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I spent a great portion of 2011 in a state of near-panic about financial issues, which tended to overshadow other things on a day-to-day basis, but when I look back at the year, it was really a pretty good year (especially when compared to 2010, which definitely overstayed its welcome).

So, what did I do with my year?? )

So yeah... eventful year, and one that I could look back on and find a lot of negatives, but instead I look back and realize that I have amazing friends (both new and old), I have challenging volunteer opportunities that I enjoy and which get me out of my house and interacting with people, I've got four healthy dogs (counting the visiting Nick) and four healthy cats, and I got to spend the year making really incredible music with Wild Mercy. So I'll count 2011 as a win for me and challenge 2012 to be even better for all of us!
So... originally I had scheduled gallbladder surgery for the day before Thanksgiving, because the surgeon thought it would keep getting worse and therefore shouldn't be put off. But, you know, he's a surgeon and it's his job to cut. Me... I haven't had even the slightest twinge from the gallbladder since the first week in September (when it landed me in the emergency room for an evening), and I'm just not sure I really want to go through surgery for something that may or may not continue to be a problem. So I cancelled the surgery. In hindsight, this was a good thing, 'cause that freed me up to take a Semi-Feral Mercy gig this coming Wednesday, so Jen and I will be playing from 7-10pm at the Plainfield Claddagh. W00t!

Three hours. Damn. That's a lot of music. That's a lot of music without being able to rely on Barry's guitar chops or Sally's percussion. Hmmm... So there's been a lot of guitar practice in my week (and I have the ouchy fingertips to prove it!). Tomorrow, I drum for church in the morning, then Jen and I rehearse in the afternoon. Wednesday is the gig. Thursday, Thanksgiving at [ profile] textdeviant's, for which I promised to make chocolate pastry cake. This could be complicated, since I won't get home 'til late on Wednesday, and the cake needs to set up overnight before being served. Meh. I'll figure it out. Sleep is overrated, right? :-)

Tuesday, I had a guy out to quote swapping my (existing, brought from prior house) heat pump and thermostat in to replace the plain A/C currently in the house. I'd have to have a new heater coil too, and the price turned out to be totally reasonable. Not something I can afford right now, but definitely something that can be planned for, and it will get me closer to not needing the blasted propane, since the heat pump can provide heat until temps are down to about freezing. I also acquired a Comfort Furnace freestanding ceramic heater which is currently heating the entire upstairs, and Thursday I came home early and met the chimney sweep, who gave the chimney and Buck Stove a thorough cleaning and pronounced them safe for use. So even w/out swapping out the heat pump, I may be able to get through this winter w/out paying for propane (I spent $1600 on propane last winter... I can't do that again!!). Haven't had a fire yet, but I did bring a good selection of damp firewood onto the back porch so it can dry out.

I've scheduled several shifts to work Christmas at the Zoo. Unfortunately, shortly after scheduling, I got an invitation to a drum event on one of the same evenings, so I may try to shift my schedule around. Currently scheduled for four shifts... Saturday, Dec. 4, Saturday, Dec 11 (this is the one I may reschedule), Tuesday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 30. Working as fire pit monitor all shifts, 4:30-9pm, so come warm up and hang out w/ me if you come to the zoo on any of those evenings! :-)

I'll also be drumming for the UUI Winter Solstice again, which will be on Saturday, Dec. 18, this year, with a repeat performance on Sunday afternoon at the women's prison. Then I leave on either the 22nd or 23rd for a few days in Mississippi w/ the family for the holidays.

For now, I think I'll practice some more guitar. Learning [ profile] cadhla's "Wicked Girls" for the gig. Yay!
friends... music... fire... food...

it was a lovely evening and now I must fall down and sleep.
After missing the state fair last year, I was determined to go this year, if for no other reason than that I seriously needed an Elephant Ear fix.

Yesterday, with absolutely perfect fair weather (sunny and 70s), the whole family ([ profile] nycgadgetgirl, our parents, and my niece T) set off to spend the day at the fair. First, we went to Fishers and caught the fair train, thereby avoiding the need to deal with parking two cars at the fairgrounds. A leisurely ride took us within a short walk of the main gate, and then we were in. Spent about six hours there, and probably didn't make it to more than a third of the fairgrounds, but everybody seemed to have a good time and I got my fair food fix by following a lunch of chicken quesadilla (protein!) with an elephant ear and a lemon shake-up, then another elephant ear at the end of the day, just for good measure. We saw gorgeous draft horses (Percherons and Clydesdales both under saddle and in the 8-horse hitch event... six entries, eight horses each... wow that was a lot of hoofs and tack!), wandered the midway while T and Daddy rode rides and played games, and generally did everything I'd hoped to do for the day except I never remembered to grab an ear of corn.

