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It’s been an interesting year. I spent the last couple of hours of it curled up in the snug, with Tigra and wine, with the other cats periodically checking in to make sure I wasn’t scared of the fireworks. Not a bad way to see in the new year.

I’ve gone for four or five work trips – training users on software, rolling Windows 7, assorted other bits and pieces. I’ve changed roles internally, and moved into a department I’ve wanted to be in ever since I started at this company. So far it’s going well.

I’ve danced, joined a performance group, entered Nationals, gone out socially, started teaching. I am proud of my dance achievements this year.

Operation 2012: Clean/Organise/Tidy All The Things has continued. We’re still not great at keeping the kitchen immaculate, but we’re a lot faster at returning order to the chaos (as the underlying mess isn’t present now). The spare rooms are usable, the garage is mostly free of crap, the usual dumping grounds for junk have remained fairly junk free. It’ll take time, but we’re on the right track.

I haven’t mentioned much of it online – some things just don’t belong on the Internet – but Tobermory’s had ongoing health issues, which created work issues, which he’s dealt with like a champ. It’s a work in progress, but I am damned proud of what he’s achieved personally this year. And I am proud of the way we have worked together as a couple. It’s been hard yards, but we can both be proud of the outcome.

It’s been a complete shit of a year on occasions, and there have been amazing highlights too. I’d like 2013 to be a bit less dramatic; but on balance I’m proud of my 2012. That’s a pretty good way to exit the year.

Originally published at spinneretta

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This has been the LOVELIEST Christmas.

Christmas day, we had the usual suspects for dinner, five altogether. Boxing day, we had seven; then the 27th, a pair of friends with three kids dropped in, for a further excellent dinner.

There has been lots of food and ham and puddings and ham and more food and we don’t want ham again until at least Easter, seriously, and fruit mince pies – I still have 1.5kg of fruit mince jarred up, will it keep until next xmas you think? and excellent company, and games of the card, computer, and beach-ball variety, AND I still don’t have to go back to work until the 7th Jan and I am a happy woman.

I’ve cleaned some things, but not all the things I want yet. Still, I’m happy with the overall success of Operation 2012: the house is still a bit of a problem in certain areas, but I feel more on top of the overall operation. Life-management is always a work in progress.

I’ve also had the time to be crafty. In the last couple of days, I’ve finished these two. It’s continuing to be a good vacation.

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It’s been a mildly productive weekend. Mount Washmore has been re-vanquished, and new laundry hampers obtained. One is black, one is white; the uses should be pretty obvious from there.

We actually operate three hampers; darks, lights, and my delicates slash stuff I’m going to wear again but isn’t clean any more. It works well.

I also got my crafty on. Coming up to giftmas, I knew I’d have to reorganise the cards, envelopes, wrapping stuff, etc etc etc. Last time I juggled the snug, I’d tidied via the method of “put things in a drawer, worry about it later” and last night was “later”.

After four shelves in my Expedit were rejuggled such that their contents were a) accessible b) sensibly arranged, five drawers ditto, I was left with a pile of tidy things. Two large Tupperware containers were called into service, and two Pringles tubes have been modpodged with fabric, sealed, and commissioned for the purposes of holding tape. Said tape was previously corraled in a ziplock bag, which did work, but made the drawer an absolute arse to rummage through.

I also bought some decent eyeliner, for the first time ever. One of the things that became apparent with the round of dance performances in the last month was that either my makeup-application abilities were sorely lacking, or my actual makeup was sorely lacking. I bet on the latter, bought some decent brushes, a gel eyeliner; found the makeup mirror hiding in a drawer in the spare room (why?), repaired it (the plastic support frame had cracked), and this morning experimented with my new eyeliner.

A webcam is not really an ideal source of eye photography, but I’m quite pleased with myself. Eyeliner! where it belongs! unsmudged! Hooray!

