margotvankapelle: (daisy flower)
2 more full-grown dogs, a puppy, and 4 kittens (the felines were in loving memory of Fagan).

13 dogs total, and 4 kittens. 

Not a bad month's work.

Bwahaha.

Oct. 25th, 2012 07:06 pm
margotvankapelle: (fairydust)
I just ordered our niece's birthday gifts...I like this whole "discretionary income" thing.  She's turning 9 this year.  NINE!  Jeez, I remember when she was just a tiny baby!

(I got her a DIY "Personalize your own messenger bag" thing and a "Make your own chocolate" kit.  I figured they might appeal to a very girly and craft-y proto-nerd.  Yep, she takes after her aunt in that respect. :-P )
margotvankapelle: (cats)
I took Odin to the V-E-T today for a checkup now that he's been on thyroid treatment for...uh...however long he's been on thyroid treatment.  He's gained 3 pounds and his fur is starting to fill back out.  The bad news is that we cannot afford to keep feeding Odin the Science Diet y/d thyroid diet that my little dude's been on -- the stuff is $25 for a 4 (!) pound bag, and I found Frank eating it a few days ago, so that partly explains why the supply has been getting low pretty quickly.

The good news is that the thyroid medication the vet though would run about $70 a month?  Is actually $22.83 a month.  And the tablets are chewable, so it's more a of a treat and less of a "burrito the cat and pray that I can find the stupid tablet when he spits it out" sort of ordeal.

So yay!  Odin is doing better, and getting fatter, and we'll be going to the cheaper (and more effective) thyroid treatment for our boy!

(Odin was pretty pleased with this vet visit too -- no thermometer in the butt!)
margotvankapelle: (adulthood)
Boe got his first paycheck today.

My mom came by the house after I got off of work today and helped me set up electronic bill payment.

The mortgage is going to be paid automatically, every single month.  I am never going to have to worry about forgetting it ever again.

This is SO AWESOME.


(We also picked up replacement underwear and socks.  It is amazing how much one's day can be made by being able to buy necessary clothing.  I haven't had a new pair of underwear in a couple of years.  Boe was even worse off.  Every single pair was worn nearly to rags.)
margotvankapelle: (reading)

For Boe and I:
 2 of these.  
2 of these.
2 pair of these...one of which would need to be lined due to Boe's wool issues.
2 of these.
For Boe.
Also for Boe for combat.
For me x2.
For me.
A couple of these
A couple of these.
One of these


For Danijel
Everything here. Although I'll probably be the one making all of it. 
Several of these.
One pair of these.
A couple of these.
One of these.
A pair of these.
A pair of these.
One of these
One of these

More as I think on it.





margotvankapelle: (cats)
Our middle boy, Odin the Polydactyl Wonder (7 toes on each front paw, 5 on each back paw) has been dropping weight and his hair is thinning.  So being a good Cat Mommy I took him to the vet; while he is own Banfield's most expensive plan, they still had to send some bloodwork out to a reference lab that ran us a couple hundred bucks.  But he recieved $700 in services that day, so honestly I'm tickled that he cost us so little, relatively speaking. 

His bloodwork came back:  he has severe hyperthyroidism.  Well, that explains the weight loss, the patchy hair, the Nuclear Waste Pudding Poops of Stench And Despair and the chronic vomiting he's experienced.  (We thought the Pudding Poops were from a food allergy and that the vomiting was hairball-related.  Nope.)

We have several options; I have no idea what any of these will specifically run us, but none of them will be inexpensive.

1.  Special iodine-free food that binds with the excess TSH/T3/T4 to help flush it out of the body.  At least I think that's how it works.  I need to read the bag and do some additional research.  The pros are that it's a simple fix and readily available and does not require pilling Odin.  The cons are that naturally, this food is hideously expensive and that not all cats like it and that it can take a LONG time to see any benefits since it's a gradual thing.  Oh, and since we free-feed that means that the other cats will also be eating it.  So I have to think of how their bodies will handle this stuff.

