Seriously, I'm dealing with massive fatigue and an allergy attack that combined are making me pretty loopy. Let's just see, shall we?

As those of you on Facebook know, we were hit with a huge ice storm Thursday night into Friday. Power is out all over the damn place. Deb, whose apartment is in the basement, didn't own a backup battery for her sump pump, so with the power outage and the freakish amount of rain, her apartment flooded. Like … flooded. The cats' food dishes were floating. All of the floors have to be torn out, all of the walls need to be replaced as far up as the moisture seeped. Some of her furniture, some of our stuff stored down there is toast.

And speaking of toast, that's what we're living on pretty much. We finally got a big generator hooked up, so now we have water (yay, toilets!) and the fridges are running again. But we have to be really careful about everything else. We can use the toaster or the electric kettle or the microwave. I really had no good sense of how much I used the stove until I lost access to it. Also no TV, no radio, no hair dryer, certainly no washer or dryer. Or shower or bath. We use a candle in the bathroom instead of the lights. One light in the livingroom/kitchen, and I get to use a light in my room because I am truly night blind.

Hydro One (the power company for rural folk) keeps pushing back when we'll get power. It started out as Saturday night, then late Sunday night, now sometime Monday afternoon. I'm not holding my breath. I am, however, going to be missing Game of Thrones tonight. Bleh.

The good news is that the alpacas are all OK. The girls and babies were closed in their barn, but the boys had freer access to the outside. I did see a couple of the boys gingerly making their way across the ice-covered ground. Lots of damage all around the area, though.

Dar has had a buttload of medical tests (literally in the case of her colonoscopy last Wednesday), and Friday we get to hear all of the results put into - it is hoped - some concrete diagnoses and plan. We know that the colonoscopy results were A-OK, but the results of her upper GI tests won't be disclosed until Friday. Good thoughts, please.

I'm still waiting for my damn work visa to be renewed so I can get some tests and procedures done. It's over 22 months, guys. On June 4 it will be two years since my visa and healthcare expired. I'd say that's a wee bit excessive, wouldn't you?

Im not reading much anymore because I keep falling asleep. I've been trying to get through Mort (part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series) for several months now. I bring it with me to read while I'm waiting for Dar to do her thing at the various units at the hospital in London, then fall asleep sitting upright in uncomfortable chairs before I get more than a few pages in. My life, she is exciting, no?

I went kind of overboard with The Walking Dead right near the end there. AMC reran the whole series every night for a week before the finale, and even before that they were rerunning the first season on Thursday(?) nights in b&w. Which I watched. As I watched the whole series rerun during the last week. It became so much a part of my world that I found myself looking for zombies in other TV shows. Like Boardwalk Empire. For god's sake, Nucky, don't just pull over to the side of road and start yelling! The walkers will hear you! I started getting a little concerned about our glass patio door. Way too easy to break down. Now I have until October to settle down.

I was initially concerned about Glenn Mazzara leaving as show runner, especially when I heard that he didn't like the direction that the creator (Robert Kirkland) wanted to take the show next season. But then I watched the episodes that the new guy (whose name I cannot remember right now) wrote - and they turned out to be my favorite episodes of the series. I'm going to have to trust based on that, because the finale had a big WTF moment at the end. But as I said … I'll trust.
So this was my day. Didn't get much sleep last night; joint pain woke me early, although I'm happy to say that that hasn't happened in a while. Still … not a lot of sleep. And this is on top of a week (at least) of going like an over-eager beaver. (I'd been doing more alpaca chores; there was a lot of driving and errand running; worked at the market on Saturday; difficulty sleeping always. Yesterday Dar started her chemo; that ended up being a nine-hour trip.) Our friend Skye had let us borrow her new(ish) Volkswagon for the commutes to the London hospital (Dar had appointments both last Friday and yesterday) because the weather was supposed to be snowy and my 11-year-old Mazda is not great in bad weather.

So today was the day when we were going to bring Skye's car back to her in Kitchener. It's about an hour from our place to hers. First, the car doors are all frozen solid. Dar searches out a long extension cord and goes to work on the driver's door with a blow dryer. Meanwhile, I'm shoveling the porch and steps and getting rid of the (smallish) snow drifts between us and the road. The car door finally defrosts, but I quickly discover that the car battery is deader than dead. It is wicked cold (5F/-15C), strong winds are putting the wind chill at waaaay below 0F and snow squalls are rolling through. I hook up Skye's battery with mine and let it run for 15 minutes before trying mine again. Nothing. Mess around with cables a bit, let it run for another 20 minutes. Nothing. Take all the cables off, we go talk to Deb about using her big-ass truck to jump the car, but she's on hold on the phone. She says to connect the two negatives instead of grounding mine on the engine block. I'm not happy about this because it can be dangerous, so I reattach the cables in the approved manner and hope for the best. Another 20 minutes of letting it charge. Nothing. Fuck this. I make sure Dar is nearby in case the battery blows up in my face and attach negative to negative. Ten minutes later my Mazda battery finally turns over. (Oh, and in between we were trying to affix tarps to the engine hoods to try to keep the blowing snow off the engines. Yeah, that went about as well as you're thinking it did.) Two hours, people. That's how long it took to get the damn car started.