Originally published at spinneretta

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The garage now contains both cars, and does not contain any of the following things:

* a couch

* a coffee table

* large piles cardboard, misc

* rubbish, misc

* two dvd players [dead] (also, why?)

The living room has similarly had all of it’s misc: crap removed.

Admittedly, the misc: crap has been moved into the spare rooms; but the spare rooms are presently in a condition whereby both beds are usable (which beats where we were last time I updated re: Operation 2012). A LOT of stuff went out in the inorganic collection.

Mum visited during October, and was lovely enough to help me tackle the garage and the spare rooms. Most of what’s left just requires a bit of time, which is something I simply don’t have enough of.

This weekend, Tobermory and I attacked our bedroom. We’d been growing unfortunately attached to the floordrobe, I have a jewellery cupboard which didn’t contain any of my jewellery on account of it migrating elsewhere, a dresser piled up with crap, the floor hadn’t been vacuumed in I don’t even want to contemplate how long, and I couldn’t GET to my bits of the walk in wardrobe because of Mount Foldmore.

The floor has been vacuumed, which was a bit of a mission in vacuum for a bit, pop the foot off, use the suction to clean the foot, vacuum, pop foot, clean foot, etc; but the cat fur is actually removed. The heaters have been put away for the summer. The floordrobe has been removed from the sides of the bed, and washed and/or put away and/or stuck in the hamper for washing later. We had a hamper frame hanging about, so I turned two pillowcases into a hamper… sack… thing. So now we have three hampers; “normal washing” which my beloved handles, “delicates that I have to wash”, and “clothes that don’t need washing yet but aren’t clean either”. At least if it’s corralled in a hamper, it’s not spreading itself around on the floor. We also attacked and vanquished Mount Foldmore. I can walk! on the actual FLOOR!

When I unearthed three handbags from the pile, I decided my handbag storage also needed an overhaul. The wardrobe has a storage shelf, up very high; the handbags are now all hanging off that. Hopefully it continues to work.

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Operation 2012: Tidy All The Things appears to be working.

One of my goalposts was that I would be able to clean/tidy a given room without needing to throw things away to achieve this tidiness. In the snug (my craft room), the bathrooms, and the kitchen, this point has been achieved. The kitchen gets a bit of a waiver if the things being thrown in the trash are food-wrappings; otherwise, we’re just about there.

The garage will reach that point just as soon as the couch is gone and this years’ inorganic collection has happened. The laundry hit that point months ago, and only fails on the basis of dust bunnies out of the lint catcher from the dryer.

The living room is still a problem, because the excess things in that room (non-trash) need to be put… somewhere, and somewhere doesn’t exist yet. It’ll happen as soon as the spare rooms are sorted.

The spare rooms are still a problem, in large part due to “oh god, 35 boxes from the UK oh god”, and the bits that weren’t my Expedit being stuffed whereever they fit. Still. Progress has happened, and progress is the important bit, right?

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Tobermory went out today, to collect a friend for a dose of testosterone and videogames. While he was out, I decided that I was going to tackle one of the Horrible Jobs that has been haunting our house for, oh, months.

Namely, moving the chest freezer into the garage. We knew it would require a game of Tetris with common household objects. See, the freezer was under the stairs. It needed to go, as noted, into the garage. That meant moving the workbench (as that’s the only place in the garage the freezer would fit). In order to put the workbench in the only sensible location, a cupboard and shelf would have to be moved…

Tobermory arrived back home with friend right about the time that the garage was in critical-explosion state, and boggled at me somewhat. I did make it clear that I wasn’t trying to guilt him into helping, just diving in to do it myself while he wasn’t at home to stop me.

So, removal of shelf. Turns out the previous owners nailed it up. Into breezeblock. What the fuck, previous owners.

