alee_grrl: Bruce Willis holding coffee cup.  Text reads: Coffee fail....caffiene levels dangeriously low (coffee fail)
My sister and nephew came up yesterday afternoon and helped me go pick up my new-to-me furniture and move it into my apartment. I then treated them to dinner because if someone helps you move stuff then you ought to at least feed them. :) Plus dinner gave me more time to visit, which is always fun. Lots of lively discussion happened, and I managed to make plans to go see the new Avengers movie on Sunday with nephew and maybe sister and brother-in-law (nephew is 16 and a lot of fun to hang out with).

I will note that it's been a long time since I've driven anything larger than a small SUV, so driving the U-haul cargo van was both terrifying and fun.

Anyway, I promised some photos when I got the chance. I haven't decorated much yet, so the walls are a bit bare. Both couch and chair will be getting slip covers. A dark red cover for the chair to make it look a little less retro, and a dark tan cover for the sofa to try to protect the pretty cream sofa from inevitable stains. I also got three small wooden bar stools as they make the best portable coffee tables/laptop stands (and are the perfect height for most chairs and couches).

pictures below the cut )
alee_grrl: Illustration of the Shire (shire)
So the local Habitat ReStore was having a grand re-opening sale/event today. I decided to wander over to see if they had any good furniture (as I still have only a table, some temporary chairs, a bed and 2 standing lamps). I was in luck as they had lots of furniture in good condition. I finally settled on a comfy rocking chair (looks like a recliner but does not recline) that could have come from my grandmother's furniture collection (avacado-ish green floral), an elegant off-white sofa that also happened to be very comfortable and will be good for naps and guests, two oak or other light wood bedside tables, and a dresser. Not a bad haul at all. I wasn't able to bring them home just yet, as the sofa is too large to fit in most vehicles. I have arranged to rent a U-haul cargo van Wednesday afternoon and my heart-sister and nephew will come up and help me move the stuff. I will likely end up buying slip-covers for the couch and chair, but haven't decided yet. I will try to remember to post pictures when I have things set up. :)
alee_grrl: Clint Barton holding his bow and looking down to the left, word bubble says "Aw coffee no" (clint)
For those who haven't read Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye series, you just need to know that in it Clint Barton generally has shitty luck and makes some really awful decisions but all in all is just trying to make do. He also has this adorable habit that I tend to share, which is talking to the world around me including inanimate objects. In one scene he goes to pour his coffee and spills it, and then says "Aw, coffee, now" as if the coffee had betrayed him or something. It's always made me smile because it is just the sort of thing I would do.

So today I had gotten my grocery shopping done and put away, grabbed a shower and put on my pjs, made a couple of different types of iced tea for the next few days, done some dishes, and warmed up leftovers for dinner. Was all set to sit down with my dinner and watch this weeks episode of Agents of SHIELD. Go to scoot my chair closer to the table and there is the god awful crack, I feel the chair start to give and I'm up and moving away from the falling chair. The back left leg of the chair has come off and since it was a solid long piece holding part of the back in place the rest of the back rest has come apart too. I look from the chair to the table where my nice warm plate of food is sitting and sigh, muttering some equivalent of "aw, chair, no." I pick up the pieces of the chair. Look again from the chair to my dinner. Sigh over the fact that I have not gotten any other chairs yet. Test the stability of the chair resting on the three remaining legs, note that it is remarkably stable and should remain upright if I turn it backwards so that the empty spot is not bearing any weight and sit on it very, very carefully without leaning at all. I finish my dinner, carefully get up from the broken chair, and then move the remains of the chair out of the way to await a determination on whether the chair is fixable (it came apart in pretty solid pieces).

So I sigh again, go put back on clothes that are not pajamas, and head to first goodwill to see if they have any stray kitchen chairs (they don't), and then to Wal-Mart to purchase a folding chair for temporary seating. I have not yet bought couch or any other furniture so the options would be "eat on bed" or "eat on floor" neither of which were agreeable to me. So I got a folding chair and a camping chair for sitting outside and enjoying the weather now that it's warming up. By this point I'm fairly achy and did not want to go anywhere else, which is why I ended up settling on the folding chair solution. Turns out the camping chair with enough pillows piled on it is a more comfortable solution so that was a happy find. If I have the spoons I will go out in search of additional furniture tomorrow.
alee_grrl: Ellie and her adventure book (Up) (up)
So I've mostly been resting, watching movies, and reading fanfic as I recover from moving and the latest antibiotic increase. Since it's also that lovely time of the month that comes with cramps and PMS I did not sleep well last night and was feeling kind of out of sorts this morning. However I knew I needed to go out and pick up a prescription refill. So I got dressed, poked my head out the door to determine if a light sweater was needed (it was) and headed off to the pharmacy, which is thankfully less than 10 minutes away by car.