We head out. Mark is driving my Mazda, and I'm following in Skye's car. Or trying to follow. Between the blowing snow and the occasional squall, it's white-out conditions in places. Fortunately it cleared up nearer to Kitchener. We meet up with Skye; I give her the keys to her car, and she hustles off to her dentist appointment. Mark and I slip into a coffee bar to warm up with some fancy-schmancy coffee. And this is when I discover that I have no wallet. Skye is gone, so I can't get back into her car to search around there. The last place I saw my wallet was in London the day before when I pulled into a gas station to fill up the car.

I'm trying not to panic. Maybe it fell out of my purse at home. Fortunately it was a decent drive back home. Once there I tear my room apart looking for my wallet. The same goes for the kitchen and living room. I stomped around all the snow where the car had been parked, in case it fell out of my purse while I was walking into the house yesterday. Nope. Dar hops on Google Earth (I suck at using that app), and we track down the gas station I used. No, they haven't seen it.

I am … upset. My wallet held all of my Canadian IDs. My drivers license, my SIN card (it's like Social Security), my health card, debit card (and one of Dar's, too), credit card, library cards, insurance card. All I have left is my American passport and a work visa that expired in June 2011. Yes, 2011. (Thank you, Immigration. Thank you so very much.) Trying to get all new Canadian IDs based on that is going to be a nightmare given all the bureaucratic hoops I'm going to have to jump through.

Dar cancels her debit card. I cancel mine. I file a police report with the London police online. I'm going nuts trying to find old copies of anything that can help me out. And then the phone rings.

Steven in London is calling to tell me that he found my wallet last night on the ground between a bank and a Tim Horton's. (This is so very Canadian; I can't even begin to tell you.) All the money was gone but everything else seemed to be there. He was going to mail it to me, but then he decided to call just to doublecheck. Can you say yay?

If the damn snow squalls stop, I can borrow Deb's truck and get my wallet tomorrow. Otherwise it'll be Friday or Saturday. And then I'm getting a different purse. And a wallet that gives off a shrieking alarm if it hits the ground. But for now? I'm getting some sleep.
Both Miss M ([livejournal.com profile] darlong's daughter) and I have birthdays in May, so Dar bought us tickets to see 42nd Street at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The tickets were for June 2, and when she gave them to us at the end of May, I knew that date meant something else. It finally hit me that one of the members of our alpaca fiber consortium was having an open house, and they'd asked me to take souvenir pictures of visitors posing with our friends' alpacas. I had to cancel out on them, but Dar had bought the tickets many months ago; the Shakespeare Festival tickets sell out early.

The play was a lot of fun, and they did a great job of transferring a sprawling Busby Berkeley musical movie onto a small stage with only a dozen actors. We had third row seats on the side, which is the best of both worlds: We were up close and personal with the actors, and I could see parts of backstage, too. I love being able to watch what's happening off stage - or at least that bit of it available to that sight line. Partway through the last act, I realized I could also see the conductor stationed at the back of the theater - so that was fun, too. I know; I'm a freak.

The bad part about sitting so close to the stage was that I'm sure they saw me nodding off and falling asleep briefly several times toward the end of the first act. I'm still having a bad time with fatigue, but I really thought having a bunch of people energetically tap dancing about 12 feet away from me - with an orchestra going full blast - would have been able to keep the fatigue at bay. But no. In addition, fighting off fatigue brings a lot of nausea with it; I'm not sure why that is, but it's what happens with me anyway. I took some meds during intermission, and that did the trick. I still felt as if I should have hung around and apologized to the actors.

I never did get to see The Hunger Games, and I had no interest in The Avengers. I did some digging around spoilers for Prometheus, and based on those I'm going to skip seeing that in a theater, too. I'd get too drawn into it if I saw it on a big screen, and I know that there are some scenes that I really do not want to have to watch or even sit through. It's easier to distract myself if I'm watching it on TV. Honestly? I'm not sure I could sit through a movie anymore. I tend to catch movies when they're finally released to HBO, but I find I have to watch it several times because I'm called away by something else - or I fall asleep. *hangs head in shame* Based on what happened at 42nd Street, I'd probably fall asleep in the movie theater, too. I am no fun anymore.

I finished The Lost City of Z a while ago. It's a great read, and I highly recommend it to you all. I can believe that Doyle based his Lost World characters on the real-life adventures of explorer Percy Fawcett. On the other hand, I just finished Redshirts, and it was a struggle to get through it. I ended up scanning most of it for anything interesting. It's got a good premise based on an in-joke with Star Trek fans since the show first ran in the '60s, but Scalzi (the author) can't deliver on it. I know I'm in the minority here; it's getting loads of good reviews.

I still have my Rachel Maddow book waiting for me, but it's going to be a busy summer. I'm not sure I'll be able to dig into something that's going to require some close reading. Not only do we have a hundred million babies coming (or maybe it just feels that way), but we also have a number of shows to do. The consortium has rented a booth at the big St. Jacob's Farmers Market; it'll be staffed three days a week, so we'll be rotating through shifts there, plus there a few other venues we're booked into this summer.

