Jaguar_0293, originally uploaded by maystone1.

Dar's son just bought an old Jaguar. I'd have bought it just for the hood ornament.

Overly aggressive bird and very interested cat. )
Anyone here a fan of Fire Sign Theater? Anyone?

It's still snowing and blowing. This is crazy. The major roads in the area are still officially closed. Deb closed down the mill today. The only person I know of who struggled into the workplace is Mark. Thankfully he made it in one piece. This was supposed to end this afternoon, but it's showing no sign of stopping.

I'm having a lupus day. Nausea, fatigue, loss of balance. I'm less than useless and have been for a few days. I keep up with feeding the cats, changing the litter, and doing dishes. That's about the extent of my contributions for the last few days. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. Pull it together, mays!

My immigration status is frakked. They refused my permanent residence status and are claiming that I've never applied for a work permit in Canada. Ever. The fact that I have three previous work visas from Immigration in my possession didn't seem to carry much weight. Then it turns out that my files are a combination of missing and strewn around in bits and pieces here and there. We filed an appeal. Who knows when this will be resolved.

We have to buy a replacement for the Jeep ASAP. The rental is up on Wednesday. We can certainly keep it longer, but then it will be on our dime. Because of the high mileage on the Jeep, we're not getting all that much from the insurance payout. Dar did her usual thorough research on comparables in the US and CA, and she did manage to get them to up it by another thousand dollars. Looks like we'll be doing some used car shopping this weekend.

Dar has been baking up a storm today, and the place smells great. We have an alpaca co-op meeting/Christmas party tomorrow, plus it's Mark's birthday. Yumminess, ahoy!

Enjoyed the season finale of Glee very much. Top Chef doesn't air here until this weekend, but I spoiled myself for the results. Bleh. I've been spoiled for Project Runway, too - again, we're a few weeks behind - but I'm still looking forward to seeing the collections go down the runway. Survivor has been a joy this season thanks to Russell and, I must admit, Shambo. I'm sure that the producers have had a major hand in the shenanigans with the immunity idols, but it's so entertaining that I don't care. But mostly I'm just passing time until Lost returns to me. I'm crazy excited for its return; it's killing me that I have to wait until February to see all of my guys again and find out what happened. And I just don't know what I'm going to do when it signs off this year. There's nothing else out there to fill the void. Woe!

It's the first night of Hanukkah, and I need to dig out my menorah and the beautiful candles that [ profile] caerwynx had sent me last year. Now I just need to find a place to put the menorah that won't cause a fire hazard or result in Kitty Flambe. (I don't know how to put a diacritic over the "e", sorry.) I love Hanukkah. Any holiday that includes ever increasing numbers of flaming candles is jake by me.

OK, time to nap. Like the two cats sprawled around my bed. I count myself fortunate that they allow me to share their accommodations. I am truly blessed.
I had a pretty good night, all thinks considered. I woke up a few times from various aches and pains, but I do that frequently anyway. A short headache after being up and moving around a bit, and the discovery of where the sore spots are on my body for the next little while. That was it. Probably the biggest thing is that I'm even more spacey than before. That's no fun. Well, OK, it's fun to goof on for a while, but I'll be glad to thinking a bit more clearly soon.

Mark was able to rent a Nissan SUV so he could get back and forth to work. He left work a little early today so we could get to the bank and also see about my car. Which has been sitting on the shoulder at Line 140 just off route 86 for almost 48 hours. I was pretty sure that the OPPs (think state troopers) were going to tow it away, but no. Had I money enough and other transportation, I'd be tempted to see how long I could leave it there before someone checked up on it at least.

The apartment is starting to come together thanks almost exclusively to Dar's hard work. Maddie and I pitch in here and there, but she's really the driving force. I think it's going to be quite nice, and I have to tell you that I'm falling love with the propane fireplace in the living room. The place is heated by in-floor radiant heating, something new to me. It does a good job in the main areas, but not so great in the back bedrooms. I was warned that mine in particular gets cold. And when you hear that from a tough Canadian (ex) dairy farmer, you can count on it being waaay too cold for these old bones. The plan is to get some sort of space heater for my room.

We have a ghost, but she seems to be a quiet elderly lady. We were warned to keep the front door locked, because otherwise she's slam it open --- so we keep it locked.