I hadn't really explored the little shopping space that the pharmacy is in, other than noting a coffee shop that will be opening soon. So I was curiously looking around to see what other shops might be there when I spotted a sign shaped like an artist's palette. My brain immediately went "Art Store!?! Is there an art store so close to my house?!" So I checked my spoon levels and detoured over to take a look.

There is indeed an art store so very close to my house. And the offer classes! I can't afford to take classes all that often, but an occasional one here and there is a definite possibility. I checked out their up coming class list and decided to treat myself to the Journal Jam workshop which focuses on renewing creativity and expressing oneself in words and art. It's not til May 2nd, but I think that will give me a bit of time to settle in more too.
alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
My heart-sister in Virginia was amazingly sweet (though she will deny it to her dying breath) and loaded my car for me Saturday morning. It is packed to the brim, but we were able to fit almost everything in it. Three small boxes of clothes and shoes will need to be mailed. After the car was stuffed with things I pointed it north and started driving. Stopped overnight in Binghamton, NY at a decent hotel that even had a Japanese restaurant in house. So that was happy making. Had dinner, showered, and crashed early. Then got up, grabbed coffee and breakfast and got on the road. Had a lovely drive and am safely ensconced at my heart-sister's in Vermont. I am exhausted but happy. Tuesday evening I will go up and meet with the landlords to do a walk-through and get the keys. Wednesday I will move in. Internet is scheduled to be installed on Thursday. There is still loads to be done, but it is nice to be back in Vermont.

I will probably only be online in brief surges this week. Much love to everyone!
alee_grrl: (sleep)
Or in the basement in today's case. I started packing in earnest today, with my focus being on books, dvds, cds and other media. My niece totally earned the $11 she was looking for by hauling said items downstairs to the basement for me (we live in a 3-story townhouse where the first floor is the garage and den, second floor is kitchen and living room, third floor is bedrooms). I figured since it was bitterly cold today I would do the packing in the garage, this way when I go to pack my car next weekend the boxes do not have to be hauled very far.

My preferred packing method is to sort by size and shape, then play packing tetris. I start with the biggest books then work my way down, trying to limit myself to one super heavy book per box of larger tomes/collections. I load them in so the bindings face up, and after a row is filled I fill in empty areas with smaller books, cds/dvds, and other odd ball items (card games, tarot decks, etc). I will pack/re-pack my household goods and decorative items in smaller spurts over the next week. My space saving method for fragile items is to use my clothes and linens rather than packing paper or bubble wrap. Tends to work well and makes it easier to fit everything in your car. I did buy some dish foam as that is really useful for layering between dishes and isn't quite as bulky as clothes.

Having moved repeatedly as an adult, often in situations where I had to fit everything in my car, I've winnowed down my collection of things. I bought ten small heavy-duty boxes and three medium heavy-duty boxes. I only needed six of the small boxes for media, which was nice. I'm beginning to think that I might really be able to fit everything into my car this time. Last move took two trips, but my Subaru should fit more than my Saturn did as the Subaru is a hatchback.

Despite that I always run into the "ah I have too much stuff" when I'm packing. Probably because packing takes up so many spoons. I'm definitely done with packing for the day. I foresee hot shower and an early bed time tonight.
alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
My trip to Vermont went well and I have made some big decisions. I have safely returned to Virginia despite the lingering winter and wanted to post a brief update before I crashed.

The biggest announcement is that I have decided to move back to Vermont. Being closer to my Lyme doctor will make continuing treatment so much easier and much less frustrating, and while I love my heart-sister, niece, and numerous friends in the DC area, I long to be back in Vermont. I wasn't even thrown by the brutally cold temps and tremendous amount of snow, but rather glad to have my little dragon car and delighted that it handled the weather superbly despite having only all-weather tires rather than snow tires. The universe apparently approves of this decision, because not only did I find a good apartment in the Burlington area but I also secured the lease for said apartment. The only drawback is that I will be moving in a month, which is both sad and happy making.