We're expecting record-breaking heat and humidity for the next few days. It's not a great time for the babies to be born; they're in as much danger of dying from heat as they are of dying from cold. So of course we can expect a few them to be born in the 100+ degree weather. Because that's just how our girls roll.
that's sure what it sounds like out there. And according to [livejournal.com profile] darlong, that's what it felt like, too. Tons of damage everywhere. She and our friend Skye had to wear bandanas over their noses and mouths while doing chores because the dust and dirt was being blown around relentlessly. Deb has damage to the mill. In Kitchenere/Waterloo (biggish urban area 25 miles east of us) easily ten traffic lights were blown off their lines. Either dangling into the intersections or just dropped onto the ground. Trees down everywhere. Surprisingly, we didn't lose power, but I had the bathtub filled just to be safe. Crazy, crazy weather.

I had 2 1/2 hours sleep last night, so I've too loopy to do much of anything today except page through the internet and stare into space. I'd have been a danger to myself and others if I were out in all of that strong wind, so I stayed in. And did not sleep. *headdesk* I'm sure a lot of you know how you reach that tipping point where your body just will not shut down. Yeah, I waved at that as I zoomed by at around, oh, 7AM.

Anyway, this is not a posty post because - loopy. But it is pic spam of our tent boys. I took these a few days ago. I don't know - are three pics equal to a spam?

A few of the boys )
Dar, who is my resident flower expert, said they are grape hyacinths: a variant that grows singly rather than bunched on a stalk.

I don't know about you, but I'll be sleeping better tonight.

It went down to below freezing last night for the first time in many weeks. I wore my flannel Tweety jammies and everything. We even had a snow flurry earlier. Now see, a compromise between this and last week's summery temps would be ideal, don't you think?

Also? I am in serious need of an icon overhaul. I lost literally thousands of icons when my hard drive crashed last year; all I had left were the icons loaded into LJ. I've been slowly rebuilding my stock, but there are still miles to go, as the poet said.
I cannot believe that my brain is as wired as it is right now. Even our very nocturnal cats are all, "Will you go settle somewhere? We're trying to sleep here."

Things:
1. it's the coldest night we've had so far. The air temp without the wind chill is 1F/damncoldC. Yet it's supposed to 50F/10C the day after tomorrow.

2. We had a major wind storm Sat. night thru Sunday. Woke up to no power, which out here also means no water. I had every intention of filling the bathtub on Saturday before I went to bed. This I failed to do. Once everyone was up, we headed into town and the local McDonald's for free wifi for Dar, coffee and bad food for me. I had to take my morning pills, so that's what had to be done. Ran a few errands because we were out anyway. The electricity was out for 8+ hours, so it got just a tad chilly in the house.

3. When the power came back on, it surged. It took out the power plug for my TV satellite receiver, which I eventually figured out after a process of elimination and a lot of swearing. Fortunately we had a spare, so I got my TV back.

4. Not so lucky with the dishwasher, however. The surge fried the solenoid that opens up the seal that lets the water into it. This I did not discover until running the same load of dishes twice trying to get them clean and succeeding only in baking all that dried food onto everything. (This would not be the case if people would just rinse off their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher or leaving them there for me to put in. But apparently rinsing off your dishes is an onerous task - Herculean, even - so it usually doesn't happen.) Anyway, it should maybe hopefully be fixed by mid week. So it's hand washing for me until then. I don't mind that much. I've been washing dishes daily for 58 years now, so it seems to be my lot, eh.

5. I knew that my camera battery was dying, but it is now officially dead. It was fully charged after the last time I used it. I got three pictures out of it today. Time to buy a new battery, I'd say.

6. My latest review for The River went viral. I have no idea why, but it's been viewed over 2,800 times the last time I checked. I in no way think it has to do with my writing; the hits are coming from Google searches, so there's something about the combo of the show and episode title that led people to it.

7. It also brought me my very first bitchy commenter :) I gave the episode a C; she liked it a great deal more than I did. So I got the "it must be so nice for you sitting back and critiquing other people's creativity. I'm sure everyone at the show is waiting on the edge of their chairs for you to tell them how to make the show better." I didn't want to harsh her buzz by saying how flattered I was that she thought anyone connected with the show would read my review. I just sent a simple reply that I'm glad that she enjoyed the episode; from what I'd been reading, public reaction was mixed, and ultimately I was rooting for the show because I do like it. No response yet. Heh.

8. [livejournal.com profile] darlong, in a protective mission to find out just who was dissing me, tracked her down on Facebook. Dar triumphantly told me that the commenter was a fan of Sarah Palin, so "what else could you expect, right?" That's my babycakes :)

9. The problem with living in such close quarters is that you can't really get up and do anything once insomnia hits. I could do laundry but the washer/dryer is right next to the bedrooms. I'd make tapioca pudding from scratch, but it's about now when Dar wanders out to sleep on the sofa (it's a chiari thing), and the kitchen/living room is just one big room.

10. Oh, look. Game of Thrones is on! OK, that should occupy me for a while.

Hope y'all have a great day ahead of my, my friends.
1. Damn, it was cold today. Blowing snow at times, but then the sun would come out and it would melt. Fifteen minutes later, it would snow again. Then sun. Repeat a hell of a lot of times. It ended with snow squalls.

