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91
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 20, 2024, 06:28:59 PM »
This is unlikely to be much of an update.  I haven’t been feeling quite as well as yesterday.  My nose has changed from stuffed to runny, which I don't consider an improvement, and I keep blowing out gobs of goo.  Ugh.  I'm also sneezing more, and I'm being careful to sneeze away from the cats in case it is covid, since they can catch it too. 

Fortunately the only thing on my schedule that involves going out is the monthly Mensa breakfast on Thursday, and I should be done with this crap by then as long as I behave myself.  It was supposed to be last Thursday, but the organizer changed it because of a schedule conflict that actually got cancelled, but by the time it did, it was too late to change the date back.  I bet he's happy now.

James managed to sabotage or at least delay today's going out.  Until a few minutes ago, he was taking a floor nap after nodding off in his seat on the couch.  I suggested bed, but apparently that required too much effort.  Last night he was planning to come to bed, but then something he wanted to watch came on TV, and I’m guessing that one thing led to another because he was still asleep on the couch when I went down at about 5 to turn off the TV, and when I went down for real at about 8:30.  It took me a while to fall asleep, but once I did, I slept well.

Laundry moved right along.  Changing the bedclothes would have been easier without Baal’s assistance, but I got it done anyway.

We're having milder weather with intermittent rain.  Enough of the slippery stuff on the sidewalk has melted for me to be able to wear my regular outdoor slip-on shoes out to check the bill box instead of needing to put on boots.  One of the items was a tax form for closing out an odd retirement account that I’d totally forgotten about – both the account and the money.  I’ve added a line to my tax calculation spreadsheet, though I haven’t yet started doing any of the data entry.  It’s only going to be three numbers, so I don’t feel in any great hurry.

I’ve made the revision to the end of my story, which was the part that Katherine criticized.  Now it’s more at the pace of the rest of the story, and it ties back to other parts.  It is better than way, and I’m very glad she said something.  It was exactly the kind of input I needed.  Now I just need to find a market for it.
92
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 20, 2024, 12:14:37 AM »
James's progress is continuing, to the point that he's now bored and itching to go out and do something.  Anything.  Official guidelines indicate that he's allowed to go out on Sunday, though he's pushing it enough to do some food shopping today, and he'll probably find something to do that doesn't involve close contact tomorrow.  I'll be moving back into the bedroom tonight.  As soon as I made that decision, I put the new-cat room back together for this evening's zoom chat. 

Last night's sleep wasn't as good.  I blame the white cats, who were in full sleep disturbing mode.  I ended up eating half a peanut butter cup, which solved the problem nicely.  It wasn't until I got up for a lateish pitstop at about 7 that I noticed that James never made it to bed.  Sure enough, the TV was still on, so I went down to turn it off before going back to bed and dealing with more white cat restlessness. 

On Fridays he normally stays up until he falls asleep on the couch, which I expect to happen tonight.  I'm not sure which of us will be happier to get back to our previously scheduled lives.  Probably him, since he didn't have enough PTO to cover the whole time, and besides, he's not crazy about my choices for TV viewing.  Never mind that he has an office with a computer with superpowers and two monitors, so he could be playing Space Engineers and watching his choice of TV up there.

The package with my “sherpa” lined leggings arrived today.  I had to try them on right away, and they turned out to be so comfortable that I kept them on.  The only thing I don’t like about them is that they don’t have pockets, which I knew before I ordered them.  They’re a size XL, and they fit like a glove except for being slightly too long.  That’s really strange for me, considering I normally wear no larger than a size 10 in numbers, but fitting is the important part.  I may or may not shorten them, depending on how they come out of their first laundering.  Too long is better than too short, since I want to keep my ankles warm.

The day ended with the aforementioned zoom chat.  It was very small – just three of us, but one was Katherine Kurtz, and it was nice to be able to chat with her without the chat hogs getting in the way.  I brought up my story about the king and the random corgi, and she wanted to see it, so I sent it to her.  After I almost had a heart attack because I couldn’t find it where I expected it to be, that is.  I found it on One Drive, and after I got back downstairs, I realized that it wasn’t where I expected because I hadn’t saved locally on the upstairs computer.  Anyway, I’ve already heard back from her, and she had one small suggestion for an improvement but otherwise really like it.  Hooray!
93
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 18, 2024, 07:32:58 PM »
So far so not too bad on the covid front.  The worst of the symptoms James is having are joint aches and fatigue, with a slight increase in his usual cough, which he helps along by continuing to smoke. 