There is a lot to do in the next month, but I will also be making sure I have time to see friends before I go. There are a lot of people I am going to miss like crazy. Thankfully the internet makes staying in touch so much easier. :)

Tonight I'm going to rest, and tomorrow as well. If the roads are good enough I may go to the bank to get a few things done there. Otherwise it will be laundry and resting.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
It is a grey damp day and I have a bit of a cold. So I'm spending a quiet day reading and listening to music. While I feel achy and not so great physically, my mood is improved from a few days ago (New Year's Day was not a fun day at all). I'm still feeling a bit battered emotionally, but not so freaking overwhelmed. So that is good.

The complete Cowboy Bebop dvd set arrived, so I might curl up and veg out. Might save it for another day. Don't know yet.

We took Z to the dog park for a bit yesterday and it was fun watching her gallop about and chase balls. There was a very energetic and friendly cockapoo there as well that kept trying to get Z to play chase. Z was more interested in fetch, so we complied. Watching dogs play is always fun, but watching a bigger dog play is particularly entertaining. I had never fully visualized "galumphing" til I saw a friend's large hound/Rhodesian Ridgeback/who-knows-what mix running around.

Hope folks had a good New Year's. We had a quiet one, which was nice. Watched the new Star Trek movies, which I always find to be highly entertaining.

I know a lot of people who had rough years in 2014, so here's hoping 2015 brings better things to everyone, a little peace and compassion to a world that needs it, and a little less pain all around. And if 2014 was a good year, may 2015 continue the trend, and blessings still find their way to you.
alee_grrl: calvin from calvin and hobbes in rant mode (calvin rant)
Discussions of doctors, frustrations with doctors, and having a controversial illness/treatment )

We had an absolute house full over the holidays, and it was very nice to see everyone. We had several games of Cards Against Humanity, which is like a much more twisted version of Apples to Apples. It was wickedly fun. We saw "The Hobbit" on Christmas day, and several of us went to see "Into the Woods" on Saturday. Both were enjoyable, though I was a bit frustrated with the editing/storytelling choices for "Into the Woods." I would like to see "The Hobbit" again as I'm sure I missed a whole bunch of details. I'm not exactly in a critical mood regarding my entertainment right now, so if you want a thoughtful critique of either film I'm probably not the best to ask.

Everyone left for their own homes on Sunday, and so things are slowly returning to routine around here. It is strange to have such a quiet house after so much activity, but nice as well. I used the Amazon gift card I got for Christmas to finally buy the complete Cowboy Bebop series on DVD as well as the movie. I've been eyeballing both for a very long time. I already have most of the soundtrack. :)
alee_grrl: Happy mouse from Aristocrats nomming cookie.  Text reads: Cookies! (cookies)
Diagnostic test showed no abnormalities. So that is a good thing and a huge fucking relief.

CW: Medical issues involving breasts discussed in more detail below the cut, including mammograms. Please feel free to skip if said issues are triggering or upsetting in any way )

Other happy making things:
  • I got an amazing and wonderful care-package from [personal profile] sperrywink today with many happy making things
  • my family is awesome, as are my friends
  • hot showers are wondrous things
.
alee_grrl: Eddie Izzard pointing at his head.  Text: In my Mind. (eddie izzard)
So I had a follow-up appointment with the doc at my PCP office that handled the rash of doom, and she is concerned about some things so I get to go get more tests. I'm not really wanting to think about the what ifs, so I'm doing the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears. I'm just repeating to myself "It's probably nothing, she's just doing her due diligence as a doctor." I have however talked what-ifs with family, so I'm not ignoring it completely.

On the bright side of things, almost all of my chosen family is here for the holidays. It is wonderful (if occasionally overwhelming as it is a lot of people in one house). But it is very nice to have lots of lovely fun chats and spend time with everyone.

I managed to miraculously grab a Christmas Eve appointment for one of the diagnostic tests my doc ordered, and my heart-sister/roommate is going to take me. After that depending on folks moods (and how long said test takes), a group of us may go see the last of the Hobbit movies. There will be prime rib for dinner, and tomorrow there will be presents, general festivities, and, if we don't go tonight, a trip to the movie theater.

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday, whatever they may celebrate, and having as stress free a time as possible.
alee_grrl: (sleep)
So I went with my sister, niece and niece's friend to the mall this evening. We did an early dinner at Red Lobster and then headed to the mall. I had gone briefly on Tuesday just to get out of the house for a while. The girls are old enough that they could go off without the adults watching over them, they just had to check in every hour (cell phones make this sort of trip so much easier than it was when I was growing up). Sister and I wandered a bit, checked out the board game store, giggled over things at Spencer's gifts (though the jokes are much staler than the seemed when we were teens), wandered a bit at Nordstroms, had hot drinks and sat for a bit, and then we meandered to the very sad and small book store.