Moved the cupboard and shelf, moved the workbench, moved the beer fridge. Moved the freezer. Moved the beer fridge beside the freezer. Moved the workbench into it’s new spot, moved the cupboard and also a chest of drawers that’s been living in the garage needing a proper home for oh, months. Filled three bags full of trash (we are disgusting people). Filled a cardboard box with misc shoes, clothing, etc that’s collected in the garage (how? why?). Move shuffle move shuffle shuffle move move rotate shuffle move.

It’s all in place now. Tobermory’s side of the garage has the workbench and his car. My side of the garage still contains a couch I’m trying to sell, two bar stools, and Misc that needs to be thrown away or donated. Progress progress progress!

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The last couple of weekends have involved a lot of organising. Saturday last weekend, T and I moved ALL the living room furniture and vacuumed, steamcleaned the carpet, dusted, moved everything back… admittedly I still haven’t quite finished rummaging and organising the pile of junk that this created, but at least it’s all in one pile now.

Today, I evicted the entire contents of both pantries. No, the kitchen’s not enormous or anything, but there’s two cupboards which, together, serve the general purpose of “pantry”. Having spread the contents all over the kitchen table, they needed to be reorganised and stashed back in place.

I’m ashamed to say that I found things in the cabinets that I’d actually forgotten we owned. The culprits have been stashed in a cardboard box, listed on Freecycle, and will theoretically be collected tomorrow. I took a trip to purchase some plastic crates, as well – so things are collated in boxes with other things of a similar nature. In theory, I will be able to find things now.

I also went through the first aid box, which lives in said pantry. There was a remarkable amount of expired medication, which has been appropriately disposed of. Everything remaining has been tidied into a new plastic crate, one that has a handle and a lid for easy transportation e.g. to the bathroom. I’m not sure why we have six boxes of various bandaids, but there you go.

I’m still not very good at dealing with the odds and sods that result from tidying sessions like this. But I’m getting better, gradually. And it is nice living in a more organised home. I can find things!

Originally published at spinneretta


Aug. 22nd, 2012 12:52 pm
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I finally started the chair/sofa upholstery project. I’ve been plotting it for months – having the idea, finding the supplies, buying the supplies – fabric is NOT CHEAP – finding bobbins for my 30-odd year old sewing machine.

I’m quite proud of myself. It’s quite a lot of work, and I planned it carefully and executed it carefully.

I’m going to sit on the chair for a couple weeks before I do the sofa. Find the bits that need more thought, see if there are any bits I need to reinforce.

The chair has been firmly adopted by my Tigra-cat. She grumble-growled at me when I attempted to dislodge her from it, the other night. Apparently it is comfortable!

I have succeeded in keeping the snug (mostly) tidy and (largely) organised, even with Project in Progress. It’s nice having storage and workspace, and knowing I can do what I like without falling over myself. Operation 2012 for the win!

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Operation 2012 is still running. Life happened, and I fell over a bit in June/July – frankly I expected to, I hate winter. On the plus side, the house didn’t get any worse.

T and I vanquished Mount Washmore and Mount Foldmore last weekend. That freed up the bedroom floor, allowing us to vacuum. The bathrooms have been cleaned.

I bought a steam cleaner, which T has claimed as his own – he cackles gleefully when operating it. Apparently the MAGIC OF STEAM and the GLORIOUS CLEAN that results are worthy of maniacal chortles?

I took a four-day long weekend (Friday through Monday). Today, I emptied and cleaned the front hall, including windows, washing down the front doors, and polishing the furniture. I emptied and organised six drawers in the kitchen, the pots cupboard, and the cupboard under the sink.

I have, somewhat ashamedly, taken to reading home-making and organising blogs. I’m never really going to be Suzie Homemaker, but I may as well find out how other people do things, rather than reinventing the wheel. The cup shelf was one such idea. And today I hung a rail under the sink to hang spray bottles off, to get them off the floor, so the other stuff that gets stuffed under the sink is less squished.

It’s a good feeling, living in a clean space. I still don’t really enjoy cleaning, but I do enjoy the results.