No mail yet. We paid $40 to Listowel to forward our mail to Palmerston. But we haven't received any yet, so Dar put some tape over the name on the mailbox and wrote our names on the tape. This time we get a registration form when the mail car goes by. yes, we have to register with the post office locally before they'll deliver the mail. Apparently the $40 covered only the forwarding, not the delivery. Canada Post is one of the world's great bureaucracies, trust me. So we're hoping that we can get someone to give us a lift into town tomorrow to get ourselves registered for an actual mail delivery. Because the post office is closed on Saturdays. Of course.

The kitties seem to love the place. There has been no crying to go outside, which really surprises me. I'm just as happy, though. There are a lot of heavy trucks and farm machinery on the road, and lots of cars coming and going on the property itself because of the mill. I'd worry about them getting squooshed.

I'm getting squooshed by sleep, so night all.
Mostly goings. I don't know how far the word has spread, but we'll be moving on the 28th. We never did find a suitable farm to rent, so we'll be moving in with one of our alpaca friends. Deb's house is really two apartments; she'll be living in one, and we'll be in the other. It's three bedrooms and one bathroom, so it'll be sufficient for a while. Deb has alpacas (and a fiber mill), so there will be space for our alpacas, too. We'll hunker down for the winter and hope for better hunting toward spring.

Jane and Chloe won't be going with us. They'll be moving in with some other alpaca friends of ours who are looking for barn cats who are also people cats. I really like them; they obviously love animals, and I know that they'll love my two girls. The property is beautiful - it's 50 acres of fields and woods with a lovely pond. The barn is really a huge greenhouse that will be warm and comfy. What I'm hoping (and suspecting) is that the girls will be out in the barn area during the day and back in the house at night. I think that it will be a good place for them. I love them dearly, and I'll miss them terribly, but they'll be together and they'll be loved and protected. And they'll have plenty of mice to catch and eat. We're bringing them over to the new place on Saturday. The plan is for the girls to stay in the house for a few days so they can bond with their new family, and then they'll start introducing them to the barn and the alpacas. I hope this works out for everyone.

We have so much to do. It isn't so much about the packing as it is the sorting. There's still a ton of stuff to sort through; most of what we have is going into storage, but some will be thrown out. We'll be moving ourselves with the help of friends. I expect utter chaos :) The closing isn't until the 30th, so we have a little leeway.

The new owners will be coming over on Sunday to check out the place more closely, take measurements, show the kids their new rooms, that sort of thing. We have such bad memories of how uncooperative the people were who owned this house before us; we don't want to be those people, you know?

I seem to have a running battle with tires. This time it was the tires on the utility wagon that I hitch onto the lawn tractor. I thought it was running rough, and when I finished and unhitched it I noticed that one of the tires was just about flat. The other one wasn't that great, either. Long story short, I filled one and had to take the other one in to have the inner tube replaced. Now I'm hoping that I won't go out there tomorrow and find the tractor tires flat :)

And that's about it. No ill effects from my flu shot, although I'm fighting off a cold. As Dar predicted when I got the shot. Because Dar knows all. Our living room is a sea of empty liquor boxes waiting to be filled. The cats are enjoying it, especially Lexy who thinks sleeping in boxes is, well, the cat's meow. Heh. Eh, everything will work because it has to. Right? Right.
I'm street legal at last. I finally got my car registered at 4:30PM this afternoon, after two weeks of wrangling with insurance companies and garages and leaky tires and freaky weather and one anxiety-inducing emissions test.

OK - who wants to go for a ride?!
I got an H1N1 vaccination today, and the process really wasn't that bad. The clinic was scheduled to run from 1-7PM, but I knew about the very long lines and hundreds of people turned away in Toronto and other cities so I showed up at 10AM. There was a sign on the door that said pretty much "Don't even think about trying to come through this door before 1PM!" So I left :) I came back a little before 1; there were about 60 people ahead of me and a line rapidly growing behind me. The doors opened at 1, and I have to say that things went pretty smoothly. I was out of there in less than an hour. One woman was turned away while I was there because she was over 65 and didn't have a chronic condition. She was pretty pissed. I was surprised that there weren't more people, but then I realized that none of the Mennonite families had shown up; that would have easily doubled the number of people trying to get inside. Maybe even tripled. Big, big families in the Mennonite community.

I know some people on my flist have tried to get the vaccination and weren't able to. I'm really sorry about that, and I hope you stay flu free until more vaccine shows up.

I finally got my temporary registration on Monday, but Dar had to call in the big guns before that happened. As in the chairman of the Canadian Insurance Bureau, who is also an acquaintance of hers. One call and bam . . . they couldn't get this stuff completed fast enough. It pisses me off that it takes that kind of pressure. What about all the people who aren't fortunate enough to be able to call on powerful people? They're just left dangling.