After the book store we hit Hot Topic which was the only store I spent money in. :D They had an Alice in Wonderland charm brass charm bracelet which I will probably convert into a necklace as the charms are a bit heavy to wear around my wrist. I also got an Alice in Wonderland tank top with the Disney version of the Cheshire Cat and the "We're all mad here" quote, and a wide silver bracelet that I had fallen in love with earlier in the week. After that we went and found a place to sit down again while we waited for the girls to finish their shopping. There was also a stop at Bath and Body works in there somewhere.

I must be feeling better because at no point did I get grumpy during the trip. I started getting a bit wobbly towards the end as my knee and hip started to bother me, but otherwise enjoyed myself. Am exhausted now, and will likely be exhausted tomorrow, but had a good time. And it was great fun to see Niece and her friend so excited as they did their Christmas shopping. I have a feeling I'm getting a Teavana blend for the holiday. I'll be curious to see which one she picked out for me. And now for bed.
alee_grrl: Image of Miranda from Devil Wears Prada holding her glasses and looking pensive. (dwp think)
Wednesday last week was kind of horrid. Things have gotten a little bit better since then. I'm doing my best to hang on and be patient with my body and myself. It is remarkably hard. CW: health things and insurance frustrations )

I did treat myself to lunch out after my appointment, which was kind of nice. And I spent a little bit of time wandering around the local mall (middle of the week before school lets out meant it wasn't unbearably crowded). It was kind of nice to do a bit of window-shopping and just be out of the house for a bit.
alee_grrl: Groot, a very tall humanoid tree, leaning down and peering curiously at the camera. (groot)
The various skin issues (turns out it was a couple of different problems) are finally healing and for the first time in weeks I am feeling something other than miserable, which is very happy making.

Saga of rash continued (cw: health stuff and anxiety thoughts) )

I did get out of the house briefly today despite the slush on the ground. Was a good test of my cars ability to handle not so good weather and the roads were actually pretty clear. I made a short trip to the pharmacy to pick up a refill and get a few other necessities. Also made a very brief stop by Target. Then came home and put my pajamas back on. :)

Sister and niece have ventured out to explore an IKEA somewhere to the south of us. Niece is getting a bedroom make-over for Christmas and wanted to go pick out her new bed. So for now the house is quiet with just me Artemis and Z. Z has not needed to go out yet, so we haven't seen her reaction to snow. She was originally rescued from South Carolina, so I'm not sure if she's experienced snow or not. Right now she is perfectly content to snore on her comfy bed. I hope all my friends in the US enjoy their Thanksgiving holidays and that said holidays are not stressful (as I know they can be). Hope all my friends outside of the US are having a good and non-stressful week as well. :)
alee_grrl: Black and white kitty peeking up out of a pink box.  Text above reads "Lurk" (lurk)
CW: medical issues including rash from hell. )

So that is why I haven't been around much.
alee_grrl: Picture of Reboot!Scotty.  Text reads: Scotty never read the Hitchhiker's Guide (should have brought a towel)
One benefit of being being home is that it makes it a lot easier to schedule appliance repair visits. Backstory: Washer stopped draining on Sunday, which left me with some very wet clothes that apparently were not properly rinsed out. Washer is now fixed. The drain pump had gotten clogged with tiny socks. Lesson learned: if anyone in your household wears those no-show mini socks it is best to wash them in a laundry bag like bras. This prevents them from migrating into the washer pump and causing damage.

Improperly rinsed laundry, combined with mega-stress, and allergies equals massive atopical dermatitis (itchy hives) breakout. Aveeno bath soak and eczema lotion work pretty well for the itchiness, and antihistamines are helpful too. When having all the itchy skin, it is best to avoid close-fitting clothing, which is a challenge when the temperature drops significantly, but doable. Being slightly chilled also makes the skin less itchy.

Tetracycline increases sensitivity to smells. Small wet bits of fabric stuck in washer parts stink really badly. Febreeze odor neutralizer helps.

Things I am grateful for:
  • being able to be home so that we could get the washer fixed this week
  • the washer being fixed and source of odd smell now neutralized
  • I can now rewash the clothes that did not get properly rinsed on Sunday
  • Z is letting me know when she needs to go to the bathroom, and going on the zipline for me without me having to use treats to bribe her
  • Being able to crate Z when I need to
  • comfort movies (Today's is How to Train Your Dragon 2.)