The sugar buzz from the elephant ears may last me for another day, though. Whee!
I've done what feels like 80 loads of laundry, but still haven't found the boxes containing my coat hangers, so the new house is full of stacks of clean clothes that I can't put away. Ugh. [ profile] nycgadgetgirl got here on Monday, and we've been spending time (a) catching up and (b) shopping for things that one or both of us needed for the new house. One of tonight's purchases was a five-arm floor lamp for the basement, since this house is completely lacking in any built-in lighting (except in the kitchen and bathrooms). I was going to try to be green and responsible and all that crap, so I got it five 60-watt "daylight" compact fluorescent bulbs. Whoever labelled these as "daylight" obviously didn't _measure_ the color temperature, because they're hideous. *sigh* $15 wasted on bulbs that I won't use more than a day or two 'til I can go replace them with incandescents that won't completely ruin the color scheme of this room. So much for that experiment! I love my new paint and furniture colors down here, but I don't love what that harsh fluorescent light does to them!

I still feel like I may never be done unpacking. I was going to do a bunch of that this weekend, but between spending most of today shopping (and seeing Dark Knight, which was fabulous!), and needing to spend a chunk of tomorrow mowing, I'm not sure how many more boxes are going to get unpacked. At a minimum, I have to consolidate the stuff in the open boxes that are in T's room, 'cause she gets here on Wednesday and Jenna needs to be able to actually get her room ready, which would be easier if it wasn't full of my stuff. So that'll be tomorrow's focus, which will lead to relatively useless things like setting up the bedroom entertainment center, which won't get used because my bedroom's still a construction zone. *rolls eyes* Oh well... at least some of that stuff will be out of the way, and in the general vicinity of where it's final "landing spot" should be.

And now I'm off to bed... at least that's the plan. Of course, Drummer's plan is to continue having me play fetch with him, which could be counter-productive for sleeping. :-)
I've been sitting on Big News for weeks now, but I couldn't say anything before now...

My sister Jenna and niece "T" are moving to Indiana to live with me while T goes to high school! How cool is this going to be?

Details, details... )

So change is afoot at Reddog HQ. I'll not only have a roommate again, but Jenna and I will be living together for the first time since she was fresh out of high school, and I'll have a teenager in the house, which is alternately exciting and terrifying. :-)

Timeline is that I've got 11 days to be out of the current house (*gulp* ... the new house has no paint on the walls... and the downstairs bathroom construction hasn't started... and I'm only about 25% packed!!!), so I'll be sleeping in the new house by the 18th. Then Jenna comes out from NYC the weekend of the 27th and has a little time to get settled in before T, who's spending the summer with her grandparents, arrives around the beginning of the second week of August.

Fun fun fun! :-)
Email conversation with my Dad, referencing the house that I looked at this week where the owners are apparently willing to sell the resident pony along with the house and barn...

You want to be thorough about this, so ask your real estate agent if you can get an up to date appraisal on the pony.

How does one find an appraiser for a pony? :-)
[ profile] nycgadgetgirl and T (sister and niece) didn't make it to Indy for the holidays this year (unfortunately, real life intervened and made the trip impossible), but my parents were in town from Saturday through Wednesday and we had a lovely time. Probably the most concentrated time that I've spent with them in several years, and it was good to get the chance to really catch up. We also rode around and looked at houses, which brings an interesting bit of continuity to my house search, since Daddy looked at the house in Alexandria with me when they were here for the holidays two years ago. Hopefully this won't still be going on in another two years! (More on the house search in a later post...)

We had barbecue and all the trimmings for Christmas dinner, along with a peanut-butter-cup cheesecake which was quite yummy. I didn't have to cook any of it... which was probably a good thing since all my at-home time was spent taking care of the sick dog.

I had to work this week, since half the managers are out, and our first day back (yesterday) started with the excitement of a power outage. Apparently there was a big wreck that took out power to about 200 businesses. Naturally, just as we sent the staff out for an hour-long lunch, with orders to report back at 12:30 to see if we had power again, the lights came back on. :-) We were already running right down to the wire to get this week's books out to the printer, and losing a couple of hours didn't help. We survived, though... all the important systems were on backup power, so there were no surprises in the data center.

We have Monday and Tuesday off, so I'm really looking forward to the four-day weekend... I'm going to spend a day of it doing nothing but laundry and house-cleaning, then spend the rest of it enjoying my clean house and getting some actual rest!


Dec. 21st, 2006 11:37 am
tollermom: (Default)
I'm gonna make it... I really think I am!

Pampered Pets called yesterday and reminded me of a long-forgotten appointment to have Chase and Thunder bathed and groomed today, so that took a huge chunk of time and hassle out of my schedule and made it somebody else's problem. I have clean fluffy dogs now (Thunder kept his appointment, even though he's staying home with the petsitter instead of going with me).