2. Because the weather has been on the mild side for this time of year, we hadn't completely winterized the alpaca stuff yet. One of the hoses froze, and some of the boys' buckets had ice on them. It's going to warm up again starting tomorrow, so it's not going to be horrible for them again before we can set things to rights.

3. Poor [livejournal.com profile] darlong didn't have the best birthday today. The weather was crappy (which affects her neurologically), she forgot to put eggs into the cupcake batter (but she rescued them and they were delicious!), and our gift to her - business cards for her position with The Voice of TV - turned out to have outdated information because the site is changing, like now. I felt terrible about that.

4. NBC is pulling Prime Suspect. I'm watching it now, and it's so damn good. They say they're not canceling it, but I don't trust TV networks any more. It kills me that there is absolute drek that's been renewed, and top-flight shows like this can't pull in viewers. I think it was Barnum who said you'll never go broke underestimating the American people.

5. I think I've maxed out on the news. There's only so much outrage and anxiety that I can take in, you know? Well, at least for a few days.

6. I have a letter waiting for me at the local post office. It's addressed to Lee Anna . . . that's my official paperwork name here in Canada (everyone else uses Lee) I don't have a good feeling about this, but I'm trying to just put it out of mind until I can actually open it. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Hey! How the hell are y'all?

1. Fatigue is my reason for not updating. Guilt is my reason for updating now.

2. I finished A Dance with Dragons two days ago. I've been reading the Song of Ice and Fire books for months now; it seems very strange not to be reading them still. I like the latest book, but I agree with whoever it was who said that he needed a good editor.

3. Now completely enthralled by Terry Pratchett's City Watch series. Just finished Night Watch this morning, and I'm ready to pick it up and read it again. BUT . . . I have THUD! sitting here, luring me in. I love his writing, love his outlook on life and the whole ball of wax. Basically, I want to immerse myself in the Discworld and leave everything else behind for a while.

4. We named the newest cria Dexter, and he's doing very well. The next youngest, Cosmo, has an ulcerated eye, so we're giving him eye drops twice a day. Actually, Dar is giving him the drops; I'm corralling him and holding him still.

5. Speaking of Dar, she tripped on a mat in the girls' barn last week and dislocated her elbow. She thought at first that it was broken, but the news was better, happily. She's still sore and babying it, but she's much improved.

6. Two of our yearling boys (Samson and Tango) had to be moved out of the girls' barn because they're maturing and incessantly harassing the open females. I doubt that they could impregnate any of them, but it's annoying as hell and why take chances. There was a little shuffling around trying to find the right place for them, but we ended up putting them in the paddock next to Hannibal and the older suri males. Holy crap - I thought Hanni and the other guys were going to seriously hurt themselves trying to get at the boys. The testosterone was off the charts with those guys, and at one point they started attacking each other. They finally calmed down, but we had to stay there for a while to be sure no one was going to be injured. Meanwhile Samson and Tango were pretty much oblivious to the Macho Fest after the first few minutes. They started to neck wrestle each other and play bite each other's heels - none of which was helping to settle the older guys down. Males.

7. The weather finally broke. It's positively cool tonight, although today was dreadfully humid. In fact, we haven't had a break from the humidity for weeks now, but at least for tonight we don't have heat added onto it. No major thunderstorms, either. We had a few showers today, but we're still pretty dry hereabouts. I think there's a ban on open fires, too.

8. LJ is still being wonky for me, but at least it's letting me in. Not all of your updates are showing up every time, so I do a lot of refreshing. I'm just grateful that it's back in whatever form it is.

9. I really have to close my bedroom windows. Yay! Pixel is enjoying the cool breeze, but I'm more of a wimp. Have a good one, guys!
I just got into LJ. I'm guessing that there are still people who are locked out, mostly because I don't want to believe that I was the last one in :)

Huh. Lady Gaga is performing on So You Think You Can Dance as I type this. It's the first time I've seen her perform. OK, she's good, but I don't get the adulation. But then I'm old. And speaking of SYTYCD, I am loving this season. Melanie! Marko! Sasha! Tadd! That's my top four, and I'd be happy with either Melanie or Sasha winning. No, I take that back. I think Melanie should win. Did you see that leap she did last night? It literally took my breath away. The courage and passion that took - it boggles my mind.

We had a surprise baby yesterday. Conchita had a little boy! It didn't seem like she was in labor, so Dar and I took off into Waterloo to run a bunch of errands. We were about 15 minutes away on our way home when Dar got the call that a new cria was seen in the pasture. Uh-oh! We zoomed home to find this lovely brown baby boy. It was a hot and humid day, and he was dehydrated but otherwise OK. Dar got him back up to speed with liquids, and today he's nursing like a champ and trotting around checking everything out. I have pictures which I will try to post.