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Periodically I get the desire to organise things. Usually, this comes at the expense of other chores, mopping, vacuuming, etc.

I bought my husband the steam cleaner that he’s been begging for hopefully for the last, oh, year. He has been gleefully cleaning All The Things, including an EPIC clean of the kitchen floor today. And I finally decided I was sick and tired of the messy insides of the pantry, and have thus done some of the necessary organising.

For a start, most of the baking goods are now in mason jars. With chalkboard labels. In my defense, I liked these things anyway, and the current trends towards them just makes it easier for me to find the pretty things.

Cough. Anyway.

Second, the shelf we keep glasses on is really too tall. And we have too many mugs and glasses for the space. Lots of wasted vertical space. But people seem to think that those poxy wireframed ‘shelves’ are an acceptable solution.

Not in my house.

Instead, a plank plus four bed legs is now serving the function of an add-in shelf in the pantry now. Even if it did take me three trips to hardware stores to actually find four legs that MATCHED.

My inner organising fairy is pleased with the results.

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Some of the 34 boxes that shipped over from the UK contained my Ikea Expedit, Expedit-desk and Expedit-addins. I have wanted one of these for YEARS and I am really rather happy to finally have one.

The how-I-have-one possibly requires more explanation. When we visited the UK last December, Tobermory rather unwisely introduced me to IKEA. It was Christmas, after all, and the family were shipping stuff over from the UK, after all, so… if we asked nicely, and paid some of the shipping, and it was Christmas… please?

Of course he said yes. And my in-laws graciously included the IKEA in the shipping of Tobermory’s other things, without charging me extra. That was nice!

So, the boxes got home just before I went to visit Nay, then I went to Congress. Two weeks spent looking longingly at IKEA boxes.

The day after Congress, I built the bookcase; which, as predicted, involved a certain amount of swearing, bashing-it-with-a-hammer, and finally giving in and begging Thaqui for help because I was both too short and too weak to get the bookcase from horizontal to vertical by myself. I’ve spent a few hours after work and most of yesterday getting it all loaded up and banishing the old furniture from the snug.

The snug is now tidy, has a 2 seater couch and an armchair, and all my craft stuff is a) accessible b) tidy. The desk is protected with a piece of perspex custom-cut by some dude off Trademe, so that I can e.g. get paint on it and not fret that I’ve damaged my desk forever.

I’ve had great fun organising it. Figuring out what addins to put where. Reorganising the various shelves and boxes I already had. Realising I had an entire drawer full of ribbon, because I inexplicably love wrapping gifts so much that I have enough of a stash to last me for the next six Christmases. Discovering my sewing machine fit perfectly into a cubby, and stashing it promptly out the way. Putting a cushion in one of the shelves for my Tigra. Stashing little yellow highlights here and there, because I still love having yellow and grey throughout the snug. Labelling my fabric scissors so that no-one else uses them. Moving the wrapping paper out of the blanket box that holds my fabric stash.

The next Project on the list? Patchwork upholstery. The chair and couch are in here now, easily accessible; all I have to do is get started.


… sometimes I worry about myself. When did I turn into an adult?


May. 22nd, 2012 02:32 pm
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Sometime this week, 34 assorted boxes of Stuff land from the UK. It’s the last bits of Tobermory’s personal possessions; plus an Ikea bookshelf and assorted gubbins, a Christmas present for me.

This will, of course, cause problems of the storage variety. Some of them will be solved fairly readily (via the construction of said Ikea bookshelf and it’s use in my craft room). Some of them will take longer, and require systematic reorganisation of the house.

I figure we might be done by Christmas. 2015.