The easiest part of the whole process so far was dealing with the Motor Vehicle people. The woman was great! We were in and out in a jiff. Of course we can't let this be a completely smooth process, can we? I need to get an emissions test on the car before I can get it registered. I have a half tank of very old gas that I need to run off before I get it tested. I also have four brand new tires on the car - three of which have leaky valves. So I have to keep running into town to put air in them. I wanted just to be able to go for a long drive to run through the gas, but I don't trust the air pressure. I also want to get the car registered asap, so I don't want it stuck back in the garage waiting for tire repairs again while the time on my temporary registration runs out. Why can't it ever go smooth?

There are two things I think y'all should check out.

1. A piece by Melissa McEwan about the defeat of gay marriage rights in Maine. This country is not, and never has been, well-served by leaving the civil rights of the minority in the hands of the majority. Putting that up to a vote which is subject to deeply held prejudice is ruling not by democracy, but by mob mentality. I was shocked by Prop 8 in CA; I was shocked by the decision in ME. I can't believe that I'm still this naive about the majority view of homosexuals in America.

2. On a much lighter note: The Dodge Viper is one macho machine, right? Not so much.
I'm going to be by the numbers because my brain's not working in a linear fashion. Or not much at all, really.

Follow the lovely cut tag . . . if you dare. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! )

7. Ooh, The Amazing Race is coming on. I'm really enjoying this season, and so far I'm liking most of the teams and loving the race itself. It's one of the few TV shows that I'm keeping up with, because I have to go to bed so early lately. I stopped watching Flash Forward and Dexter and Glee, but I've been following the recaps on TWOP, so I hope to catch up again once we get the car situation settled. Anyway, TAR!
I keep planning to update. But as the poet said, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' mays / Gang aft agley."

First, my apologies to anyone who got spammed by me last night or this morning. Something got into my old Yahoo account and went to town. I think I know where it came from, not that it helps. I deleted all my contacts from my address book, so that should take care of it. I was going to delete the account outright, but I remembered that it's hooked into my Flickr account. That would have been bad.

The new boy is doing very well. We're thinking of naming him Castile (or Castille). (Not Castiel, so get your little SPN shipper hearts under control.) Both Dar and I came up with that name independently, btw. We also both thought of "Quinn", but I really like Castile more. His mom, Cinnamon Girl, is back to being The Incredible Psycho Mom from Hell. Frequent screeching comes from the paddocks when anyone even breathes too closely on Cas. That's a drag for him because he and Echo have discovered each other, and the cria games are commencing - until CG notices and comes charging in to protect her baby. Oh well, Ripley survived her over-protectiveness, and so will the little guy.

As some of you know, Mark ([ profile] browncoat) has a new job in Toronto. That's a two-hour drive one way. As some of you also know, my car is still sitting dead in the driveway. It used to be that I'd drive Mark into work and borrow the Jeep when we needed to run errands. Not so much now with the driving into Toronto to drop him off thing. Mark experimented with commuting by bus, and that works. I have to get up at 5AM to get him to the bus station on time, but at least we have access to transportation.

Dar has a call in to Immigration; we're waiting for them to call back. Hopefully they'll actually do that this time, unlike the last two times when they never returned the call. Apparently when I called last week, I used a different number than she uses, which is why I got a call center clerk and she gets to talk to an Immigration clerk. Or something like that. I'm very confused about this whole process. It makes no sense. I'm sure that [ profile] sparky77 agrees with me.

Still flaring. The Flare That Would Not Die. It's better today than it was yesterday and waaaay better than it was on Sunday. So there's light on the horizon, or however that cliche goes.

New TV is upon us. I'm enjoying Glee, but it's more for the dialogue and characters than for the music. I'm old; I don't know most of those songs, and I don't really like them. (Although I enjoyed "I bust the window out your car" or whatever that was.) "Hey, you kids! Get your dang hippy-hoppy music off my TV!" *shakes TV remote pathetically* I saw the first ep of Community and fell in love. It's just my type of ensemble comedy - smart, funny, fast-paced. I even love the main character (Jeff?), whom I think we're supposed to hate. But I don't. Love! And it also has John Oliver! This show compels me to overuse exclamation points!!!

Here in Canada we're several weeks behind the States with both Project Runway and Top Chef. I'm doing the "no spoiler" dance, especially around Television Without Pity. It's not too bad now because there are still so many contestants left in each show that I can't keep them straight right now anyway, but as it winnows down, I'm going to be doing some heavy duty eye averting.