We got the heat wave up here, too. That surprised my brother; he thought we never got hot weather. Ha! Would that it were so. With the humidity, the temps were around 100 each day. Most of the time we had at least a breeze, sometimes a wind, but then there were the calm days when it was just grueling to move. Doing that many days without access to a/c took a toll. Dar (who has chiari) was having some brutal headaches due to the humidity; I was having a hard time dealing with the heat because of lupus. But we did it, and the alpacas made it through, too. Today was massively humid, but at least it was mostly cloudy so the temperatures didn't go as high as they could have.

Don't I lead a fascinating life?

I'm about halfway through A Dance with Dragons. It's certainly the darkest of the books, and I find that it can't be the last thing I read before I try to go to sleep. I switch over to the City Watch books from Terry Pratchett before I nod off, because I'd rather dream of the Night Watch than the Night's Watch. Although I would kill for a collaboration between Pratchett and Martin on a crossover between those two groups. Vimes and Carrot on the Wall! Nobby, Colon, and Sam! Gaspode and Ghost! C'mon - it's perfect :) Seriously, I wish I had my writing joint back, because that would make for some great stories.

I just heard tonight that HBO will only commit to 10 episodes per season because of the intricacies of the production. My heart sank. There is no way they can do the series that slowly. The stories expand and intertwine and diverge and add so many new characters that it will take a decade to get even most of it in, and there is no way they can follow the arcs with Arya and Bran over that length of time. The young actors are going to age way past the point that they continue to play those characters. Ah, it makes me sad.

Other things. I drove Dar to a nearby farm to check on a pair of alpacas who had been doing poorly in early spring. What a cool place it turned out to be. The couple who live there love animals, so they have their own little menagerie. There were the two alpacas (who are doing very well now), two llamas (one of whom seems to be pretty pregnant, much to the surprise of the owners), a donkey, a pony, pigs, cattle, chickens, two farm cats, a newly adopted quartet of the cutest kittens ever, and an older girl dog named Spot who has the patience of a saint. One of the kittens took to Spot like a magnet to metal; at one point the kitten had wrapped all four of her legs around one of Spot's front legs, and used it to hoist herself up enough to chew on Spot's ear. Spot just kind of sighed and took it. BTW, Spot looks to be a beagle/basset hound mix. Kind of soulful-looking and low to the ground. It was adorable. All of the animals are well cared for, and outside of the alpacas who have their own fenced-in enclosure next to everyone else, all live peaceably with each other. It was fun to visit.

And what the hell is going on back in the States? I've been following things pretty closely, and I can barely believe that things have come to this pass so quickly. I don't understand why the Democrats won't stand up to the Republicans. The conservatives have trashed the country that I knew, and they seem intent on bringing it to a total collapse. Why won't someone stop them? There are still a few moderate Republicans left, and even the bluest of Blue Dog Dems should be sicked and frightened by the rapid attacks - and victories! - against women's rights, workers' rights, and the basics of a compassionate civil society. I'm heartbroken.

OK, now I have to shake this off somehow. City Watch to the rescue, I think. I just bought Jingo. Maybe I'll just leaf through the book and find the pages that have Lady Sybil in them. Truth be told, she's my favorite character of them all. I adore her, and I cherish Pratchett for bringing her to life.

Yup, that's the note to end on. (On which to end, OK?) Heh.
I really am alive, just very busy and very tired. I need to make it through one more week. But what a hell of a week.

Was out doing chores this afternoon when a major thunderstorm hit. I got stuck in the boys' tent, and Maddie was in the girls' barn. Torrential rain, incredible winds. I thought at one point that the tent was going to collapse. Not really any possibility of that outside of being hit by a tornado - which, to be honest, I was keeping an eye out for. It's that time of year. No damage done except for some flooding of the paddocks. More thunderstorms on tap for tonight and tomorrow.

I'm enjoying the hell out of Game of Thrones. I can't wait to start reading the books, but that won't be for another few weeks. And speaking of books, I'm half way through Pratchett's Men at Arms, and I'm loving it. I think I love it more than Guards! Guards! GG had Vimes and Errol the dragonette and Sybil Ramkin, but this has Cuddy and Detritus - and dragonettes! And Carrot! And Gaspode! And Angua!! And Vimes and Sybil! Sometimes there aren't enough exclamation points, you know?

I have no real life, so there's nothing to report there. Someday maybe. Not anytime soon.

Bed now. Have a good one, guys.
1. Dar is really coming along with her recovery. She has another check-up with her surgeon tomorrow, but I'm betting it'll be either the last one or else scheduled for another month instead of another two weeks.

2. Winter has returned. We had snow last Sunday (there's still snow on the ground) and more snow showers today. The big news is the incredibly strong winds that we've been enduring. Remember that scene in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" where the space ship was hovering and the stop sign was winging back and forth like a crazy thing? Yeah, well, we got to see it in person - minus the space ship. Right down the street from us, the stop sign was vibrating so violently that it looked as if it were actually revolving. Craziness. We lost power for a few hours early on, but after that we've been lucky. It's been a royal pain in the ass to be out working in it, though, and the alpacas are very much not amused. We had a brief respite from the winds yesterday, but they're back in full force today. And it's a bitterly cold wind, too.