Still, Operation 2012 continues as best we can. The craft room has been reorganised a couple of times (pending addition of epic bookshelf). Tobermory spontaneously suggested repainting, lying in bed a few nights ago. Partly in a “let’s make this house OURS, dammit” vein, partly in a “the wallpaper in the bedroom is horrible” vein… I don’t really care why, I’m just thrilled he’s finally decided that we need to repaint! I’ve been wanting to repaint since we moved in. Although, admittedly, I’ve only really had ideas about what to paint the place in the last year or so (and we’re on year four in the house now).

Four years. How did that happen?

I have other plans afoot. I’ve had an itch for months to recover a chair or something for said craft room. Having seen patchwork chairs on the internets, that idea took root. I finally found a chair in the style I wanted on TradeMe – and very sadly, it came with a two seater couch. All for $50! The material cost – I’m doing this properly, I’ve bought upholstery-weight fabric for parts of it, and the patchwork will be interfaced and stitched onto upholstery-weight calico for strength – is somewhat more extensive. But still, $300 for a two seater couch and armchair that I really love – at least, love in the abstract so far – is nothing to sneeze at.

The couch has the feline seal of approval. Tigra has adopted it as Hers, and is found there every night at present. Sweet little cat.

I don’t get to start on my project for a few weeks, though. I’m visiting Nay next weekend; then after that, going down to Wellington for the Salsa Congress. I am both nervous and excited by this prospect. Still, it’s all booked and paid for, I have clothes and shoes and makeup… all I have to do is get on the plane and convince myself to have fun.

Easy, right…?

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Our second wedding anniversary passed quietly, but pleasantly. The year has had several ups and downs – but I am proud of us. Instead of letting problems overwhelm us, we’ve closed ranks and worked together.

Tobes was outside work a couple weeks ago, and saw something he liked. Old man on a mobility scooter, his wife with a walker. Wife presumably got tired going uphill; sat on her little walker seat, and husband pushed her up the hill with his mobility scooter. He came home and told me that that’s the kind of marriage he wants to have.

I’ve had a photo printed for my desk at work. It’s from L&V’s wedding last December – Tobermory looks most handsome in his usher’s suit, and I’d chosen a nice dress. It’s a pleasant picture, a pleasant memory, and I like having things like that around in my workspace.

Anniversaries and things always get me thinking. In this case, it was realising that I’m not all that far from thirty, so why on earth am I still using a facewash marketed at acne-ridden teenagers? I’ve switched, and after a fortnight my face is much happier.

I decided that I’m going to start wearing some makeup regularly. I spend a lot more time in user-view than I used to, and I feel a bit more confident if I have some war paint on. I don’t wear too much – eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick which is a shade or two darker than my natural lip color. I can put it on correctly without needing a mirror, even, which is nice. I’ve also ditched all the old or unused makeup. The remainder is corralled in a train case, and I invested a little bit of money in buying some new things in nice grownup brands – eyeliner, foundation, some new shadows, that kind of thing.

The dance performance fell through. Insufficient men.

Operation 2012 hit a roadbump, but has resumed progress. My mother visited for a few days, and with her help the Piles of Crap in the spare room were vanquished. She also springcleaned for me, so things like the skirting boards were washed. It’s lovely, the house is actually maintainably clean now.

With Psycho’s help, we got into the garden over the last few weekends. Four trees are demolished, in piles pending hiring a skip / pending transportation of firewood to his house, and their stumps have been drilled and poisoned. (Then covered so the cats couldn’t get into it.) Thaqui’s side of the house is now accessible, having had all the over hanging branches / plants / bits of tree removed. We really need to get a skip in, so that the section can be cleared of miscellaneous tree, but at least it’s tidily piled now. I even mowed (half) the lawn.

T and I rejuggled the chore allocations, which is helping. He’s now master in charge of laundry – provided it’s pre-sorted into lights and darks (which is a no-brainer with three laundry hampers – light, dark, and delicates, which remain my responsibility), he stays well on top of the laundry, unlike yours truly. In return, vacuuming has become my problem. I wouldn’t say I’m thrilled about the exchange, but it does result in more cleaning being done more often, which is the idea.

