cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Things that go together: stomach flu and bathrooms. Things that don't work so well: stomach flu and non-functional bathrooms. This Tuesday I got sick with the horrible stomach flu that the kids had last week. It was ... horrible. I started feeling sick while I was getting Cassius to his Uptown preschool for a special morning field trip. The plan was to stay in Uptown so I could pick him up after his field trip ended, get him lunch, and then bring him back an hour and a half later for his regular preschool to start. We stuck to the plan, but by the end I was entirely miserable and also grateful for the cleanliness of the public library bathroom and the bathroom at Potbelly. :(

I started feeling actually health several days later, on Friday. In the mean time, Phil stayed home to help when he could and went to work when he couldn't, the kids watched way too many episodes, and the plumber and contractor came and went.

Our bathroom still isn't fixed, but by Friday our shower at least had walls again, even if it has no fixtures. On Monday they'll come and put those in. However, we could use our bathtub again this weekend, thank goodness, at least for bucket baths. You know it's bad when you're really grateful for a bucket bath.

I'm also grateful for good friends who live nearby and let me use their shower! So grateful. Thursday night, Electra let our whole family go over to her house and I got to wash my hair (and the rest of me, but the hair was the worst because I really can't do anything about that in a sink) and bathe the children and she fed Phil (and Theia) spaghetti, which I know he was really grateful for because we went over around 8, right after he got home from work and before he had a chance to eat a proper dinner.

What else this week? Friday Theia and I went to the library storytime and she saw a little girl that she usually plays with at the coffee shop nearby. Friends! Saturday Phil started getting sick, but he seems to have the congestion-and-coughing version without any of the digestive problems. Theia has been accepted to preschool for three mornings a week beginning in September. I will be alone in the house. This is shocking. Cassius has Scottie Bear home from preschool, so he gets to take the bear everywhere and then we write a story in a notebook about what we did while Scottie Bear was here. I learned that Cassius likes my chili, as long as I put it in a chapati for him. We're trying to get Theia to start potty-training, but even having her sit on the potty for two minutes is a challenge. This has become more urgent lately since she's started taking off her own dirty diapers (including the poopy ones). Danger Danger.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
Two big changes and one irritating mistake. Okay, the changes aren't THAT big. Practically speaking, they're quite small on a lifetime scale. But big on a weekly scale!

The biggest thing in my life lately has been my inability to shower or bathe at home. Our shower went from decrepit but sorta functional to entirely non-functional. It no longer has hot water, and using the shower is also bad because the walls aren't as waterproof as you would want shower walls to be. We figured this out when Phil looked up at the ceiling of the kitchen and saw that there was water damage. :(

My solution for this has been to take advantage of all the gym trials available that include childcare (and one that didn't, even though its website said it did). This way, I can take the kids, get a workout, write for a bit while the kids stay in childcare, and then wash my hair (the big problem with normal bucket-bath solutions) and the children. It's been fun. I don't have disposable income on a monthly basis, so I won't be able to permanently join a gym-with-childcare and do the short workout, longer writing game plan that some other writer parents and members of gyms-with-childcare have. Sadface. But I've learned that I like group classes and weight machines, and I really like being able to work out again.

Monday the plumber comes and starts the process of retiling the shower alcove, replacing the fixtures, and installing a new toilet while he's at it. I'm very happy about this. I'm just sad that we didn't have the budget to have them also tear up the wood floor and put in tile while we're at it. Alas. Wood floors look great and wear well in many rooms, but bathrooms aren't one of them.

