to help him get started. Danny very much misses his uncle, so we play and talk about him. I e-mailed Delta Tao's Nancy from Cathy's house before dinner and we had a serial number to plug in by the time dinner was done.

Both the city inspector and the VerdaTech inspector came on Tuesday. The new furnace and water heater passed the city's inspection, and the VerdaTech guy checked the place out for the EnerGuide for Houses program. I was hoping for more suggestions than I got, but he said I was already doing a lot of the stuff they recommend. I need twenty more centimetres of cellulose in the attic for R20. He recommended capping the old chimney, since the gas fireplace draws and vents out the side of the house. He said that the guys who installed the furnace and hot water tank didn't seal around the exhaust pipes very well and that I should call them back in to do it right. He recommended foam baffle dealies for the plug-ins and light switches on the exterior walls. My toes found a draught under the linen closet door and after a thorough search, we found that there's a ten centimetre gap above the door on the inside, so attic air comes in that way. So I do whichever of these things I'm going to in the next year and a half (the furnace and water tank will count toward this, as I've just had them done) and call them back to do a second inspection, then they file for a grant for me. Short of peeling the outside of my house and adding cellulose insulation under pressure, I haven't much hope of bringing the exterior walls up to code. That may happen some day, but not soon.

Brandon came for Tuesday Night Dinner And A Movie On Wednesday last night. I made a kind of channa alu matar butter masala thingy and brown rice. It was pretty good, but the sauce wasn't what I was going for. We watched Brad Pitt In A Dress. Yummy. Actually, it was pretty durned good (aside from the absurd fake accents ... why does Hollywood think that fake English accents sound more historical?).

Neige is amusing himself in Japan trading cooking with the Taiwanese girls. He wows them with crêpes and they cook various things for him. He gave me his crêpe recipe the other day. I especially liked the part about mixing everything 'til the four is all tangled up in the eggs. His description makes so much more sense than any other recipe I've ever read for them. I want to try making them soon so I can make Crêpes Florentine.

Mona just left me a one-sentence recipe for an amazing-sounding cauliflower soup that I'm going to try soon, too. I probably won't serve it with raisin bread, though.

I have a rescheduled date tomorrow afternoon with my Dawn Chicken and Hugh to tie-dye a couple of white T-shirts he was given by someone.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 9:49
Hours of dark: 13:00ish
Sunrise: 8:23 am
Sunset: 6:12 pm
Start of twilight: 7:47 am
End of twilight: 6:48 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 2°C (36°F), humidity 90%, wind ESE 8 km/h (5 mph.), barometer 29.54 in. Hg

Tonight.. A few clouds. Low -2°C (28°F).
Friday.. Sunny. High 6°C (43°F).
Saturday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -3°C (27°F). High 10°C (50°F).
Sunday.. Cloudy with 70% chance of showers. Windsy. Low -3°C (27°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Low -5°C (23°F). High 5°C (41°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -5°C (23°F). High 8°C (46°F).

23 October 2005

Smiling Geezers ...

On Tuesday, I got my driver's license, arranged insurance, and picked up my new car ... Brandon stopped by to see it in the evening.

Rafe came by to geek on Wednesday and Mary was in town, so she came by, too. She's done some paid drawings for a friend who works for an event planner. How cool! Since I was still at the dealership on Tuesday afternoon at the time Brandon would have come by for dinner, we had dinner and a movie Tuesday on Wednesday instead.

I met Rafe for lunch at Max's (a great veggie restaurant south of Whyte on 109th) on Thursday. we hung out and yacked 'til they tossed us out.

Brandon stopped in after work on Friday and suggested we order Indian, the clever thing ... Barbara and Anailese turned up for a while and we visited pretty much 'til dinner arrived.

Rafe phoned yesterday to say he and Amos were having lunch at Café Mosaics on Whyte and c'mon over, so I did ... Mmmm, steamed soymilk with maple syrup and a peanutbutter and teryaki tofu sammich. Rafe gave me a lovely painted porcelain egg ... it says "Eggzooberant" on it. He says it reminded him of me, and that it was painted by someone nice. Awww!

After lunch with lots of yacking and laughing, Rafe headed out. He was hitting the road directly from there, to go on his many-months-long adventure starting with a visit to Calgary then to his see his sisters in Arizona. Amos drove my car around the neighbourhood and over to where he'd parked his purdy midlife crisis motorbike. He says it's fun and fast ... too fast ... he's gonna sell it. While we were gawping at it in the parking lot, a guy drove by on the street and went around the block to come back just so he could say, "How do you park that thing? It must be a bitch! Haw! Haw!" Then I drove to the APs to spend the afternoon with the family. Sadly, the twins do not have Chicken Pox. Boo! We all went out to see the new car. Mom and Dad's neighbours-from-England came out to see it (he was very excited about it, so we took it for a quick tour 'round the neighbourhood), and so did my godmother and her daughter. Rose and Cassandra stood in the back, leaning on the backs of the seats, bouncing and chanting, "We're going to the Fair! We're going to the Fair!" Brandon and I went to John's later for a music evening in honour of his uncle, visiting from the Shetland Islands. It's been a rather social week.