As well as the misc gardening, I sewed a new duvet cover, hemmed a too-long pair of jeans, got a lead on replacement bobbins for my long-suffering Bernina – it’s older than I am – and made muffins and mini-crustless-quiches for the workweek.

It was quite a productive weekend, really.

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Operation 2012 continues. I am unsubscribing from all the Daily Deal websites, and other assorted mailouts and junk that come through my inbox on a daily basis. Aside from anything else, that should reduce temptation to buy Random Unnecessary Shit That Clogs Up My House.

This is day nine of the eleven-day workweek, six days of which were spent out of town. It’s lovely coming home to husband cuddles, and super-affectionate Boomer in the Cone of Shame, and snuggly cuddly Candy and – for the first time in years – Tigra adopting the lapcat position. All three of them are locked indoors – it’s far easier to manage than trying to keep Captain Satellite Dish indoors on his own.

Turns out, he knows how to operate the latches on the cat flap. Tobermory realised this when he had to extract a stuck Cone of Shame with attached Boomer from the halfway-through-the-cat-flap-and-stuck position on Monday. Duct tape has solved that particular problem. We then had to shut the last couple of open windows in the house. Boomer worked out how to open the laundry door and shimmy out the laundry room window – and he knows how to stick his claws in the window screens and wiggle until they pop open. That cat is too damned smart.

Feline relations in the house seem pretty casual right now. Tigra and Candy haven’t been fighting, which is a pleasant change. Boomer is sleeping on the bed – which is fine, until 7kg of cat elects to take position on your pelvis for half an hour, and you wake up in agony as he tries to knead your hip joint into submission, or as I like to call it, dislocation. He’s a happy little buddy, Cone of Shame and all.

I’ve returned to zouk classes this week – or more accurately my teachers have resumed for the year. Toward the end of last year, I learned the move suicidio. In theory, anyway. In practice, I couldn’t get it right. Couldn’t lock my core in the right place, couldn’t balance correctly, fell out of the move onto my knees or wobbled in the middle and landed on my arse. Monday night? NAILED it. It was the BEST feeling.

I may have slightly overcommitted myself. Mondays, going forward, will be zumba and zouk (improvers/intermediate). Tuesdays, ballroom (which includes waltz, chacha, foxtrot, and rock’n'roll). Thursdays, salsa, which I’m now doing at intermediate level. Then there are social dances on Thursday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Sunday nights. Not that I go to all of them. Or possibly more accurately, not that I go to any of them, except on rare occasions. Still, I should. I love the social nights, when I do go, and the more I go, the more people I know, so the more dances I’ll get when I do go.

In June, there’s a holiday weekend, and a salsa congress in Wellington that I REALLY want to go to. It’ll cost me the better part of a grand – tickets, hotel, flights. Better start saving now, huh?

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Tigra has developed a new, and adorable, habit. She sits on the back of the couch – well, lies, and sacks out and sleeps – and insists on having a paw just touching my shoulder. Periodically she will gently knead, most of the time it just rests there, as though she’s reminding herself that I’m with her.

It really is adorable.

Operation 2012: laundry shelves restacked, after organisation of contents. One pillow case stuffed full of pilled and shitty sheets, pillowcases, etc, for disposal. Single room reorganised. Curtains re-hung in single room. Operation continues successfully!

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I’m kind of tickled. Having declaimed that 2012 shall be The Year Of The Great Tidy, there was a meeting at work today about the 5S Methodology. See, we’re moving offices in a few months, and the powers that be want us to be all clean, tidy, Efficient, and so on.

Effectively, I got paid to clean my desk for an hour. Seriously. We got walked through the 5S methodology, which I already knew (thanks, university degree! First time I’ve used you in years), then got sent to our desks to have a big tidy up while the presenters wandered about and watched us.

As it happens, I had a mass throw-out session just before going on leave, so the grand tidy didn’t take long. Still amused the hell outta me.