And speaking of Top Chef, I find the show a mystery. Most of the time I have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to various styles of cooking and such. I don't even like food that much, really. Presentation? Balance of flavors? Means nothing to me. I don't understand waiting in a long line to eat at a particular restaurant, and I really don't get paying large sums of money for a meal, especially considering where it all ends anyway. But still I love this show. It's their mastery of their craft, I think. It's the same with Project Runway. I love the skill and the imagination that the competitors bring to the shows. I could never do what any of them do. Never ever. And I applaud them. Even crazy Malvin and his mother hen outfit.
We've had major car problems this week, and if it weren't for Q and her stalwart Ford, we'd have been up the creek without a paddle. It seems as if I've spent that last few days pretty much living in cars, running a lot of errands, driving Mark to and from work, and spending way too much time commuting back and forth to garages. We think the problems with the Jeep are finally settled, at least. My car's been off the road since last November, and there's no time in sight when it looks like it will be repaired. Maybe the Mennonites have it right with their horse and carriage ways.

I finally figured out the correct way to run the air compressor that inflates the tires on the lawn tractor. Go me. It's funny how when you do something right it takes a lot less time and a lot less hassle and actually completes the task you've been trying in vain to complete. I put in a lot of work today on one thing or another, but I got a great deal of satisfaction from looking around and seeing the effects of my labors. Of course I'm going to be paying for it later, but for now? It's good.

Having upped my prednisone dosage has helped with the overwhelming fatigue and pain. Now I just have run-of-the-mill fatigue and pain :) We have less than two weeks to get the barn cleared out for shearing, and that's going to take a massive amount of work. I'm just keeping my mind set on June 21, which is the day after the shearing. I think we're all looking forward to some down time around here.

My only living uncle (and my favorite uncle, too) just had his right leg amputated below the knee. I was talking with my brother tonight, and he said that he got the chance to visit our uncle in the hospital. Come to find out, the amputation is due to a wound that my uncle received in WWII when the submarine he was serving on surfaced to rescue a downed pilot in the ocean, and they were attacked from the air. He said he'd been waiting for 65 years for the wound to lead to this. He's a funny guy.

Tomorrow is the annual Ride for Heart event to raise money for local cardiac units. Dar was one of the founders of the event (started in 1993), and it's near and dear to her, so we'll all be out there at one of the rest stations handing out water, fruit, and protein bars to the riders. Dar is in charge of the medical guys, and runs the aid station at the finish line. It's supposed to rainy and cool, so I hope that they still get a decent turnout.

And I need to get to bed, because it's going to be an early morning and a full day. Hope all is well with you, my friends.
Yesterday was fairly good. Not great, but I was up and about. Dar and I took the Jeep into our local garage guy (miles of dirt road, anyone?) because the 4-wheel drive went kaput a few days ago. Fortunately it is just the 4-wheel drive and the regular transmission is OK, so it's good to drive. Except that it continues to snow and without the 4-wheel drive it's not an easy task. But it's still better than no car at all.

Of course it had to happen: the Jeep got stuck in the driveway on the way out to the garage. The snow had drifted over what I had blown out earlier, and I just wasn't up to doing it again. I thought, "What could happen?" Getting stuck is what could happen. So Dar and I did our usual schtick and got it out. I still haven't taken the snow blower out there again, either. Because . . .

I'm sick again. Weak and shaky and nauseated. Joy. I had a terrible night, too, which doesn't leave me with many resources during the day. I got to take it easy for most of the day, happily. I did end up rushing ("rushing" in my sense is relative) out to the barn in the late afternoon because I got a call for help from Dar on the walkie-talkie. It seems that Hannibal decided to take himself for a toboggan ride. We use toboggans to haul grain and hay from the shed out to the barn, and another one is kept out there to haul stuff up to Jester or to haul all of the poo out of the barn. Hannie apparently picked up the rope to the toboggan and started to walk off with it, except somehow it got tangled around his neck and then his leg, and he's scared and running around in great danger of strangling himself or breaking a leg. By the time I got out there, Dar had him untangled, but by this time the rest of the herd was freaked the hell out. I calmed the boys down and then helped Dar coax the girls and crias back into the barn. They can be very silly animals, alpacas.

