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: (roses)
I might need to see a doctor if this doesn't clear up by the weekend. 

Right ear and right side of my throat...feels like the tonsil on that side is enlarged liek whoa, but it's not swollen any larger than my left tonsil, and the right-sided tonsil is still very painful, unlike the left in which there's a residual ache but nothing awful.  Right ear still feels full and is achy as all get out.  Left ear is not nearly as painful.  So chances are good that whatever I have has kind of taken up housekeeping on the right side and I'll need some antibiotics to clear it up.  Or something.  Yay.

I want/need to get better in order to see my cousin's newborn behbehs...I refuse to visit while I'm not 100%.

Speaking of behbehs, I am driving myself bonkers looking into IVF and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) information.  Stupid baby rabies.
margotvankapelle: (fairydust)
My favorite cousin and her husband will be having their twins (boy/girl) either tomorrow or Thursday!

(Come on, immune sysem, kick the last of this crap so  I can visit!)
margotvankapelle: (cheesegrater)
We were hit pretty hard -- about 3 PM yesterday that storm rolled through complete with green sky and horizontal rain. There was a tornado sighted in Allen County, and in all honesty, I have never seen such a large group of people with such a poor sense of self preservation and priorities as WalMart customers.

Naturally, the PERFECT place to shelter oneself during a tornado warning is in the frozen section -- you know, with all the glass doors? And the number of people I had to actively tell to please NOT bring their grocery carts into the shelter area of the store boggled my mind.

Anyway, the power is still out at my workplace; it's estimated that the power should be on by midnight Wednesday into Thursday. I had to collect the written cake orders due tomorrow and make them at the only Walmart in the city that still has power. We lost power at home, but it was restored rather quickly (4 AM) so we didn't lose any perishables. My folks are still without power, but they have a generator to keep their refrigerator and freezers running.

So it was less than fun.!/photo.php?fbid=295491870546769&set=p.295491870546769&type=1&theater

This next one is actually a couple of streets over from where I live...!/photo.php?fbid=10151075809111613&set=p.10151075809111613&type=1&theater
This one was about half an hour southeast of Fort Wayne:!/photo.php?fbid=4185458921467&set=a.1847234347314.111988.1434344535&type=1&theater

ETA:  Have a pic gallery:

margotvankapelle: (wiseass)
Item the First:

Took Awesome!Neice to Fox Island for swimming yesterday; the entire family (Awesome!Niece, Boe, Mel, and myself) went and made it an official Day At The Park with a cooler full of lunch stuff.  We all pigged out, swam a lot, pigged out some more, kept slathering ourselves in sunscreen, swam a bit more, and finally called it a day after everyone was tired, sun-pinked, and the worst of the heat had passed.  The breeze didn't even feel like a breeze -- more like opening the door of a blast furnace.  So I was grateful for the swimming and getting to spend time with Awesome!Niece.  She's a total hoot.  Now, this kid is 8.  She sings in a local band.  She plays piano, clarinet, flute, piccolo, and guitar (both my sister and my brother in law are musically talented).  Her local band even cut a CD (Awesome!Niece graciously signed my copy).  Most kids that age, especially if they have exposure to the music industry/entertainment biz, will tell you that they want to be a rock star, actor, etc.  Not Awesome!Niece. 

She wants to be a geneticist.  (Cue "She Blinded Me With Science")

Seriously.  She is deeply interested in DNA, cloning, all that stuff and when I sent her one of those microscope kits that you can get at educational stores a couple of years ago, you would have thought that she had died and gone to heaven.  When I drove her from my mom's house in Columbus OH to my dad's house in New Haven IN (a 3 hour drive), we didn't even bother turning on the radio -- we talked about science the entire drive. Discussed everything from Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells to CC the cloned kitten and even how tortoiseshell cats can't be cloned to have the same coat pattern.  I love that kid.

After dropping Awesome!Niece off at my dad's, we went home, showered, took naps, and once the temperatures started to drop, had fighter practice in the back yard.  That was lovely...a houseful of friends again, and a couple of people who are interested in joining Adria.  Boe's decided that 2 years is a long enough hiatus to garner enthusiasm again, so once he's working, we'll be rejoining Adria.  I won't be able to participate as much as I'd like because I'm in school, but it's good to Boe enthusiastic again.

Now onto my nursing final for the quarter -- I should wind up with a B in this class.  Not my favorite grade, but the instructor Has Issues.  Oh well.  Won't be my problem after today.
margotvankapelle: (internetforever)
I have missed my sister.  <3

Lennie has gotten much talller...that kid now reaches my shoulder (I'm 5'6") at the age of eight.  o.O

We (myself, my sister, and my brother-in-law) have been crazy busy at Mom's.  In the past 24 hours, we have managed to:
  • Remove Mom's old dishwasher
  • Install Mom's new dishwasher
  • Paint and stain Mom's deck
  • Kill off multiple wasp nests
  • Cut down a largish lilac bush
  • Cut down a medium-sized ash tree (deceased tree courtesy of the emerald ash borer)
  • Mulch Mom's front yard landscaping.