Hooray for Operation 2012, right?

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I started salsa again last night. It was SO GOOD to be back. I haven’t forgotten everything – teacher danced with me a couple of times, and I was able to follow without too many hiccups – and I was easily able to keep up with the class. Didn’t even get too exhausted, although I was sweating like a pig.

Zouk hasn’t started yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. And the dance studio is running a weekend bellydance class (a one-off), which I’m pondering. Why not, right?

AND, when I got home, I didn’t snack. Well, other than a slice of salami, but that doesn’t count. Particularly as my Tigracat nicked half.

I loved coming home this time. in 2010, we were cold-shouldered on our return home. This time, I went outside and called my girl, about half an hour after we pulled up the driveway. There was a frantic meow meow meow meow meow! from the neighbours’ section, followed by the appearance of my kitten running indoors as fast as she could. Tobes intercepted her – she’d come in the front door, couldn’t find me immediately and had a panic, while I was around the back of the house – and carried her to the living room, where I was coming in the sliding door. She flung herself out of his arms and into mine. She was so pleased to see me. Apparently she spent a lot of the time we were overseas out and about – she’s been quite a homebody since I came back. She sits in the snug with me and cuddles – usually on the back of the couch behind me. Then when she falls asleep and falls off the couch, I get the blame. Silly kitten.

Boomer rocked up from his feline adventures a few hours later. I heard crunching noises in the kitchen (of the nom nom kibble variety), stuck my head in the door, and was greeted with a very pleased chirrup. Picked him up for a cuddle, took him to the study, where he leapt out of my arms and into Tobermory’s. He was so happy to see his human.

Candy – yes, we’ve kept Candy, and thanks to a month’s worth of feline Prozac, interfeline relations are at a surprisingly reasonable level* – was pleased to see us, but she doesn’t have the same loyalty to Her Person that the other two do. She’s a sweet cat, and I love her, but… yeah, I have a favourite cat, and it’s not Little Miss Shouty. She’s got a lovely little affectionate purr, and she’s playful and cuddly, but… she’s just not My Girl.

We do still try to keep her in the bedroom at night, so that Boo and Tigra get some peace. She’s stopped picking fights the same way, but there are still some periods of friction. However, she’s learned how to open the door. Yes, we can latch it, but… well, last night went as follows:

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.


Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

“Shall we give up and open it for her?”

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.


We’ll see how it goes…

Operation 2012 status: I cleaned out the upstairs freezer. Tobermory’s been telling me for ages that a) I’ve been blocking the air vents b) it’s not draining properly, because of the aforementioned blocked vents. Eventually, the fridge started growing snow, and I finally got sick of it Wednesday night. Emptied, wiped down, bowl of warm water to wipe the ice off with, butter knife for obstreperous chunks. Didn’t take all that long. Mystery food disposed of (trash day), freezer re stacked with due care for the vents, and it’s stopped making the “help me, I can’t freeze properly” noises.

* the other night, I found Tigra and Candy ON THE SAME COUCH. Sharing it! Both asleep!

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One of the things that Tobermory and I want to do this year is get smarter with our money. We’re both impulse-buyers, and inclined to go for instant gratification. Obviously, that has to change. We’re adults, allegedly, and frankly we’ve bought all the conceivable junk we could need, and in fact far more than we could need. I know I haven’t read all my books, he hasn’t played all his video games, I haven’t sewn all my fabric… you get the drift. We need the money more than we need more crap, given our grandiose plans for the house. Built in floor to ceiling shelving. A new roof. A new kitchen…

One of the obvious and easy money savers is bringing lunch, rather than buying. That shouldn’t be any hardship – I love to cook, and we nearly always have leftovers. I don’t intend to go completely mad to the extent of making bento boxes, but you know what? They are pretty awesome. Plus, home-made’s gotta be healthier than takeaways, right?

