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: (cantcurestupid)
There is one Very Special Snowflake on my FB who posted about the Todd Akin debacle I posted about earlier today and he keeps on with strawman arguments and rape apologism and Godwin's Law and I am currently grinding my teeth down to little bitty nubs.

Anybody have a spare bazooka they're not using?  I'll bring it back as soon as I am done.
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
Are you fucking kidding me? 

I have many feelings on this.  They are all rage.

32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape per year is not "rare", and the 32,101 women whose lives are directly affected should be trusted to make the decisions that are right for them, not have to kowtow to what a delusional representative who has never met them, never heard their stories thinks is the right decision to make on their behalf.

Also, "legitimate" rape?  GTFO.

Hon. Todd Akin
117 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Voice: (202) 225-2561
Fax: (202) 225-2563

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: (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.



Jul. 5th, 2012 11:43 pm
margotvankapelle: (bollocks)
I checked the weather forecast for the next couple of days and nearly fell over.

Al Gore?  You can have your freaking global warming back; we don't want it.

Okay, game plan is to hole up in my bedroom all day with the critters, since three of the five are elderly.  Any panting, heat exhaustion type symptoms and they go into a cool shower with me.

Voila, my plans for the weekend.

Note to self:  The next house will have central air.  This is ridiculous. 
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:


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: (Default)
Did I mention that when I went to the doctor, my weight is up to 273?

Deeply unhappy about that.

Makes me want to crawl under a rock and never come back out.

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


Apr. 11th, 2012 07:56 am
margotvankapelle: (eyes)
I have to take a class this quarter entitled "Basic Computer Skills."

No, I can't test out of it.

Yes, I am filled with o.O
margotvankapelle: (SEWALLTHETHINGS! by tonyadmay) school is on a quarter-based system, rather than semesters.  This means this week is finals week.  I'm not all that stressed about it, to be honest, except I know half of my nursing cohort is going to contact me at the last minute for assistance in cramming all this info in.  *sigh*

Added to that is the very peculiar sensation that I have felt since first coming down with this round of strep.  My ears aren't involved in the infection, otherwise I'd blame this weird feeling on that.  It feels like I am a half-second slow on physical responses to stimuli, and that my balance is off just a hair. I'm shaky and just a tiny bit nauseous too.  It's like I'm a combination of tipsy and hypoglycemic.  Very weird.  If this continues after finishing all of my antibiotics, I will go back to the doctor to get checked out.

And naturally, I want to sew.  Nevermind that it's finals week and feeling like I'm consistently ready to fall over.  *facepalm*  Sewing muse, your timing is lousy. 
margotvankapelle: (cantcurestupid)
For the record, one can watch the full documentary -- which I highly recommend -- here at PBS.  I loves me some public broadcasting, yes I do.

As all y'all know, I am going to be a nurse.  Having been interested in the body, all its weirdness, and all the Very Bad Things that can happen to the body, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on about epidemiology, the history of medicine (as I am interested in both history and medicine, the history of medicine is Very Much Relevant To My Interests indeed), plagues, pandemics, and assorted bacterial/viral/fungal Happy Fun Times resulting in the deaths of populations.

To say vaccines are worse than the illnesses they prevent is total, complete, and utter hogwash. 

Let's take the most famous example, the disease so feared it was the first to be eradicated from the globe:  smallpox.  Smallpox killed up to 60% of those infected and up to 80% of infected children.  It was implicated in 35% of cases of blindness in human history.  What is relatively unknown to most people is that in order to eradicate smallpox, governments began to require mandatory vaccination -- no exceptions.  In 1843, Massachussetts put the first madatory-vaccination law in place, and other states soon followed suit.  Within 60 years -- by 1897 -- the United States was almost completely free from smallpox.  The last naturally-occuring case of Variola major (the more deadly of the two strains) was diagnosed in October 1975.  The less-deadly Variola minor was last diagnosed in a naturally-occuring case on October 26, 1977.  Both cases were on the other side of the globe:  one in India, one in Somalia.

For those playing at home, that is within my lifetime.  I am only 34 years old.  We're not talking about hundreds of years ago, or even a hundred years ago...we are talking about less than 40 years in the past.  In the history of the world, that's practically nothing in the grand scheme of things.  And now most doctors or nurses wouldn't know what smallpox even looks like in the field.  They've never encountered it before, except perhaps in a footnote in an epidemiology class.  Maybe.