Today he got a call from VA medical, asking him to go there to pick up his Paxlovid because they were concerned that it wouldn't reach him in time to do any good.  Didn't I say that yesterday?  Anyway, after a whole night of rain, the roads were clear enough to be more or less safe, and the VA had a system where he'd pull into the parking lot, call in, and they'd run the pills out to him. 

While he was out, he hit the drive-through at Wendy’s. and that was lunch - some kind of burger for him and loaded fries for me.  For dinner he'll be having the last of the food he made last night, and I'll be having the second half of the Caesar salad, which isn't getting any younger. 

He's taken the first lot of pills - two kinds that are cleverly packaged in one bubble of a bubble pack - and we'll see what happens.  He's refusing to spend any extra time in bed because he says he has tired head, not sleepy head.  Whatever.  I'm having my usual head issues for this time of year and lack of humidity, but that's all.

Our temperatures are hovering around freezing but staying above it, if barely at times.  At the moment that means lots of slush, but starting tomorrow it should be getting enough warmer for the snow to melt, resulting in flooding in the usual places.  Once again I'm glad I'm retired because for the second day in a row, there would have been no way for me to get across the river to work.  Quite a mass transit system we have, with drivers who don't know what to do in the weather when people are most likely to need them, even in the areas that don't get that bad with the precipitation we've had.

The Temu orders that UPS led me to believe would arrive today didn't.  They've mostly been handing off to the Post Office for the actual delivery, which complicates everything and makes the packages virtually impossible to track.  Oh, well.  They'll get here when they get here.  It’s not like I have a set date when I need the stuff, though I would like to have the dresses here to try on.  I expect to have to shorten both of them, and the one I got in the larger size might need some taking in, though I’m hoping the lacing in the front will eliminate that need.
94
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 17, 2024, 07:23:21 PM »
The big news of the day is that James has covid.  He was running a low-grade fever last night, and this morning when he commented that it wasn't strep throat (which he's very prone to getting), I suggested that he use one of our covid tests.  Sure enough, he was a strong positive.  He contacted his healthcare provider at the VA, and they'll be sending him some Paxlovid, but the odds are that by the time it gets here, it'll be too late to do any good.  Meanwhile, I’ll be sleeping in the new-cat room so he can have the bed, though based on what I read about the current variant, if I’m going to catch it from him, I already have.

I haven't tested myself because it seems pointless, since other than knowing, it won't make any difference.  I can't take Paxlovid because it's contraindicated with my blood pressure meds, and even when I do go out, I don't get closer to anyone than the far side of the conveyor belt while paying at a store.  Fortunately we have enough food for a few days, and hopefully by then the roads and sidewalks will no longer be hazardous.  I don't mind going out for food, but not when there's slippery crap on the ground. 

I did go out as far as Target because James the Mountain Dew addict was all out of his drug.  Even just going there and back made me sweat and my heart go pitty-pat, though I only slid a little bit in one spot.  Having a dancer's balance and coordination has to be a plus in these conditions.

James's work closed completely today, not that it made any difference to his diseased self.  Well, except for not feeling like he was letting the side down, because the side was already down.  I'm hoping he's thinking correctly that the couple of days of mild symptoms he thought were from a cold that's going around were actually the beginning of covid, since that will mean less time with him parked on the couch beside me.  It figures that he got it when the weather is too bad for me to go out and do stuff.  It’s probably obvious from my attitude that his symptoms are minimal, and hopefully they will stay that way until they're gone.

We've managed to stay above freezing, so today's precipitation was all rain.  Hopefully it will stay that way because if all the water on the ground freezes, the roads will be even more horrible than they are now. 
95
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 16, 2024, 07:56:22 PM »
It's freakin' cold again today, and between the temperature and the ice storm prediction, James's management decided to close up shop at 1.  For some reason it took him an hour and a half to get home with the lunch he promised, and by that time I was almost hungry enough to start chewing on a cat. 

To add to the problem, Taco Bell, which is one of our regular food sources, decided to change their menu again and eliminate the little chipotle chicken wraps we liked so much.  The new alternative isn't horrible, but what it's wrapped in is a lot doughier and so not as much to my taste, and the filling isn't well distributed so there's quite a bit of nothing but doughiness.  We've decided that they'll do, and they'll end up costing less in total because we'll only be getting five of them, compared to eight of the others.  Mostly it's annoying because it seems like every time Taco Bell changes their menu, they eliminate whatever we'd been eating regularly.