Other things that happened this week(ish), briefly:
1. Tried writing with The Most Dangerous Writing App (change #2), liked it, and beat my weekly word quota for the first time in a long time;
2. Went to preschool auction, got one month's gym membership cheap(!), and collected lots of compliments on my candid portraits of the kids;
3. And, finally, messed up communicating with Cassius' school bus about me taking him to school instead (after gym time in Uptown), leading to confusion all around and a cranky school bus chaperon. Oops.
4. Wait, that's not the end after all! Last Sunday, the children became miserably sick, complete with 105 degree fevers (Cassius) and vomiting (Theia). That was no good. The combination of vomit and nonfunctional shower was particularly unfortunate. I forgot about that earlier, even though the kids are still coughing and congested. They're no longer feverish and they seem to be back to normal energy levels, though, so no more sick days watching videos for them!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (park)
I am not a big fan of the heat, as the latest 85+ degree Minnesota "heat wave" shows. Tooo hot.

Cassius' 3-year doctor appointment was this week. He's exactly 1 meter tall and weighs just under 30 lbs. This puts him in the bottom 1% for BMI, which makes us very concerned parents. Not much we can do that we aren't already, though. It's just--I desperately want to fatten him up. The doc also recommended getting him assessed for verbal problems (enunciation, basically--his vocabulary is fine) and for pronation in his feet. No shots this year! Still waiting to hear back about test results. In general, however, it was a cranky-making doctor's visit.

Oh, and I got back the results from the parapertussis test: negative. So no, I no longer have an active infection, but I'm still coughing and dealing with symptoms, and I may continue to do so for another two months. Grr.

Here, have a random water droplet photo. Waterfowl feathers are neat.
IMG_1204

I got to game again! It's been so long, I had to hunt around to find my dice. But I found them. Except for my D4s, which Phil had stolen. And I got to go out for a few hours and play a Deadlands one-shot. It was a lot of fun, although my character was a mad scientist with an impulse control problem that made it difficult for me not to "accidentally" kill all the other party members. Le sigh. And I had to leave a bit early, because I'd been there from 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM, and I really couldn't stay away from Theia any longer.

We got important house stuff worked on! My plan was to paint the back hallway, which is lead paint that has chipped slightly and is generally in need of remediation paint before I will feel comfortable with my kids walking on the stairs in that area again. I got as far as cleaning everything for the painting, and then while I was out at a movie with Electra, Phil taped up all the things that needed taping and got 3/4s of the first coat done. So awesome! He also said that painting there was basically hot-boxing yourself.I'm not allowed to do it, because I'm still breast-feeding and so what I get, the baby gets. Progress is great. Progress made by not-me while I was out seeing a movie? Even better!

Good read: The Girl With All the Gifts.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (editing iffy)
This was the year that 4th Street Fantasy became the premier dark fantasy convention in the Midwest. ...That would be because all the lights went out, and power wasn't restored at the hotel for a couple (?) of days. The summer solstice storm of 2013 hit the Twin Cities area hard, leaving 500,000 households without power, uprooting trees, flooding streets, and creating sinkholes that looked like Godzilla had been stomping around Robbinsdale.

I was at dinner at Super Moon Buffet* with a group of friends from 4th Street when the heavens opened. Between the torrential downpour and the near-tornado-strength wind, it became a question of how to get to the car, and who was going to get in it, and if it was safe even to drive back. You see, half of our party had chosen to walk to the restaurant! I dashed out to the car with the driver and settled in. Driver went back. I was just wondering what the other people were delaying for (and deciding that I wasn't going anywhere unless the car started to float away) when the restaurant lost power. In the end, we were able to get everyone out safely in a couple of car trips. When we got back to the hotel, we learned that it, too, had lost power. They had some emergency lights, and that was it. I was happy that I'd just downloaded a flashlight app on my new cellphone, especially after the emergency lights in the bathroom ran out of power.

Eventually, I got home and discovered that we had also lost power--and many large tree branches, but nothing that caused significant damage. It was actually really nice. Phil and I had a relaxing evening chatting by candlelight while music played on the laptop that still had battery power.