2.  Medication to suppress thyroid function somewhat.  The pros:  It's readily available and in chewable tablet form.  The con:  It's $70 a month for the rest of Odin's life.  He's 12.  Statistically speaking, he should have another 5 or 6 years at least in him.

3.  Taking Odin to Purdue University and putting him through radiation thryoid ablation.  (Incidentally, this is something also routinely done on humans.)  The pros:  It's a one-time procedure then I can get his thyroid hormone replacement pills at Wal-Mart for $4/month, just like a human.  The cons:  I will have to pill Odin for the rest of his life.  And I am absolutely certain that the radiation treatment does not come cheap.

We WILL have to make a decision from these options; if left untreated, the hyperthyroidism will kill Odin eventually.  It's ust a question of what we can afford and what his little body will handle.

Have some photos of the handsome little guy in question:




margotvankapelle: (Default)
Well, Boe is t-minus 13 days from his first paycheck. This is very, very good. We need to get him a vehicle (what is it about he and his daughter that neither wants to take public transportation even when it is clearly the single most logical thing to do?) And he wants a truck. Well we found him a truck; now we just have to wait until he has cash in hand. If you're curious, it's a 1997 Ford F150 extended cab with an automatic transmission and V6 engine because I put my foot down re 8 cyclinders and gas mileage. He's in love with everything except the color" which is dark navy, but since everything else is cool he'll deal with the truck not being a bright primary color. And yes, I can honestly say that his sense of aesthetics was profoundly influenced by Clown College. *sigh*

In other news, I splurged just a tiny bit on a pair of Historic Enterprise's reproduction towels/napkins in the zigzag design. They are SO. PRETTY. I plan a little purchase here and a little purchase there to get our household kit up to snuff. We can manage a little purchase every now and again. So next on the list are a couple of fauldstools, then more table linens, then a trestle table...the list goes on but I am thumb typing :-)


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Um. Well.

Jul. 30th, 2012 03:57 pm
margotvankapelle: (sun)
We went through this house today.  It's a couple of blocks from Boe's school; we can see the roof of the school building from one of the back bedrooms.  It's also in an "urban renewal" zone, which tends to be code for "crime tends to be high", but in looking at the statistics, this little area is a growing oasis of lower crime rates than elsewhere in the zip code.  There are crazy amounts of tax exemptions and credits one can claim as well as some of the lowest housing costs in the city.

Let's face it:  Is it possible to have brand-new stick built construction anywhere else in the entire flipping United States for less than $90,000?  Yeah, didn't think so.  Besides, it is just the architecture that Boe and I really like and he fell in love with the place as soon as he walked in the door. 

  This house (and its companion house at 2412 Gay St.) have sat empty for the past 4 years; they were originally closer to $130,000 but then the housing market went to crap and basically everyone lost interest in buying real estate.  So the nonprofit group that owns these properties is making down payment assistance available as well as very favorable lending terms through a partnership with the Urban League.

So we've applied to be considered for the house at 2416 Gay.  We'll see if they approve us; the worst they can say is "no".
margotvankapelle: (reading)
Somehow, I managed to make it onto the Dean's List for 2 quarters in a row!

5 more to go...

Also, I've had a hankering to try just a weensie bit harder to not look like Exhausta McHaglike.  So I picked up some lip gloss.  I dunno...we'll see. Lord knows since I single-handedly keep Chapstick in business it's just as easy to smear on some lip gloss instead.  Maybe eventually I'll get to the point of wearing makeup again on a regular basis.  I know, I know, it only takes a few minutes, etc., etc.,  I'll look a lot better with makeup on, more self-confidence blah blah blah.  As a fat chick, I feel more secure feeling invisible.  But wanting to feel invisible and yet wishing I wasn't makes for a heavy makeup addiction, even if I never wear the stuff.  One might argue that the makeup addiction is worse for never wearing the stuff.  So like I said, it's easiest to start off with lip gloss and see if I can get the hang of that.