3. I decided to see if the hype for Game of Thrones was justified - and it was! I really liked it, and I went out scouring the interwebs for more info on the story. I found it, along with a butt load of spoilers, but such is life. My memory is so wonky that I won't remember most of them anyway :) It's great to Sean Bean on TV again, and I must say that he's aging well. And there are wolf puppies who are all gangly legs and big ears! It's certainly sparked my interest in reading the books.

4. Speaking of books, I'm reading Terry Pratchett's Maskerade. Outside of Guards, Guards and Good Omens (which he co-wrote), I haven't read any Pratchett. I know, I know. I especially avoided any of the books that centered on Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. I know! But in my defense, I've rarely come across a male-authored book that dealt well with elderly female characters, and these are witches on top of it. But . . . they're wonderful! I want to hang out with them, not that Granny Weatherwax would hold with that :) Anyway, this has opened the door to diving into the rest of the series.

5. Since I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow, I'm going to get the going-to-bed routine in gear. You'd think it would just mean getting into PJs and falling into bed, but you would be so very wrong. There are steps and routines and cats who will not be denied their customary night treats. So . . . I'm off. Good night, my sweets.
[Poll #1731036]

I'm in need of comfort food, which for me is mushy.

It snowed last night. The winds have been ungodly strong and relentless for days now (although fortunately we haven't had the tornadoes and extreme weather that the southern US has been suffering). My body is rebelling - all my nerves are frizzing and zapping.

If I had a food replicator, I'd have a big ol' mushy piece of tiramisu sitting in front of me.
It is in no way, shape, or form looking like spring around here. We had an unannounced storm last night that dumped a load of wet yet drifting snow which then proceeded to freeze. Had to shovel out all of the paddock gates in order to feed the alpacas. Yeah, that was fun this morning at 6AM 7AM. Today was gray, cold, and windy with flurries. And I didn't intend to post about this at all, but LJ started it :)

So I saw Dar today at the hospital. She's doing really well! She's having a much easier time getting in and out of bed (and anyone who's had abdominal or OBGYN surgery knows what a challenge that is), and we even went for a walk around the ward. Which is very large and rather labyrinthine. And about every five steps I'd hear her say, "Don't touch that, Lee." Heh. I didn't have to be told, and I was, in fact, walking with my arms crossed. What can I say - I'm a tactile person :) And very nosy curious.

They're starting to talk about releasing her to go home. Starting to talk. There's no firm date or anything, but it's on their radar. The big sticking point is her nutrition; she's eating clear and some semi-solid foods but not in amounts enough to give her everything she needs for good health. She still has a TPN (total protein & nutrition) line into her jugular, but it's leaking and they need to try to place it somewhere else. They're working on that, and we should know more tomorrow. But the good news is that she's making lots of progress on her recovery.

I mentioned this on Facebook but not here: I broke an upper molar two days ago. It tingles a little, but so far no big time nerve involvement. It gets dicey when I'm out doing chores in the cold wind, but I wear a neck warmer and pull it up over my mouth; it helps. I have an appointment with the dentist a week from tomorrow. It's not considered an emergency, and like with so many medical personnel in Ontario, dentists are over-booked.

OK, who else hates Daylight Savings Time? I appreciate the extra hour of light in the evening, but my body gets all out of whack for about a week. And then I get all anal about keeping track of time: I keep subtracting an hour so I'll know the real time. I got into this habit when I was a kid with insomnia. I'd wake up at 3AM - the Witching Hour - and then start doing the math. Is it really 3? Or is it 2? And it's only 3 in my time zone. That invalidates it, right? I mean, it's not a universal constant. And what is time anyway? I was a weird kid. I got very little sleep last night - like 3 1/2 non-consecutive hours - and I should go to bed, but the time change has me all whirly. And I have to get up early tomorrow, which in reality is even earlier than it says on my clock. See what I put myself through? Anyone want to switch brains with me?
1. I'm watching Cloverfield for the billiontyth time. I deeply love that movie, and yet I couldn't tell you the name of one actor in it. Because there are no actors - it's a documentary, see?

2. My right ring finger has an infected hangnail. Or space where the hangnail was before I pulled it out. I will never learn.

3. Rocky cat is doing better, thank the powers (and Dar). He had bronchitis or maybe pneumonia; his breathing was terrible, and he was coughing up phlegm. He was lethargic, and wheezing, and not eating, but he's much better tonight. I was a little worried last night and this morning that it was getting worse again, but I think it had to do with the rain. I know that it makes my breathing worse. But the rain stopped, and I haven't heard him wheezing in hours. He's been in my room where I have the space heater going, and I think the warm, dry air helps him, too. Right now he's gently snoring :)

4. I haven't seen Dar since Thursday, but she's been online updating everyone. The doctors and nurses are very impressed with her progress. Yay! She even got out of bed for a bit today, which is just remarkable. Her epidural stopped working, so she's on a pump with Dilaudid. I hope it helps. I'll be seeing her tomorrow for a little while.

5. It was a miserable weather day today. Rainy and cold and windy. The driveway and lane to the paddocks were literally sheets of ice. I crept down the laneway to do chores. Then the rain turned to wind-driven ice pellets. Ouch. It finally turned to snow, and that actually made everything easier.