I'm supposed to start that group therapy thing tomorrow, but I'm not convinced I'll make it, especially if I continue to feel as I did today. It's mostly because I'll have to borrow the Jeep in order to make it. The clinic is literally 12 minutes away, but I'd have to do a total of three hours commuting with Mark in order to be able to keep the Jeep. If I'm not feeling well, that's a lot of driving, especially in bad weather. [ profile] sparky77 has generously offered to let us use her car while she's in Malaysia, but the car is 600 miles away in Chicago, and I just don't want to put anyone out that much just so I don't have to drive Mark in. Anyway, I've already missed the first meeting last week because of the weather; if I miss this one, I'd want to just withdraw my name from the group. I'm not sure they'd let me stay anyway, because there has to be a trust built among the group; you can't waltz in and out whenever you want. Eh, I'll see how it goes tomorrow.
Yeah. SNOW. We got some last night. Even though our local weather page kept insisting we were going to get less than 0.04 inches, we got about 10 times that. We lucked out compared to areas to our south and to our north, because they got between 6 and 8 inches plus occasional white-out conditions. It's only October, people. We haven't even had Halloween yet. Sigh.

Get yer first snow pictures here. )

The reason I was out in said snow was because I had to take my car in for an oil change and a radiator flush. Oh, that it were that simple. In the words of my late, beloved Capt. Mal: "It never goes smooth. Why don't it ever go smooth?" The mechanic lifted it up on the hoist and then came out to get me saying, "Uh, you know you have some major problems with your car, right?" Oh, words you never want to hear your mechanic say. He showed me that I had a busted wheel bearing, a disconnected exhaust pipe, bald tires right down to the steel, and a decaying oil pan. They said I shouldn't even be driving it. Oy.

I trust these guys. The owner is the brother-in-law of one of our alpaca friends, and he's always been a straight-up guy with us. So he totaled up everything that has to be done - this is after him calling around for best prices - and it's going to be about $1000. We also had him tow our van in yesterday to take a look at that and see what it will take to make that road worthy and able to pass a safety inspection given that it's over 10 years old. So now we have to wait for him to get back to us on that, and whichever is going to drain our bank account least is the one we'll go with. It never snows but it pours.
Winter came back. No snow, thankfully, although it was forecast, but it was very, very cold and windy. Dar was out in it for most of the day checking on Satine and seeing to the other critters. I was on my butt except for some puttering and the usual cat wrangling.

I seem to have developed a post lumbar headache. I'd read that it can show up several days after the procedure, so I'm assuming that's what it is. It's not as bad tonight as it was last night, so I'm going with the optimistic theory that it's fading away. See? The juxtaposition of the words "I" and "optimistic" did not actually make my screen explode. That was just a myth spread by someone.

Tomorrow is cat snip day. There will be rejoicing in the land. At least on Sideroad 15. Jane finally came out of heat this afternoon, but now Chloe is full-on crazy. One hormonal kitty at a time, that's our new motto. It would probably sound wicked cool in Latin,and I'll have to look it up. Someday.

Mark's Jeep crapped out on him on the way back from dropping [ profile] sffan in Toronto, which was thoughtful of it. At least he wasn't stranded on the side of the dreaded 401. Nasty highway. So after a few phone calls back and forth, he arranged to get it towed to the dealership where he just recently brought it in for its scheduled maintenance. You know, two weeks later it shouldn't be spewing steam from under the hood and having the battery light glowing like the damn Jeep was at DefCon 4. Anyway, I drove out to Waterloo and met him at the dealership to give him a ride back home. I haven't driven at night since last summer, so it was kind of interesting. My night vision sucks, but it's passable on main roads where there are white lines both on the breakdown lanes and the center strip. City driving isn't that bad except for my diminished depth perception once the sun goes down. I just have to be extra cautions. If the weather is spitting any kind of precipitation, then all bets are off. Luckily it didn't start raining until we were on our way back, and by then Mark and his perfect vision were in charge of driving.

On my way down to get him, though, I passed a (flock? herd? meandering?) of Old Church Mennonite women walking along the breakdown lane right off the main and busily traveled road. They were dressed head to toe is pure, matte black. I didn't see them until I was right on top of them. I wasn't in any danger of hitting them, but really any car could have bowled them down without realizing they were there until it was too late. Ladies! Get some reflective tape for your capes or your shoes, OK?

I really need some rest. The headaches kept waking me up last night, and I wasn't able to catch up on any sleep today. Tomorrow looks to be busy again. Rest would be good. Let's see what I can do about that.

Wish Janie luck with her operation tomorrow, please. We haven't been having the best of luck recently, so good vibes are welcome. I mean, who wouldn't want to keep this sweet face around for many years to come?
Jane sink_0238
Jane thanks you and I thank you.

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