Can you tell I've forgotten to take my crazy pills on a regular basis this week?

Which reminds me...brb, dosing myself.

It's probably bad form to reward myself for taking my antidepressant by scooping myself a large bowl of ice cream, but I haven't had dinner yet and dairy is one of the four food groups or whatever stupid chart the USDA is using these days.  So screw it.

I know part of the problem is what time of year it is:  Pennsic season.  As usual, I won't be going this year, nor will I be able to go next year (since I'll still be in year-round school).  Pennsic 2014 (er, I think that's, what, Pennsic 44? 45?) will be the earliest I will be able to go, which makes me all sorts of sad.  It's hard to explain WHY it makes me so sad, except maybe for this post I made back in the day.  It's just...promises, you know?  And the prospect of meeting some of you on my f-list (assuming I could work up the courage to stop by and say hello -- being just an okay costumer means that some of you all are like rock stars to me...like expect me to get a little starry-eyed and maybe even choke up a little bit if I ever meet you) even if it is intimidating! 

Yes, yes, I know Pennsic will still  be there, but adopting from foster care means there are enormous levels of governmental interference in our lives for an unknown and unpredictable length of time, and I'd like to go to Pennsic before having to negotiate crossing state lines with a foster child, and all the headaches that come with dealing with a bureaucracy.  I'll be 36 in 2014.  And considering my late 30s is (IMO) getting Too Old for first-time motherhood (especially if we are blessed with smaller children), that means we are very limited to how many more years we can put off Pennsic without also hanging up our chances to become parents.

margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Keep in mind I don't even have my associate's degree completed (17 months to go!), but I just spent a substantial portion of the evening determining how I could manage to get a Nurse Practitioner (MSN) degree without moving from the area.

I could do it within 4 years of getting my ASN (always assuming that The Powers That Be don't change up educational requirements for NPs sometime in the next, oh, six years or so).  It's do-able.  It's...very do-able.

Hmmmmmmmm.

OMG yay!

Jun. 27th, 2012 11:16 am
margotvankapelle: (roses)
Still no word on the teaching job for Boe, but hey, the day is young.

What I'm REALLY excited about is the arrival of a couple of GORGEOUS silk Venetian gowns from the always wonderful [livejournal.com profile] rvqavalon.  I bought both of them a while ago and life just kept interfering with the gowns' delivery.  Well, they got here yesterday.  I figured the red-burgundy one for Mel and the red-gold one for myself.  (Although with Mel's behavior of late, I'm tempted to keep both for myself out of principle.) 

Both of them fit like a glove.

I am thrilled.  I mean, like, I haven't been this happy about ANYTHING in a long, long time.

SO. MUCH.GORGEOUSNESS. OMG.  Pictures forthcoming.
margotvankapelle: (internetforever)
Between work and school, I barely know which direction is up.  I really really want to sew, but can't really do that until the Tornado Room (so named because it's a disaster area) is cleared out -- I tried to clear it out myself, but my face broke out in hives and I began to wheeze about five minutes in.  Not good.  So I have to get The Spouse and The Daughter to do that for me...which means it might get done by the end of 2012.  If I'm lucky.

In other news, my sister Mel is driving up from Florida on a quick visit to drop my neice off with my parents for a portion of the summer.  Let's see if Bitz can learn to share Lennie this season.  Unfortunately, Mel is driving up on the weekend with the highest volume of cake sales for the year...Graduation Weekend for FWCS.  I tried to find a replacement (there's a coworker who doesn't normally work weekends), but apparently the only family that matters is the one this cow-irker has, not anyone else's.  Even after I explained that I haven't seen my sister in a couple of years.  I was delighted, let me tell you.  >:-/  So I'm going to have to call off one of the busiest sales days of the year and leave my coworker H screwed with no help.  H and I talked it over and we mutually decided that if I have to call off to see my sister, then Sunday would be the better day.  So that's the game plan.  At least 1 coworker is understanding.