6. So we finished chores. I had some leftover pasta, took a shower, got into my jammies, and suddenly - out of nowhere - I remembered that I forgot to secure the pitchfork and the heavy rake in the boys' tent when I finished in there. If a couple of the boys got rambunctious and knocked them over and stepped on them, someone could get seriously hurt. So I climbed back into my snow pants and sweater and coat and barn boots, grabbed the flashlight and off I trudged. Fortunately, when I got there the tools were upright, and the alpacas were mostly settled in for the night. Until I barged in :) Then there was a lot of humming and "are you gonna feed us now?" stuff going on, but they quieted down pretty quickly.

7. Now to put some ointment on my finger, bandage it up, and call it a night.
I've been in the worst mood today. Tense, blue, monosyllabic. I don't know what the problem is, but I'm hoping that a decent night's sleep will take care of it.

Crazy wind today. The blowing snow was so bad that the province closed some roads to travel. Last night it sounded like the roof was ripping off the house; it turned out to be the patio furniture making a break for it across the deck. As I was getting ready to rescue a chair, I jumped out of my skin when something large and black started battering against the glass door trying to get in. It turned out to be the cover to the BBQ grill being thrown up against it :) Freaked the hell out of the cats, too.

I had to take the car into the garage this morning because it's been making this awful noise around the wheel well, and it's been getting worse. So off I drove in sometimes white-out conditions; there were several times when I had to come to a dead stop because I couldn't see the end of the hood of my car. Fun trip. Then I had to leave the car there, because the mechanic said it was too dangerous to drive it back home - not because of the weather but because a wheel bearing was just about sheared through. (The earliest we can get it back is Tuesday.) One of the young mechanics gave me a ride home in a company truck (4-wheel drive and higher visibility, yay!), and I learned all about the dangers of raising Black Angus cattle. Mean suckers, apparently.

[livejournal.com profile] sffan is visiting, and when I got back home James and Amber had stopped by, and then Deb came in, and all I wanted to do was crawl into a nice dark hole and hide away. Being an introvert is tough at times. Since no hole was available, I stayed in my room most of the day, popping out every once in a while just to test the waters. It really was better for everyone that I stayed by myself :)

SF, Amber, and James helped us with chores, for which I was grateful because it was nasty windy out there with deep drifts to battle through. SF and I did the suri boys and Conclusive while stamping down snow and fighting the wind. Both water buckets were barely visible under all of the snow drifts, and when I cleared the snow away I saw that the water was absolutely black from all the dirt and mud that the wind had picked up. Poor alpaca babies. The highlight of chores, though, was when I was cutting through the twine to open up a new bale of hay, and sliced the hell out of my thumb. I didn't think it was as bad as it turned out to be, but SF noticed the blood all over everything so she got Dar to patch me up. It turns out that I barely missed slicing my tendon. I have this big bulky bandage on my right thumb, and being right-handed that's led to some interesting moments. Hopefully I can unwrap it tomorrow.

And now I'm going to exacerbate my foul mood by watching Dr. Zhivago on AMC. I hate that movie, and yet I'm compelled to watch it. I think it's the time period that I like. I hate, hate, hate, hate the soundtrack and a lot of the acting. I'm a masochist, what can I say. Maybe I'll just mute the sound.
This cold spell has to break. We're around 0F/-17C right now, but that's not factoring in the very strong arctic winds that are making those temps plummet when it touches your skin. And of course, it's just going to get colder as the night wears on. So far so good with the alpacas; they need to hold it together for another few days, and then we're supposed to be warming up. Still below freezing and still with strong north winds, but it's got to be better than this.

No word yet on a surgery date for Dar.

I started counseling today after several false starts. (I don't have a scheduled life; things change frequently and randomly.) I like her, and I think that we can work together. Had one "Aha!" moment toward the end of the session. I love those.

No pictures from me in a while, I know. My hands are in bad shape lately; I'm hoping that as the fierce cold departs, so will the pain and stiffness and cramping.

Does anyone else hate having long fingernails? I can't stand it. Mine have just popped up above the skin line, and they're making me crazy. As soon as I sign off here I will be chopping them back.

Pixel is asleep on my cell phone; it's right under her butt. If I get a call, it's set to both ring and buzz (because I have no idea at all how to change any of the settings.) I thought very very briefly about calling my phone just to see her reaction, but that would mean. Funny, but mean. And I love my kitty too much to be mean to her. But my phone number is 912-555-0303 if anyone wants to give it a try. Kidding!

Stay warm, my lovelies.
Our storm hasn't started yet. Well, the wind is up, but the snow hasn't started. We'll be having an overnight and all-day event, it looks like. I'd rather have it here and gone, but I don't get to choose. The alpacas are all tucked in. The girls' barn wasn't that cold this afternoon during chores, so hopefully they stay nice and toasty. Well - at least not chilled to the bone. We have babies and older females in there; both of those groups are more susceptible to the cold. The boys are snug in their little sheds, tents, or houses, depending on the group. Except for Conclusive, who absolutely refuses to go into his little house. We figure something bad happened or scared him, and he just will not step foot in it anymore. Fortunately the wind will be coming from a direction that will allow his little house to protect him from the worst of it, but I expect he's going to buried by the snow. Go in your little house, Conclusive!