The gift I was most concerned about showed up yesterday, so I have something for everybody now (though a few things are still likely to be no-shows 'til after the holidays).

Robitussin and Sudafed have beaten the creeping crud into submission and I may actually survive the Solstice ritual tomorrow night. We'll see if I can actually sing at rehearsal tonight.

I've vacuumed the house and mostly civilized my room and the bathrooms, so the petsitter doesn't think I'm a total slob (and so I can come home to a clean house, since she'll vacuum before I get back).

Now I'm off to shop for the last couple of things that require my venturing into the Christmas Retail Madness. If I'm lucky, by the time I get that done, the rain will stop and I can clean out the Trooper to get ready for repacking it.

I'm starting to suspect that the light at the end of the tunnel might actually not be an oncoming freight train...
It's starting to look like this whole Christmas Thing may come together after all...

I'm still short a couple of gifts, but hopefully those will be resolved on Thursday when I have a day off and can shop in the relative sanity of the workday hours, instead of trying to deal with the mall parking lots after work.

Biggest hurdle overcome, though, is that [ profile] nycgadgetgirl, my niece and their dogs are definitely going to be able to be with us for Christmas. Gadgetgirl's on the injured-reserve list after a high-speed collision with a large zoomy dog at the dog park, and she can't drive. Trying to figure out how to get her, T (niece), Snick and Secret (dogs) from NYC to Berkeley Springs, WV, has been an interesting exercise in logistics.

Thankfully, a friend of hers has volunteered to drive them to Philadelphia, and I have a rescue dog riding east with me who needs to wind up in Philadelphia, so we're going to be able to work it all out. I'll do a bit more driving than originally anticipated, and we'll be a few hours later getting to WV, but we'll have the whole family together for the holidays, which is what counts! :-)

And I get to help an English Setter get to her foster home at the same time... yay!
I realize it's hot all over the US this week... I've seen the weather maps (they're impressive... the "temps above 100" band covered over 2/3rds of the US today, and the rest was in the 90s)... but oppressive heat and humidity somehow seem worse in Manhattan unless you're close enough to the river to actually get a breeze on the cross-streets.

I wasn't that close today. I was walking about as smack-in-the-middle of the island as you can get. At noon. What was I thinking??? Shady side of the street? There was no shady side of the street!

On the plus side, after walking a little over a mile and a half, I got a most excellent haircut and highlights from the guy who does [ profile] nycgadgetgirl's hair. Sacha, of Sacha and Olivier, which sounds like it would be terribly pretentious but it's actually nicely low-key and friendly. The only two stylists working today were the owners, which was probably good since the A/C was not coming close to keeping up with the heat. Sacha said all eight stylists are working tomorrow, when it's supposed to be equally hot and muggy... I can't imagine what it'll be like in there with six additional blowdryers going all day!

After being silly enough to walk from 39th & 8th Ave. down to 18th and 5th Ave., I gave in to temptation and took the subway back up to midtown to meet [ profile] nycgadgetgirl when she got off work, then she humored my tiredness and ambled back across town with me (there's no good way to take the train home from her office, and catching a cab wasn't likely at 5 p.m. on 5th Ave.). Tonight we're hiding from the heat and waiting for Burritoville to deliver dinner. We contemplated going out to see "The Devil Wore Prada" but I'm guessing that stasis is going to keep that from happening.

It's been a fun visit... mostly just hanging out, chatting, playing with the dog. We did manage to get a little closer to current on summer movies... I've now seen "Superman" and "Pirates of the Caribbean II" (both of which I recommend). Tomorrow, I head back to Indy, after a quick stop at my eye doctor (yes... for a lot of byzantine reasons, I live in Indianapolis and have an eye doctor in Manhattan... but it gives me an excuse to come to the city at least once a year, right?).

Food... somewhere out there is a delivery guy with my food...
I have fled the hot and muggy midwest for the (unfortunately) equally hot and muggy environs of New York City (cue Pace Picante Sauce sound effects here...). It's supposed to be 96 while I'm here. Eww. The only benefit is that it meant I only needed to pack tank tops and lightweight stuff, which is good since my suitcase had to be hauled up to [ profile] nycgadgetgirl's fifth-floor walkup.

Tonight we've been hanging out with the dog (she has a Shiba Inu named Snickers) and just chilling. Tomorrow... we wander, and shop, and probably wilt from the heat. But it's New York, so I'll cope, 'cause it seems like forever since last time I was here (it was actually just last summer... seems longer).

At some point, we're going to see both Superman and Pirates of the Caribbean movies (though not simultaneously). Yes, I've come all the way to New York to go to the movies. Such is life. :-)