I am pooped.
margotvankapelle: (Default)
My sister and her family are on their way north...I am so excited about being able to see them all!

I still have the urge to sew but no one has touched the Tornado Room although I have asked...In retrospect, I probably should have had my sister get a couple of N95 (ultra-super-HEPA particulate-proof) masks from her workplace so I could just go ahead and do it myself. Maybe those would be effective against whatever I'm allergic to in the dust there.

In other news, our garden yield is going to be low, but adequate for our household. We've been behind getting everything into the ground in a timely fashion...and Boe managed to mow down my new lilac, raspberry, and blackberry bushes. He says he "didn't notice" them. Yeah, I don't know how one "doesn't notice" knee-high plants either, especially when the grass is only ankle-height. And he wonders why I want him on ADD/ADHD medication.

Posted via


Jun. 4th, 2012 11:10 am
margotvankapelle: (fridaylove)
My sister Melanie is driving up to Ohio from Florida next weekend, and I have it arranged to be able to spend all day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with her!  She's up to drop Awesome!Niece off with Grandma Buckeye, and will spend several weeks with my dad and Bitz as well.  I may have to kidnap Awesome!Niece and take her to the zoo/go swimming/who the hell knows with her for a bit. 

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?

She's home!

May. 8th, 2012 10:17 pm
margotvankapelle: (Default)

Posted via

margotvankapelle: (Default)
At this time tomorrow, our Melmel will be back home with us. SO EXCITED.

In other news, my favorite cousin found out today that she is having boy/girl twins, so I'm over the moon for her and her husband. Ok, ok, there's a tiny touch of jealousy, but that's my issue to deal with, not hers to put up with.

Posted via

margotvankapelle: (Default)
Our darling daughter Melmel is going to move back in with us immediately after she graduates in early May. Life with her grandmother has pretty much reached a boiling point, so the sooner she's out of that situation, the better her mental health will be. I'm beginning to wonder if she is developing depression, so the sooner she is up here where I can be proactive about getting her help if needed, the better. It was awfully nice to hear Melmel go from despair in her voice to somewhat more hopeful. I might not have given birth to her, but she's my kid too, and I want her to be happy.

Posted via

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.

Busy day

Dec. 14th, 2011 12:15 pm
margotvankapelle: (xmastree)
Today I have a doctor's appointment (plus vaccinations, oh I can hardly wait! /sarcasm), more of the spiced pecans and almonds to do up, and napkins to make so that Boe can ship my sister's family Christmas presents tomorrow.  Then at 7 tonight, Boe and I are going to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a free chamber-orchestra Christmas concert.  I'm petty stoked about that, as I rarely get to hear live classical and/or Christmas music these days.
margotvankapelle: (housekeeper from hell)
I'm doing a test run for the Christmas pecans I'm making for this weekend.  Recipe is here; I added a splash of vanilla extract, a 1/2 tsp of cardamom, a tiny pinch of galingale, a mere dusting of nutmeg (my mom's not real fond of nutmeg or cloves; naturally, I like both), and subbed brown sugar for white.

The house smells AMAZING. 

ETA:  The cardamom overtook the cinnamon just a hair, and they weren't quite as sweet as I'd like.  Hm, I think I'm going to add a 1/4 cup of white sugar to bring the total sugar to 3/4 cup, knock the cardamom down to 1/4 tsp, and try it a bit differently tomorrow.  They are tasty though; Boe will like them because they aren't quite so sweet as the ones I remember from various festivals in the region.  Hm, I wonder if adding a little bit of honey might do the trick instead of the 1/4 cup white sugar...thoughts?
margotvankapelle: (pensive)
Well, Buddy-roo went home with his new parents today.  His new people are a very nice young couple in their mid to late 20's...they are thrilled with him and fell in love with Buddy at first sight.

We just can't afford 5 animals.  In all honesty, we can't afford 4, but I am not willing to rehome Maggie or Princess unless circumstances absolutely demand it.  Finding a new loving home for Buddy and fostering him in the meantime was the best possible thing we could have done for him, I just wish it didn't hurt Boe so badly in giving him up.

This sucks.
margotvankapelle: (SEWALLTHETHINGS! by tonyadmay)
Here's the game plan for Christmas On The Cheap(tm):

Each of the families (Dad and Bitz, Mom, Melanie et al., and Brett et al.) is going to get a little basket of household goodies, consisting of:

1. Set of 6 napkins, folded and displayed with...
2. Wire-wrapped and beaded napkin rings
3.  Set of 4 knitted cotton dishcloths
4.  Set of 3 knitted and felted woolen hot pads/trivets
5.  Packages of German roasted pecans and almonds
6.  Homemade dog biscuits for the families with dogs
7.  Catnip-filled fleece toys for the families with cats

The whole shebang should cost me less than $50.  For 4 families, that's pretty damned good. 