Thing I am bemused by: My high school alma mater, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, has alumni gatherings across the country much like many colleges and universities do. Considering it was a mini-university all on its own this isn't too surprising. It is kind of cool though. Not sure I'm going to feel up to going to the event in the DC area tomorrow, but it would be nice to go. Gifties (our nickname for ourselves) are usually a rather interesting bunch and they do not have alumni events in DC all that often.
alee_grrl: Candle burning next to mirror in a window sill with snow seen through the window (Winter candle)
So the lovely [personal profile] ariestess did a free one-card draw event for Samhain. It's been a while since I did a reading or had a reading done, so I figured why not. I also had enough to tip for once, which was happy making. In the end I was able to get a four-card reading. Now I'm pondering the results of that reading. Because inevitably when you ask for a general message from the universe you get one you were not expecting.

Results of reading )

My musings on the reading. )
alee_grrl: Abby Scuito from NCIS (abby)
Got my copy of the first Ms. Marvel trade paperback and it was amazing! If you like superhero comics, or even just fun coming of age stories, I encourage you to give Ms. Marvel. It's well written, and has female, person-of-color, Muslim, geek (she writes Avengers fanfic and plays video games!) protagonist. And the art is gorgeous. It actually reminds me a lot of some of the Spider-Man comics I used to read, back before there was more focus on turning things "gritty." It's funny, heart-felt, doesn't take itself too seriously but still shows some of the consequences of actions and suddenly developing super-powers. It's a nice balance and a fun story. That's probably enough gushing for now. :)

In other news I accomplished some of the things today. Went to bank, politely declined the offer to discuss finances and investing because I am so not in the headspace to deal with that right now. I will need to, eventually, but money is a triggering thing for me and right now I just do not have spoons. Also picked up prescriptions, treated myself to lunch, returned iPad holder that did not fit my 1st generation iPad, and did a bit of shopping a Target. Tomorrow I will have to go to my Uncle's bank to deposit the money that I owe him, and go get blood drawn. Tomorrow evening we're going to sit in the driveway and hand out candy. My sister's doing zombie make-up for one of the neighbors (she's really amazing with make-up, especially special effects stuff). As it will also be Samhain, I'll probably light a candle and maybe make hamburgers (one of my Dad's favorite foods). I've been missing him an awful lot this week.
alee_grrl: (sleep)
I have stuff that needs doing, but it can wait til a bit later in the week. Right now I think I'm just going to continue vegging out and resting. Not sure when I last watched so much tv (or the internet equivalent). :) Am all caught up on current seasons of Sleepy Hollow, and Agents of SHIELD. Or at least as caught up as one can be without having a cable provider account. I am still kind of mad about the fact that I have to have a cable provider to access the most recent episode of a broadcast television series. Although once I go back to work I'll end up a week or two behind anyway. So it'll all come out in the wash. :)

Also caught up on Forever a new crime procedural with a supernatural twist (guy who cannot die) which I got hooked on while staying with my Dad. Not sure what I might watch today. Got a ton of things in both my Netflix and Amazon Prime queues, so there is no shortage of things to watch.

Also, Hawkeye: L.A. woman, aka Kate Bishop and Lucky the dog have adventures in L.A., was phenomenal. The only problem was that I finished it and wanted Vol. 4 of the series immediately. I haven't been so tempted to resubscribe to an ongoing monthly comic series in years. I may have to play with reading digital comics on the iPad I inherited, because I will not start collecting paper copies again. They are way to much of a pain to store.

Tomorrow I shall have to think about starting in on my errands, including going over to get blood drawn as it's been a while since I had my thyroid, iron levels, and other metabolic work-ups done. Don't really want to even think about blood draws today, so distractions and rest it is.

In cool news, I will be speaking on a student panel on Asexuality (via video chat) at Vermont Law School for Asexual Awareness Week. That will be at 6:30 tomorrow evening, so hopefully I will have found some spoons by then. :)
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor and Rose walking towards the TARDIS.  Text reads: home is where the TARDIS is... (Tardis Home)
Was able to get up and on the road at a decent hour this morning, and made good time on the road, which means that I was able to make it home. It was nice to visit my heart family and see Vermont in fall. I missed peak leaf season, but it was still gorgeous. I will try remember to load the handful of pictures that I took to the net sometime this week. :) All and all I am glad to be home though.

The remainder of my to do list for the day is pretty simple: dump clothes in laundry basket, shower, and veg out with books and/or Netflix. I have three new graphic novels to enjoy: Hawkeye: L.A. Woman, Captain Marvel Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More, and She-Hulk Volume 1: Law and Disorder. And my copy of the Ms. Marvel graphic novel should be arriving this week as well. So that is happy making.

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alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
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