2013_06_23_7746

The next morning, I got to see all the damage while I was riding back to the hotel. We got to play a game of bush-branch-tree, identifying what that ground-level foliage was by the side of the road. The answer was often tree. It took a couple of weeks after the storm before the giant tree that was blocking a road north of our house got moved. As of today, a month after the storm, there are still piles of fallen branches pushed to the curb and waiting for the city to collect them. They claim they'll get here eventually.

In many ways, the power outage was good for 4th Street Fantasy. It made the convention memorable, promoted camaraderie, and didn't (quite) persist for an intolerable length of time. People staying in the hotel who remember glacial showers and critical coffee shortages may disagree.

IMG_0449

In addition to the lack of power, there were a couple of other differences this year.

Read more... )
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (alas)
What I said about yesterday being the day to paint the fence? Turns out I meant "this weekend, and maybe more."

Fences are time-consuming.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (eyebrow)
We have a new privacy fence out back and a new picket fence out front that need to be painted before it's too cold and/or wet to do so. That kind of makes today the day.

Phil does not seem inclined to accept any of my "but I'm still a gimp!" excuses.

Um. Painting's so much fun! You all should give me your marbles and string and candy for the privilege of painting my fence!
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Domestic snapshot: Sitting and sipping warm eggnog and editing Vicesteed while the cats sit in chairs nearby, festival squash bakes in the oven, and the roomba sweeps the floors. Outside, the contractors are locking down their ladders and heading out for the night.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • Listening to electronica. The contractor's power tools actually blend with the music!
  • Alarmed voices inside the workhouse goaded Carl to jump from his high seat, push the girl into the cab, and order the horses to a trot. #nwm
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cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (crazy)
  • Carl Watts looked from her mushroom-pale skin to the stone-carved words over the door she fled from: "Work Shall Set Ye Free." #nwm #twitfic
  • YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "Salvaging Scottwell" is officially accepted by Baen's Universe. My first pro sale!
  • His statements didn't sound like he'd make a good mayor, *but* this is hilarious. (BoingBoing) ping.fm/HAECk
  • When squirrel removal guys say they'll install a "monitor," they really mean they'll tape a plastic bag over the hole.
  • Fu Manchu is turning into an excellent writing cat! His current toy is a wadded-up ball of paper.
  • Er, that should be, *writer's* cat.
  • ++++++ I now have 2 squirrels in cages and (hopefully) NO SQUIRRELS IN THE WALLS.
.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
  • Wearing shiny silver-and-black striped Halloween socks with jack o-lanterns on them. Festive!
  • Thanks be to the rain for giving me a day without contractors around my house.
  • Here's hoping it doesn't wash away the newly stuccoed wall.
  • Must discourage Fu Manchu's tendency to show affection by purring, nuzzling--and then biting your face.
  • Pandora is trying to feed me Britney Spears. It's ridiculously auto-tuned. I expect her to be discussing politics. She's not.
  • Yay! Finally got ahold of boss, pay rate straightened out--sounds like it was boss/HR miscommunication.
  • Husband gets to fly *business class* to *Singapore*. Is ded of envy.
.

Excursions

Sep. 3rd, 2007 08:01 pm
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Yesterday, I was apparently healthy enough to be dragged to Home Depot to purchase roof repair and plumbing materials. Today, I was apparently healthy enough to go to a Twins baseball game (comp tickets from the corporate FatherMother). Yet Phil says I'm not doing well enough to go to a martial arts class tomorrow night.

...and he's probably right. Given that I get winded and have coughing outbursts amazingly fast. But I'm declaring myself healthy and non-contagious enough to be social again, so yay! Conclusion: it only takes about a week and a half for me to get cabin fever.

In other exciting news, I acquired an "interview suit" today. Given how much difficulty I have with shopping, this is rather amazing. I like the suit, it flatters me, it's comfortable, and it was on clearance. Score! The key factor in a more pleasant shopping-for-a-purpose experience, it would seem, is dragging Phil along. Hmm. This changes everything. Lucky me. Poor Phil.

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