So that right there argues that vaccines are a damned good thing where the good of humanity is concerned.  Now let's look at some of the other vaccines, the ones to prevent diseases that have NOT been eradicated.  The ones the CDC still recommends.

Pertussis.  Whooping cough.  Sounds relatively innocuous, wouldn't you say?  Oh, it's just a funny-sounding cough, right?  Want to hear something that will make your chest ache?  Here ya go.  Pertussis really doesn't have any particular treatment beyond comfort care once you're infected...but that cough can make you vomit, faint, the blood vessels in the whites of your eyes to rupture, break your ribs, and asphyxiate to death on your own throat secretions.  Imagine coughing so hard your ribs break. The worst part about the whole disease is that babies that are too young to be safely immunized are the ones most at risk...because pertussis vaccinations don't give you lifelong immunity, most parents can carry pertussis -- and can wind up passing it along to their children.  In fact, in fatal cases in which a pertussis carrier can be identified, up to 80% of the time it is a family member of the dead infant who unknowingly exposed that baby to pertussis.  I can't imagine what sort of pain that must be for a family.

Measles.  Yeah, that rash that your grandmother lived through, but you probably didn't have to -- because your parents vaccinated you.  Sure, measles doesn't have a high rate of complications in healthy adults, but what about that person sitting next to you on the bus...the one you don't know is immunocompromised, because most people don't go around with a "I had a transplant and am on antirejection drugs" signs.  In immunocompromised populations, the fatality rate from measles is around 30%. 

While I'm at it, since the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine is the primary one Jenny McCarthy et al. froth at the mouth most about, there is such a hullabaloo raised about autism caused by vaccination and it is rage-inducing.  These people go on and on about vaccines causing autism, because apparently there's nothing worse in the world that autism.  I beg your pardon?  Autism is somehow worse than death?  Or causing pregnant women to miscarry is okay as long as your kid is neurotypical?  *flail*headdesk*flail*  These anti-vaccination people don't seem to realize -- in fact, their health depends on -- the herd immunity that the rest of the (vaccinated) population provides. 

So to say I Have Issues with anti-vaccination tropes is a little bit of an understatement.
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.
margotvankapelle: (housekeeper from hell)
Been knitting like a fiend, and I have 16 washcloths done up.  Time to move on to the hot pads -- first I ahve to nit them, then I get to felt them!  Woohoo!
margotvankapelle: (bigheadlittlearms)
Well, you all know how Fagan came to live with us, right?

Well, now we have met the canine version.

He is also black and white, a lab mix, we think.  He is clearly someone's pet -- he is neutered and has lovely house manners.  He does have some issues with his hips, which is pretty common with labs.  We've put a "found" notice on Craigslist, but no one has responded as yet.  If no one claims him, we'll have to take him to the pound...Mom made me promise that we wouldn't take in any more pets until after I'm done with school.

And man oh man the cats are pissed at us.
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: (regency)
You know that Halloween costume I wanted to get done by Friday?  The Regency-era frock I wanted to do?  It's done -- buttonholes, finished seams, trim, and all.  I started about 11 am and just finished it.  The sleeves aren't super-incredibly-accurate, but they're flattering and that's the important bit.  I don't think I'm going to get the spencer done, as I have a paisley wrap that will do in a pinch, and if given the option, I'd like to make a really ridiculous bonnet instead.

The colors are dark purple cotton broadcloth, with a purple/lavender/antique gold trim at the sleeve cuffs, waistband, and bottom quarter of the skirt.  I'm sure Bitz will take photos, which I will naturally upload for criticism commentary.  The silhouette of the frock, so far as I can tell, is leaning towards the mid-to-late 1810s, as does the color scheme. If I get around to it, I might add some false flowers to the trim on the skirt in order to highlight the deliberately wavy trim placement like this dress, but I still have a wizard's robe to make for Boe and today was my last full day off before Saturday. 

Oh, and?  I was able to make the frock for about $15.  The fabric is $1.50/yard stuff from WalMart, and the trim is a lovely woven one given to me by [ profile] ciorstan back in the day.  The little bit of lace at the sleeves came frm my stash, as did the buttons.


Oct. 12th, 2011 12:10 am
margotvankapelle: (beaker)
Ok, I must hormonal or something, because my brain is all "BABIES!!!!!!"


In other news, I have the sudden urge to make a rockin' circuspunk outfit based on several circus advertisements I saw when flipping through one of Boe's circus history books this evening.


margotvankapelle: (Default)

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