Uh, other than that, school is going well.  One instructor has publicly stated on numerous occasions that she doesn't give A's ever...well guess what lady, you're going to have to change that stance.  *cracks knuckles*

I keep motivating myself by looking at real estate listings and home builders' websites.  Also looking at vehicles, since my poor Lumina will probably last me until I'm out of school (I hope!) but not much longer than that.  I'm kinda leaning in this direction, since that allows for some flexibility as far as cargo and stuff goes but is more fuel-efficient than an SUV or truck.  Or I'd like a Prius.  I'd like 40-odd mpg, you know?
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Well, that was fun.  /sarcasm

In other news, we're broke again.  Big shock there, I'm sure.  But we have groceries, cat litter, gooshyfoods, and phone service.

WM must have had extra roses left over from Mother's Day, because each of us mother-y types got a dozen as we clocked out...I took them home, put them in a vase, and admired them until pretty pretty Princess decided they were fun to play with and promptly snapped the heads off of half of them.  Brat.  So I had to move my remaining roses to the living room fireplace instead of the kitchen table -- here's hoping that they stay intact for longer than a day.

Other than that, there really isn't too much going on except midterms this week. 
margotvankapelle: (fridaylove)
I found my house.  Now I just have to get through school to be able to afford it.

In a fit of antsiness, last night I busted out my embroidery materials for the first time in a couple of years and have started blackworking a shirt collar.  Well, I'm using Aida cloth and kelly green cotton floss, so it's not accurate at all, but it was in my stash, I didn't have any other use for it, and frankly anyone who wants to snark me for it can go hang. 

 In other news, I found out why I haven't seen any mice all winter...I found Princess's stockpile of mummified mousie corpses behind the couch. Eight of them.  *shudder*

Whee!

Jan. 19th, 2012 08:17 pm
margotvankapelle: (fridaylove)
I must be in a slightly manic mood -- my paycheck was larger than expected and I managed to pay off 2 of our utilities all the way down rather than the bare minimum, with plenty of paycheck to go, even not counting Boe's paycheck (Lord, that's a nice thing to say!) -- because I spent about 60 bucks on patterns.  Like I need more patterns, right?

*sigh*

It's an illness, I tell you. 

School has started out well, although at the moment I'm rather bored, as a lot of it is common-sensical stuff, especially in my Fundamentals of Nursing course...People really need to be told not to post specifics or pictures about their patients on Facebook?!  I mean, really now.  That's one of those "duh" things.  Medical Terminology is another of those classes I can probably sleep through safely, since languages are extraordinarily easy for me, but several of my classmates anticipate having difficulty and have asked me to tutor them, so it's safer for me to pay attention in class.  Just in case.  And Patient Interaction is just a Communications class dolled up as "Pay attention to what your patients are saying and don't be a dick to them."  So yeah.  I know things will get a lot more interesting later on in the quarter, but man, the first few weeks are always a bit of a snoozefest.

In other news, there is no other news.  More of the same, I guess.
margotvankapelle: (madesense)
I know, it tends to go poorly for me.  But I've been thinking...once I'm out of school, and we're able to afford to move, a little 3 bedroom 1.5 bath Cape Cod on a finished basement over in a neighborhood near to our current one would be perfect -- they are very reasonably priced (average is $70,000), they are old enough to have character through previous owner modifications, and they are just awfully darned cute.  They are post WWII building boom homes on the west side of town.  Nice neighborhood, close to parks and grocery stores, you know the homeowning drill.

After that house, though...