So far this week, I’ve made lunch for us. I have one of these, and T uses more traditional plasticware.

Monday was salad, corn chips, canned fish, and frozen fruit. Tobes had leftover chilli. Yesterday, I had potato salad, canned fish, salad, and juice; T had (leftover) grilled chicken, rice, and salad with a pottle of mustard dressing because I couldn’t find the Hellmanns. Today he has the same, and I have chicken, rice, home-made sweet chilli hummus, and dipping sticks of carrot and cucumber. It takes maybe five minutes in the morning to bung it all together out of the fridge – hooray for a well supplied fridge and a little forethought when packing leftover dinner the night before. We’re even packing a can of fizzy each – it’s cheaper than the vending machines, and frankly, we’re not going to give up the Sprite/Coke. (Yet.)

We’re going to be sensible about it. If we try and live like complete paupers, we’ll both have stupid breakouts at some point. So we’re budgeting spending money, which neither of us has to account for to the other. And once a week, we buy lunch and/or have takeaways for dinner. It works for us.


Jan. 6th, 2012 02:22 pm
emsk: (Default)

Operation 2012: Clean All The Things progresses. Today, there was a Reckoning with the bathroom.

Right about the point that I was literally dripping with sweat, vanity doors open, with a bathroom that stunk of Exit Mould and looked like Lush threw up in it, I regretted the undertaking. But, with the shower scrubbed down, and I even went to toothbrush lengths to extract the mold from the three piece sliding door thing the shower cubicle has – and let me tell you, that thing is a bitch to clean – and the vanity reorganised and the Lush corralled into containers… yeah, it was worth it.

As a sidenote, why does my husband need three sets of clipper guides for the Remington clippers? He can’t need all of them, surely? They have been tidied into the nominated drawer, I wouldn’t dispose of any without his consultation, but… why? And no, this is not a criticism, given that I have 3/4 of the space in the vanity devoted to Lush products, it’s just that I’m puzzled.

My usual shower-cleaning methodology is a little unorthodox, I’ll admit. Generally I entirely disrobe, as I clean the shower, then once it’s clean, put my stinky self in the shower and enjoy being the first person to use the lovely clean bathroom. I did deviate from this norm today, figuring that bleach wasn’t the best thing to accidentally get on my person. Jif* is no problem, bleach, I’ll pass.

You can just picture it, can’t you?

The other problematic surface I’ve been wanting to attack lately was the dresser in the bedroom. Tobermory and I both use it as a dumping ground, which is a habit I’ve been trying to stop, but is rather hard to stop when it’s already covered in crap. So, trash has been thrown away, I’ve tidied up all my jewellery, even to the extent of organising my earrings, the bag of Lush that came back from the UK with me was removed to the bathroom vanity**, the makeup bag was emptied and put away…

I’d quite like to be a housewife. Maybe not forever, but for a few months. When I’m at work/commuting 55 hours a week, the housework rather loses it’s appeal; when I’m at home and have the time to spend, I’m happy to do it. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly say I like housework, but I do like the simple appeal of making my home nicer to live in.

* No, you lot, not peanut butter, household cleaner.

** Admittedly with some swearing, because I had to find room for it, which eventually meant reverting to some small stacking containers, and really I need to use some of this and not buy more. for, like, a year.

emsk: (Default)

Somehow “plug in small fan in snug” turned into Operation CLEAN ALL THE THINGS (Snug Edition). The snug is (mildly) rearranged, the TV/Wii/DVD player (which turns out to be dead) are all reconnected (which is how I know the DVD player is dead), the floor got vacuumed (not that you can tell), the fan is plugged in, I have unearthed four new bottles of deodorant (I have no idea either)….

It’s only 12:30. I have generated half a sack of trash (seriously, Tobermory and I have apparently lived in a disgusting fashion for the last year [none of it is food trash, just junk {which only makes it marginally better}]). Onwards and upwards?


emsk: (Default)

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