I'm glad I restocked on soups because the roads are about to get worse.  James went to Safeway to see if he could find something light for dinner, since it didn't occur to him that one heavy meal at 2:30 and another at 6 was not a good idea, and what he brought home would have been another heavy meal.  We were going to do deli, but it was already closed.  He texted to let me know he found a Caesar salad kit, since I was craving something leafy and suggested Caesar salad, so I guess we're set with only two consultations with me.

One of my Temu orders arrived today - the one that includes glamorous things like a plastic device to push down the shower drain and pull out the hair clog that's starting to form.  I also got covers that are meant to stick to the tub and keep the hair from going down the drain in the first place while allowing the water through.  If those things work as intended, we'll be over the mouse size hair clog issue for good.  Another arrival was a very decorative hair clip that turned out to come with some assembly required.  I've turned it over to James, for his engineering brain to deal with, since there were no instructions.  While I was trying to match my email updates to their orders, I realized that I'd missed requesting updates on one, so I got on Temu and the UPS website and took care of that.  It's the one with the lined leggings that I'd like to be wearing now, so of course it's taking the longest to arrive.

The Weather has begun.  Bleah.  James figures that the odds are good that he won’t have work tomorrow, so we’ll get to put the food supplies he bought to good use.  Also, we have eggs and cheese for breakfast, so he won’t have to brave the roads at all.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to an extra day of him at home, but such is life.
96
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 15, 2024, 07:41:57 PM »
Last night I could probably have slept without assistance, but in the last few hours I was awake, the depression hit so hard that all I wanted was to be sure of being able to hide from reality, so I indulged in half a peanut butter cup.  It worked nicely, and I’m doing better today.

The weather might have had something to do with my improved mood.  We had some sun all day, and this morning when I went out to Safeway, it was glorious and called for sunglasses.  It was cold, though - about 27 when I went out, and we only had a high for the day of 29.  I wore my snow boots for the first time in at least two years (since I was in a cast last winter), and they were nicely non-slip on the packed down snow.  I'd have run out of half & half tomorrow, and I was also running low on breakfast bread, so I decided better today than tomorrow, when the weather is supposed to be foul. 

This time I found a half-price loaf of rosemary and olive oil bread, which will be different for breakfast, but that's fine with me.  I also picked up another four of the bargain soups because I figured I should take advantage of the sale while it was happening.  The store looked like it had been without deliveries for longer than it should have been.  A lot of spots on the soup shelves were empty, and I ended up with a half-gallon of half & half instead of my usual quart because there were no quarts of the regular kind, and fat-free half & half kind of defeats the purpose. 

The person ahead of me in line to pay was chatting with the cashier about how unusually cold it was, which is what James has been saying.  It doesn't seem to faze the birds, though.  Some of the fattest robins I've ever seen have been drinking the water that has collected on top of the pool cover, to Callisto's great amusement.  I haven't been seeing as many crows, which might be why the robins, who even in their current rotund condition are about half the size, feel safe to come out in such numbers.

James texted to let me know that his work threw them out at 4, probably because of how freakin’ cold it is in the warehouse with virtually no climate control.  That’s not a bad thing, since he has a couple of errands to run, and that would have made for a somewhat late dinner.  As it is, he’ll be going to the place with the Monday 20% off sale on edibles, which is right near the gyros place, so he’ll be picking up our dinner while he’s there.  It’s about halfway between his work and home, though a different, slower route than his usual, so it works out pretty well.
97
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 14, 2024, 07:39:41 PM »
I don’t know how much of an update this is going to be because Sunday.  Once the white cat contingent settled down, my sleep last night was good without any need for assistance.  I'm hoping for more tonight.

The snow ended before I went to bed last night, and we're not expecting more until Tuesday, at which point we're likely to get another couple of inches.  We'll see if that does anything to James's work, since this area doesn't know how to handle it.  I've been getting advisories from the transit company about rerouted and/or delayed bus routes all day, which makes me happy once again about being retired and not having to deal with whatever lands on the roads first thing in the morning.

This morning I had a bit of an adventure with ordering more cat food.  The website claimed that the store where we got the last bag, which was the second closest to home, was out of stock.  So I checked all the different variations - different size bag, different flavor, slightly different formulas - at all three stores in town, and the only store that wasn't out of stock was the one all the way on the far side of town.  I closed the website and told James, who was all right with going to the far side of town in spite of the snow.  So I got back on the website, which then claimed that the food was available at the original store.  He has since done the pickup, so either the store got a delivery during the ten minutes I was searching or the website was wrong and got corrected.  I didn't dare look at the closest store in case it still came up out of stock and the other one changed its mind.