I'm thinking strawbale construction.  I'd like to go as close to off-grid as possible (while still remaining hooked up to utilities if needed).  You know, passive solar design, solar panels on the roof, rainwater collection system, greywater recycling, that sort of thing.  To be honest, I kinda draw the line at a chemical toilet, though.  :-P  I just like how organic and comforting the architecture of strawbale and/or adobe homes are.  While adobe really would probably not work well in northeast Indiana, strawbale definitely would. 

It's something to while away my excess time and energy while we are financially struggling, and learning more about it will certainly stand me in good stead if we decide to go that route at some point in the future.
margotvankapelle: (roses)
Once Boe passes his probationary period, he'll have insurance and other benefits.  And since he's off work by 3 PM every day, he can still pursue his Master's degree.

Stoked, people.  I. AM. STOKED.
margotvankapelle: (internetforever)
Boe got a job.

I know; I'm stunned too.

He'll be working for a hospital laundry service, so not related to his degree at all, but the important thing i that he has a PERMANENT job that will bring in enough to let us squeak by while I finish my degree.

Thank You, God.
margotvankapelle: (roses)
I am picking up bales of straw tomorrow for the garden...for free.  WIN!  I also plan to get more cardboard from work and pretty much layer things straw-cardboard-straw-cardboard-straw and then re-cover with a roll of black weed-blocking sheeting -- the kind that people put down under mulch to keep weeds from sprouting through but that is perforated to allow water flow.  Then I figure I'm probably done until early spring. 

Come to think of it, I might get a bunch more bales in order to cover over where I plan to scatter wildflower seeds come spring.  The folks I'm getting the straw from have about 50 bales they want to get rid of, and I am more than happy to help them. ;-)
margotvankapelle: (holdingroses)
Saturday was a little rough for me emotionally.  I had to get a refund on Boe's layaway gifts because we just can't afford them.  Unfortunately, one is only able to get a refund on one's layaway at the store at which one put the item aside for layaway.  So I had to get a refund at "my" store where they know me.  It was embarrassing on quite a few levels.  And then to boot, because I wasn't able to put much money on the layaway in the first place and because there is a $10 fee to cancel the layaway, I only got $10.25 back.   I came home feeling an awful lot like George Bailey about midway through It's a Wonderful Life.  That kicked-dog feeling. 

Sunday was a little better.  On a suggestion from a gardener on my f-list, I read up on lasagna gardening.  Well, yesterday I dragged Boe out of the house and back to my store, where we got a car-trunk-full of cardboard boxes and expired newspapers.  Today I am making a run to Starbucks and asking for their spent coffee grounds to spread on my garden-to-be.  We have fall's leaves on top of the cardboard  on a 15' x 20' area up against our backyard's levee wall; this will eventually be our garden.  Last year the weeds and random-seeded plants grew out of control, and our dickbag neighbors called neighborhood code enforcement as their first line of action instead of coming over and talking to us.  We got it mowed down, well, kind of, but we'd rather not deal with those neighbors again.  So the garden will help with that.  Sure, it might not be the prettiest thing ever, but it's something the city can't ding us for, it will be a food source for us, and frankly, I plan to can our extras in my spare time this summer in order to give some away as Christmas gifts.  I have sweet corn, popcorn, tomatoes, hot peppers, watermelon, and cucumbers planned; if I have room I'd like to add some sunflowers and some lavender (sunflowers for the birdies, lavender for me).  I might need to make an additional plot for those.  I can get compost for free through Allen County Solid Waste Management (fees only apply to folks dropping off compostable materials).

My aunt has repeatedly told me that I can have as many lilac starts as I want, and Bitz has offered me her volunteer roses of sharon.  I figure if we plant alternating lilacs and roses of sharon in the direction of the dickbag neighbors, it will grow to become a living hedge.  Between the free composting materials, free plant starts, seeds I already have on hand, and stuff acquired through Freecycle and Craigslist, this year's landscaping should run me less than $20 total.

Dang.  If this turns out to be a success, once we're financially stable we might need to purchase a pickup truck, lol.

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