As I was leaving the post office this afternoon, a smiley ol' feller tapped on my window, so I rolled it down to see what he wanted. He says, "I like-a you car, Lady!" Next thing I know, he and another smiling geezer are poking their heads in the window and two more are tapping at the other window. The wives were standing behind the car, clucking and pointing and giggling. I got out and let them all take turns sitting in it.

I added some fall colour on Flickr.com for Vince

18 October 2005

New Car ...

New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car ... New Car!

16 October 2005

Poppets in Sweaters ...

These are the insides of the sweaters I knit for Rose and Cassandra. Mom tells me one woke up from her nap with it inside-out and she's pretty sure it was right-side-out when she went to sleep. Houdini Poppets!

15 October 2005

I'm thinking of becoming a hooker ...

We had a gathering last night at Marmaduke's studio 'cuz Vincent was in town. It was a quiet one and didn't go late at all, but it was really nice. Vincent was quite pleased that folx came to see him. I had a great time yackin' with Rafe, who's leaving next week to go gallivanting for months and months. I'm glad I got the chance to see him before he goes. I think we'll get together Wed. or Thurs. again just 'cuz. Marmaduke gave Barbara, Vincent and me a ride home, bless 'is heart. It took all four of us to haul all his gear in and down the stairs. You'd've thought he was moving in. He looked around the house, then crashed.

I got up and fed the cats and did the dishes and made some cornbread, then Vincent came pounding up the stairs dripping wet, asking for soap. Haha! Four people to sherpa his stuff in and no soap! Ah well, I guess he thought there'd be some in the shower. We had cornbread, scrabbled eggs, slices of fresh tomato, coffee, tea, and a good catch-up yack for breakfast, then he warmed up for a while and his bandmates picked him up. I was rather surprised to find out that his main axe (his term) now is the accordion, and he plays bodhran (Irish drum). I've always thought of him as a fiddle player and flautist, with occasional penny whistle.

See this? The fibre slut in me is bowled over. I think I'm going to have to start hooking and work on some prairie designs. It was actually this piece that hooked (okay, I'll stop now) me first and sent me off to the other site. I need another obsession like I need a hole in the head, but here I go anyway.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 10:38
Hours of dark: 12:20ish
Sunrise: 8:01 am
Sunset: 6:38 pm
Start of twilight: 7:26 am
End of twilight: 7:14 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 9°C (48°F), humidity 70%, wind SE 19.2 km/h (12 mph.), barometer 29.54 in. Hg

Today.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind SE 30 km/h (18.6mph) gusting to 50 km/h (31.1mph) becoming NW 20 km/h (12.4mph) gusting to 40 km/h (24.9mph) this afternoon. High 16°C (61°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers early this evening. Clearing overnight. Wind NW 20 km/h (12.4mph) becoming light this evening. Low 0°C (32°F).
Sunday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High 11°C (52°F).
Monday.. Cloudy. Low 2°C (36°F). High 12°C (54°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low 0°C (32°F). High 9°C (48°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -2°C (28°F). High 11°C (52°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -2°C (28°F). High 12°C (54°F).

14 October 2005

What passes for normal ...

So there I was, walking home from the mall in my quick-dry pants rolled up to my knees, Garcia shirt, birkenstocks, and 'broidered-up army jacket, hair up in a poof on top of my head with l'il braids poking out here and there (I completely forgot to get normal before I left the house) with my canvas market bag over my shoulder, bouquet of flowers sticking out the back, bottle of scotch sticking out the front, and a coupla X-box games nestled in the bottom, out of sight, thinking, "Damn! Maybe I am a touch on the eccentric side."

09 October 2005

Happy Harvest Celebration ...

Past the equinox, not quite Samhain, Thanksgiving in Canada ... Happy Whatever Autumn Festival you choose to celebrate.

I have, as always, so very much for which to be thankful. I've a wealth of family and friends ... I'm surrounded by amazing, gifted, loving people. I live in a world of possibility, of plently. I know that not everyone does. So while today is a day for thankfulness, I also think of it as a day to consider what I can do to help make it so for everyone.


07 October 2005


I have a working furnace, a brand new one ... and a splashy new thermostat and new hot water tank! Turns out one must have copper plumbing to have tankless hot water. Who knew? Certainly not I. I have a high efficiency tank instead ... I'll get it a blankie to keep it warm. It can have mine ... I'm warm without it now.