I also have a scarf knitted in seed stitch for Mom (her favorite stitch), a pair of really cute earrings for Lennie (the super awesome niece of amazingness), a cross-stitch of a cat that looks just like her cat Mittens for Lennie, and a pair of earrings for Melanie.

I was able to score Melanie's earrings for free through Swagbucks , the yarn for Mom's scarf was a gift, and I can use my employee discount for everything else except for the wool yarn I need for the hot pads. That I'll have to get from Michael's or Joann's, although Michael's will be easier for me as far as convenience goes. 

Our girl Melmel (who just got her first tattoo this week!) is getting a new phone, courtesy of a contract extension that we'll be signing.  I'm also going to go through my collection of romance novels and send some to her, as she has recently become a fan and by God I am glad she's getting over her Twilight obsession.

And now for the only Christmas splurge this year -- I have a Garmin GPS on layaway for Boe...shhhhh, don't tell him!
margotvankapelle: (bigheadlittlearms)
Well, he's ours.  His original name is Neiko, according to his owner, who contacted me through Craigslist.  She even helpfully included a picture of the dog as proof that she is his owner.  The owner decided not to take Neiko back, stating that her health has declined recently and she can't give him the attention he needs. 

So he's ours.
margotvankapelle: (beholdthenight)

Well, on Sunday I was on the northeast side of town at our local fail!Joann Fabrics, picking up fabric for a last-minute Halloween commission (one of my co-workers wanted to come to work as William Wallace in Braveheart), and my dad called me.  Now, for the record, Dad never calls me*, so when he does, I make quick in answering the phone.

"What's on fire?" he said.  Dad is not known for messing around when in phone conversation -- he hates talking on the things.  Typical guy, you know how it goes.

"Huh?  Nothing, so far as I'm aware.  What's going on?"

"Something near your house is on fire, and I was curious if you knew what was burning.  We're on our way to check it out -- it's pretty impressive."

"Uh, Dad, it's not my actual house, is it?"

Dad chuckled.  "No, it's not your house...I would have mentioned that right off the bat if it was your place."

"If that's the case, I'll join you in checking it out."

Well, he was absolutely correct.  It wasn't my house -- it was an insulation company within a half-mile of my house.  It was the largest fire I've seen in person in quite some time.  Dad and Bitz had been coming out of church on the northwest side of town when they saw the smoke plume, and Dad being Dad**, he was extremely interested in scoping the whole situation out.  He managed to find an exceptionally good vantage point across West Jefferson Boulevard, where I met up with them.  I sat in their car and Dad told me all about the tactics the different fire personnel were using, the difference between a variable-nozzle hose and a smooth-bore nozzle, his estimation of how many gallons of water per minute were being pumped, how modern bunker gear has evolved from what he used to use back in his firefighting days, some of the situations in which he was nearly killed, different attack techniques for different fire situations, and so on.  I'm sure Bitz was bored to tears, but I was fascinated***...I rarely get to hear tales of Dad's firefighting experiences and I was so young when he was on the fire department I can't really remember it****. 

I told Dad that one day soon, I plan to schedule a day for just the two of us to sit down with a tape recorder and let him go on about his firefighting experiences.  I'd like to transcribe those recordings and make copies of both the voice recording and the transcription to give to the local Firefighter's Museum, the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress.  While the latter two will undoubtedly stick the recordings and transcripts somewhere in their basements, someone somewhere might eventually do research on a really nifty transitional time in the history of American firefighting and might find Dad's oral history useful.

*I think the last time Dad called me was in 2009 when we were coordinating travel for my brother's wedding.

**Dad was on the New Haven, Indiana volunteer fire department back from the late 1970s until the late 1980s, so he was on the department while it transitioned from a small VFD to combined FD/EMS service and the study of fire science really started to make headway.  By the time he retired from the FD, he was their photographer and arson investigator in addition to his other duties on the FD.

***I cheerfully admit that I adore and hero-worship my dad to the point that if he asked me to jump off a cliff, I'd do it, no questions asked. 

****Let me put it this way...I was young enough for most of his FD service that I remember imagining that Dad's bunker pants would suddenly start walking on their own a la Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

margotvankapelle: (pumpkins)
Bitz called; my stepsister is having a costume party at her place on the 29th.  Woo!  I was getting worried that we wouldn't be doing much celebrating for Halloween this year and just sticking to handing out candy.  Good to know that we're going to par-tay (at least a little bit) and get our dress-up on!

So.  Naturally, this requires a costume.  And will my medievaloid stuff do?  Of course not!

So I am making a Regency frock (I'm thinking drop-front) with elbow-length sleeves, and if I have time, I'd like to knock out a spencer as well, since it's late October in Indiana and has been raining for a solid week with temps no higher than about 55 degrees.  I already have the underpinnings made, so literally one day's solid worth of work should be enough to get this outfit knocked out.  Bwahahahahaha!

Boe is going to wear his 16th century Irish stuff.  He's easy to dress.  :-)


margotvankapelle: (Default)

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