Maddie and I started the afternoon chores in the girls' barn when suddenly something pretty big started flapping and soaring. The rafters are loaded with barn swallows who shelter for the winter (and swoop in for the grain in the troughs before the alpacas can get to it), but this was much larger. In fact, no swallows were to be found. It turned out to be a red-tailed hawk. Beautiful creature! It must have been trapped inside since the morning chores. I kept the alpacas on one side of the barn and opened up a door on the other, and it finally flew out. And immediately all of the swallows returned :)

I heard from my brother in central CT, and he's mighty sick of the winter around there. He was never a fan of winter, even as a child, and this one is doing him in. He said that he's got major water damage in one of his rooms and one outside wall because of ice dams. No one can come to help him for weeks, and there is not one snow rake for sale in the area. Although he was told that he could pay cash up front to guarantee one when they come in a few weeks from now. Wow. I'd never even heard of a snow rake before this. I know he's not the only one of my friends and family in New England who are experiencing damage from all of the snow and ice. We've been pretty lucky up here as far as snow and ice have gone. Although I think we've still got most of you beat for wind and cold :)

Have you seen the pictures of the cyclone heading toward Australia? OMG - absolutely terrifying! It's 400 miles across (in toto it looks to be about half the size of the island itself) and it's packing winds at base of 175mph/400kph. It's said to be the most catastrophic cyclone to ever hit the nation. And it's in the same area where they had all those disastrous floods, too. My heart goes out to them all.

I kid a lot about the Apocalypse, but babies - if I were of that end-of-days mentality for real, I think I'd be listening for the sounds of hoof beats. It's just an extraordinary time. I'm 61, and I can't recall anything like this. And the worst part is that it still won't convince the climate change deniers. I'm not sure what it will take.

Happy thoughts. Ah! While hauling hay bales can be a bit painful, sending them flying down the hill from the barn on their very own toboggan is always a kick. One of these days, I'm gonna climb on top and see how it feels for myself. When Dar's not watching, of course :)

(Also, I have a simply spectacular bruise on my right hand: a huge circle that encompasses nearly the whole top of my hand along with the ring finger and middle finger. I somehow whapped my hand with the pitch fork while I was pitching straw into the wagon. It doesn't hurt, but it looks really impressive.)
So we're going to get that megastorm that's threatening most of the States and eastern Canada. We've been getting snow every day, even if only for a few hours, and it has accumulated. We've got some very impressive drifts from the strong winds that we get almost daily, too. But this is going to be the first big snow dump of the season. None of us are looking forward to it.

Because we're on a farm, we don't have city water or sewage. We draw our water from a well on the property, and the pump runs on electricity. If the electricity goes out because of high winds and/or heavy snow (or a car running into a pole), we lose not just our lights and appliances but our toilets and our water inside - and outside. No water in the sheds or the barn, either. That's a lot of alpacas to water by melting snow in front of the propane fireplace. So we're going to hope very hard that we don't lose electricity or at least not for very long. We have access to a generator, but the best thing would be for everything to just stay on. Please.

We started to get the alpacas ready for the storm. I hauled extra hay and straw out of the barn, and Dar hoisted the bales into the appropriate shelters. (I don't have the muscle strength any more to lift hay bales into the loft in the suris' little house.) Tomorrow we'll do a little more: make sure they have deep bedding and that their water buckets are all clean. (Not that we let them get dirty or slimy, but we don't want to have to clean them during the storm.) I want to gather all of the snow shovels inside, too, so we don't have to go trouping through snow drifts to find them.

I'm not looking forward to carving my way through the drifts. My hips are so bad now that I can't really lift my legs that high; I lose my balance pretty easily, and I'm snow blind - I lose my depth perception and sense of perspective when I look at an expanse of snow. Not exactly cut out to be Nanook of the North anymore :) I'll be OK once the snow is packed down. In a perverse way, though, I'm kind of looking forward to getting out in the middle of things. When I was younger and living in the city, I would always take a walk during a big snow storm. Even as a kid, my parents would have to rein me in during the big storms. Hell, even the little ones. I looooved walking in the snow. Maybe I just used it all up. Heh.

Anyway - busy day tomorrow, and it's way past my bedtime. Good-night, my lovelies, and stay well during the storm.
We're in line for that next big snow storm that's gearing up for a run out of Texas. We've been getting snow every single day for weeks, but it's been a slow accumulation (aside from the huge wind-blown drifts around the property). Not exactly looking forward to being dumped on all at once, mostly because of having to be sure that the alpacas make it through OK.

Anyway. A little humor from an alpaca breeder in Wisconsin:

They suggest that anyone traveling in the current icy and snowy conditions should make sure they have the following:

1. Shovel
2. Blankets or sleeping bag
3. Extra clothing including hat and gloves
4. 24 hours worth of food
5. De-Icer
6. Rock Salt
7. Flashlight with spare batteries
8. Road Flares or Reflective Triangles
9. Empty gas Can
10. First Aid Kit
11. Booster cables

I looked like an idiot on the bus this morning.

August 2015

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