James's “office hours” will be ending earlier than usual because the coffee shop is closing at 5, anticipating weather.  It's one of a chain of coffee shops, and if it staffs like most chain places seem to, they probably hired people who live at a distance for this one and sent people who live nearby to ones that are much farther away.  It's almost like they want to make it difficult for staff to get to work, instead of going for people who live within walking distance or close to it, making it possible to keep places open longer even when stupid things are happening with the weather.
98
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 13, 2024, 08:16:33 PM »
Last night's sleep was bad enough to undo all the good the previous nights did.  I was too stubborn for my own good, and it was almost 3am before I broke down and had half a peanut butter cup.  It worked, but it did mean that when I surfaced at about 4:30 and went downstairs to turn off the TV, I had to be very careful on the stairs because it affects my balance.

Laundry moved right along because I managed not to forget about it.  It was just too much to fit into one load, which was annoying but hardly the end of the world.  Once again a sock went missing and then was there in the dryer, plain as day, when I opened it up again to look.  I don’t know where they hide that a swipe of the hand around the inside of the dryer doesn’t knock them down, and I wish they’d stop.

It's been snowing on and off - mostly on - all day, and it's been bloody cold.  Right now it's 14, with two more degrees down to go before it hits bottom.  I won't be surprised if it gets colder than predicted, since the sun isn't even down yet.  Tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be more of the same, with the temperature creeping back up over the following week.  I hope the roads are clear for Monday.  It's MLK Day, which not every business observes, and James's place is one that doesn't.  I’m glad because I’m already looking forward to having the place to myself again.

My computer speaker issue has been resolved.  James looked at them and guessed that the second bit of cable, which had a type of end that didn't have a corresponding socket on the back of the box, might need to get plugged in.  We found the socket on the front of the box, and plugging in there too did the trick.  I thought it was either/or, with the two ends available in case the computer only had one type of socket, when it was actually both/and.  In any case, now I have functioning speakers on the new computer so I can play the e-cards my bestie sends me, among other things, down here instead of having to wait until I go upstairs and use the laptop.  I'll still be doing zoom chats up there because the new computer doesn't have a webcam, and the last time I had one balanced on top of the monitor, I didn't really care for it.
99
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 12, 2024, 07:44:25 PM »
Today has been a bad day for depression for no apparent reason, so mostly I've been moping around on the couch, which makes for a short update.  It's too bad because we did get about an hour of bright sunshine, which would have been good for a walk.  Oh, well. 

It has also been the coldest yet, with the temperature dropping slowly but steadily all day, which combined with a stiff breeze was enough to almost freeze my fingers just while I dumped the recycling and checked the bill box.  Right now we're at 29, with an expected low of 21, and tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 21 with a low of 17, along with a weather advisory for snow though with no indication of specifically when.

My sleep last night was good again, though I did finally drink the tiny (50ml) bottle of absinthe, so I had that for assistance.  Now that's something I'll never drink again.  It didn't seem to have any interesting effect, and the taste isn't one I enjoy, so I still have no idea what all the hoopla is about.

I’m about two-thirds of the way through the downstairs part of the library project.  Today included the section where my new book will go after it gets here and I read it, and I even managed to keep my brain together enough to leave space for it, so hooray for that.
100
The Chamber of Secrets / Re: The Cat Room 2
« Last post by JudithC on January 11, 2024, 07:21:21 PM »
Here comes a short update for a nothing day.  I spent a lot of time reading, which was fun but not exactly noteworthy.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the Lydia Adamson books, and I’m glad I have a bunch of them because I’m reading one a day.

I've now had two nights in a row of being able to sleep reasonably well without assistance, for the first time in I can't remember how long.  Today I was even rested enough to be restless just sitting around, so I went out for a walk.  My goal was to visit adoptable cats at Petco, so I took the longer way around to there.  They didn't have any adoptable cats again, though this time it kind of made sense because we're supposed to get a winter storm including snow, starting pretty much any time now, and if there's a lot of snow, whoever is in charge of feeding the cats and cleaning the litter boxes might not be able to get there.

The library project keeps waiting until the end of the day because I forget about it.  In fact, I haven’t yet moved the shelf of the day, and it’s almost 4:30.  That’s OK.  I’m going to do it now, and it only takes a minute or two.  I might even move more than one shelf, just because.
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